The tall and imposing right-arm seamer made his England debut in 2013, six years after facing them at the World Cup.
Rankin was one of several Ireland players who earned professional deals after the 2007 World Cup, where he enjoyed a productive tournament and was Ireland's leading wicket-taker with 12 scalps, including that of England captain Michael Vaughan.
He subsequently earned a contract at Derbyshire, but, after seeing his first season curtailed by injury, was released at the end of the summer.
A move to Warwickshire soon followed, and Rankin developed year upon year, epitomised by his season-best effort of 55 championship wickets at an average of 25.80 in 2011. That form earned him an England Lions call that August and another for the winter tour of Bangladesh.
He retired from Ireland cricket in 2012 to focus on breaking into the England Test side.
Injury prevented him playing much in 2012 but his early form the following year earned a call-up to the England one-day international squad to face New Zealand before making his full international debut in a Twenty20 against the same opposition in June.
His England ODI bow came versus Ireland at Malahide that September, when he also played in the NatWest Series against Australia.
Further justification for Rankin's decision to switch allegiances came soon after as he was included in England's squad for the Ashes in Australia.