Brian Halford
24th July 2018

Great to be back says Rankin

Seamer wants to contribute plenty more for Warwickshire and Birmingham Bears during his final two months with the club

Boyd Rankin is pleased to be back in the first-team fold - and wants to contribute plenty more for Warwickshire and Birmingham Bears during his final two months with the club.

Fast-bowler Rankin returned to the side for the Vitality Blast tussle with Northants Steelbacks last Friday and delivered 4-1-24-1 - standout figures in a match in which both teams scored at 11.55 per over.

"Warwickshire have young guys like Henry Brookes and Olly Stone coming through, who I am pretty sure will both play for England, so I understand the situation - but I still want to help win games for the Bears."

Boyd Rankin

Now the 33-year-old, who will leave Edgbaston after this season when Ireland players become counted as overseas players in county cricket, wants to keep on contributing.

"It was great to be back on Friday," he said. "It was just a shame we had to settle for a tie after Ian Bell and Adam Hose batted so brilliantly but I was quite pleased with the way I bowled.

"I hope I can play some more games for the Bears. I've been away with Ireland a bit this season and will be away for a couple of weeks in August but would love to play more county games. Warwickshire have young guys like Henry Brookes and Olly Stone coming through, good young cricketers who I am pretty sure will both play for England, so I understand the situation - but I still want to help win games for the Bears."

Already this season Rankin has secured his place forever in Irish cricket history as the taker of the nation's first Test wicket.

When Pakistan opener Azhar Ali edged into cordon in Ireland's inaugural Test at Malahide in May, Rankin claimed that prize first scalp - with a little help from a friend. It was former Bears colleague William Porterfield who took the catch.

"After play I got a text from Jim Troughton to say 'caught a Bear, bowled a Bear,' Rankin recalls.

"It was a nice moment and a really special few days overall. It was slightly different to my England debut, having been born and bred in Ireland. Quite a few of my family were there and my girlfriend was there and there were a lot of emotions. It was something really special to get that cap and it's something I will cherish for the rest of my life.

"Overall we fought really well, as we always have over the years, and were very happy with the performance. We had them 14 for three in the second dig and had another chance soon after that so could have had them four down for not very many. But we didn't take the chance and their target was so small that one partnership could win it for them."

Ireland's second Test match will be against Afghanistan in India in the spring before they face England in a four-day Test from July 24-27. By then Rankin will be an ex-Bear.

"My plan is to play full-time in Ireland for the next few years," he said. "I've really enjoyed my time with the Bears but this is a very exciting time for Ireland and I am looking forward to hopefully playing a big part in it.

"We need to keep building. We will miss the players having the chance to come and learn in county cricket but we are on our own two feet as a cricketing nation now. There is a first-class set-up in Ireland now and the standard is pretty good and I am sure will get better as Irish cricket grows."