Rankin pursues England dream
Boyd Rankin has determined to play for England by announcing he will cease to represent Ireland from the autumn and signing a three-year contract extension with Warwickshire.
The tall 28-year-old seamer, who made his Ireland debut in January 2007 and has appeared 79 times for them, has twice represented England Lions and has now set his sights firmly on the senior side - as Ireland internationals Eoin Morgan and Ed Joyce have achieved.
Rankin is available to Ireland for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, starting midway through next month, and his contract with Cricket Ireland expires at the end of December.
"It's been a great honour to represent my country and to be part of two ICC World Cup and World T20 teams,” he said.
“It was very difficult to make this decision, but I want to give myself the best possible chance of playing Test match cricket - and I need to carefully manage my schedule to give myself the best possible chance of achieving this.
"I am available for this year's ICC World t20 in Sri Lanka and I look forward to the great challenge ahead if selected."
Rankin’s new Warwickshire deal ends speculation that his future lay away from Edgbaston.
On his return, Rankin has taken two wickets in as many LV= County Championship appearances and started a third championship game of the year today. Worcestershire are the visitors to Edgbaston as Division One leaders Warwickshire continued to chase the title they agonisingly missed out on last year.
In 2011 Rankin took a career-best 55 first-class wickets, which helped earn him Lions appearances against Sri Lanka in August and Bangladesh in January. Between those he was part of the England Performance Programme for the first time.
More Lions appearances in Bangladesh and possibly on the following tour of Sri Lanka would likely have followed, but for a minor thigh strain that saw him return home from the former.
Rankin, who is 6ft 8ins, added: “It’s fantastic to put pen to paper and commit to such a great club as Warwickshire for the next three years.
“The coaching team have been great in helping me develop as a cricketer and we have a team that’s capable of consistently challenging for honours.
“At present we’re very well placed to push for silverware and I’m committed to doing everything possible to help us realise this in 2012 and beyond.”
Warwickshire director of cricket Ashley Giles, whose side went top of Clydesdale Bank 40 Group C yesterday without Rankin thanks to victory over Yorkshire, said: "It's been great to have Boyd back in action over the last two weeks.
“The additional bounce that he generates is a unique attribute to our bowling attack and we were very keen to secure his services for the foreseeable future.
"He's made a brave decision to retire from Ireland matches, but it's one that we respect. When fully fit he's one of the best fast bowlers in county cricket and we fully support his ambitions and commitment to breaking back into the England performance set-up."