One of several Ireland players who earned professional deals after the 2007 World Cup, Rankin is a tall and imposing right-arm seamer.
He enjoyed a productive tournament and was Ireland's leading wicket-taker with 12 scalps, including that of England captain Michael Vaughan.
Rankin 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.