October 15, 2009

Ireland

Rankin's ECB call-up concerns Ireland

Martin Williamson

The inclusion of fast bowler Boyd Rankin in the ECB's enhanced England Performance Programme has left Warren Deutrom, Ireland's chief executive, worried about a further depletion or resources. Ireland have lost batsmen Ed Joyce and Eoin Morgan to England in recent years, and Deutrom has warned that Rankin's following course would be a major loss to their cricket.

Rankin, who switched from Derbyshire to Warwickshire, was named in a pool of 41 players who will train in Florida, Loughborough and Chennai over the next few months. "In terms of Boyd's personal development, it is obviously terrific for him to have access to the sort of programmes that the ECB can provide," Deutrom told the Daily Express. "But for us it is a worrying development that he has obviously figured on the England radar. It is, of course, a source of pride that we continue to produce cricketers that England are interested in but, if we were to lose another player to follow Ed and Eoin, it would be a severe blow to Irish cricket."

Ireland stand to lose Rankin for their Intercontinental Cup match and one-dayers against Afghanistan in early 2010, because he is slated to fly to the MRF Pace Academy in Chennai in January to train under Dennis Lillee for ten days at the same time. "I am still keen to play for Ireland as much as I can but I can't play Test cricket for Ireland and I have to do what I can to get that opening," Rankin told the Belfast Telegraph. "The idea of this camp, I understand, is to build up strength, to be fitter and stronger. I have done a lot of fitness work in the last 12 months and apart from a minor groin strain played the whole season."

David Parsons, the ECB's performance director, said the management was on the look-out for a tall fast bowler capable of hitting the deck hard, such as Rankin, who impressed during the 2007 World Cup for Ireland. "We know from the research and from looking at cricket at the prevalence of injuries that there is quite a steady turnover of fast bowlers in the modern game," he said. "We need to make sure that England has a deep pool of fast bowlers ready to go out and perform at high levels.

"But there is also no mistaking that fast bowlers are match winners. Boyd would be the standout quick in terms of his physical stature and the feedback we've had is that he has got a lot of potential. Bowlers who hit the deck hard at a high end pace are really proven to be match winners. If we can identify people like that we are on the right track."

RELATED LINKS

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

RSS Feeds: Martin Williamson

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Shreyan Laha on (January 14, 2010, 9:51 GMT)

Why are they being taken by ECB? To be fair enough, this is unfair. How will they get Test Cricket opportunity if such things take place? Maybe some day they take Porterfield or the O Brien brothers. This is a serious issue no doubt. One opportunity can be taken. If they set up an enormous cash rich Irish Premier League just like the Indian Premier League, only then can the problem be sorted out.

Posted by Ricardo on (October 23, 2009, 23:20 GMT)

I have mentioned this problem before, and predicted that it would become a serious issue. english counties can offer the best irish players contracts, allowing Ireland to be a strong associate side; at the same time the ecb offer these guys what cricket Ireland cannot. And this is compounded by the fact that some irish & all scottish born players can be snapped up by england inmmediately due to residency regulations. If ireland cannot gain test status, quickly the ECB will continue to exploit the situation. The only other solution is for ireland to seek financial backers to create a semi pro league in ireland. Maybe a T20 league - definately a multi day (3/4 day) competition. They have no choice - the benefits of county cricket is double edged sword. Another solution - set a clearer road map for associate countries to get test status, or change the rules to allow players like ed joyce & eion morgan to play for ireland also, because they have been called up by england for ODI's only.

Posted by Jarrod Potter on (October 21, 2009, 6:35 GMT)

How is it that England cannot make cricketers?

If 3 out of 11 for the Irish Best XI can get into an English XI, why is it seen that Ireland cannot be truly competitive at the top level? They've done just as much as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe before them.

If the ICC wants cricket to be a world game, they need to open it up at the highest level.

Posted by A. S. K. on (October 19, 2009, 11:40 GMT)

Vikram, Dirk Nannes' position is different from Boyd Rankin, in that Nannes made himself available for Australia (where he first played cricket), didn't get selected for Australia, so made himself available for Netherlands when asked. Netherlands knew that Nannes wanted to play for Australia when they approached him. Nonetheless, your point re Rankin is right - the Associate nations (that have brought players through the game in their respective countries) could be missing out on bigger prizes when their better players are "snapped up" by Test playing nations. Its even more concern when it appears that England, instead of taking the option of player development, would seemingly prefer to search the first class or national age ranks of South Africa, Australia, and Ireland for players whose mothers once did a transit through Heathrow!

Posted by Vikram Maingi on (October 19, 2009, 6:14 GMT)

ICC needs to think about such call-up concerns. Dirk Nannes, who represented Netherlands in World T20 is now playing for Australia. These kind of call-ups might be good for the individuals, but it is certainly detrimental for the Associate nation as the cricket playing entity. If Ireland gets the services of Ed Joyce, Eoin Morgan and Boyd Rankins, it is a very strong team against weaker test opponents like Bangladesh, atleast on the home soil. Such kind of events will even delay the possibility of such teams getting the full test status.

Posted by James on (October 18, 2009, 0:46 GMT)

Do we know when they'll be in Florida?

Posted by Terry Jones on (October 17, 2009, 6:35 GMT)

I think Rankin summed up the problem with Test Cricket at the moment: "but I can't play Test cricket for Ireland". Test Cricket needs to be changed so that the lowest team in test cricket every X years goes down and allows another team a chance.

This could be done by any of the following models: * 10 Test & 10 Associate teams with 10th & 11th switching every 2 or 4 years. * 2 test tiers of 6 & 1 assoc tier with 10th & 11th switching every 2 or 4 years. * 2 groups of 6 with last in each group switching with top 2 associate teams every 2 years. * Yearly Top 8 knockout test series, with qualifiers for 5-8th spot (2 qualifier series & 3 knockout series), allowing 5th - 20th play off for 4 spots.

My question to ECB & ICC is: How many Ireland players in an "Irish" England side before Ireland is granted test status?

Posted by Andrew on (October 16, 2009, 10:46 GMT)

How is Ireland ever to get to play test cricket if england keep taking there players the icc sould do someing about full members takeing other counties players

Comments have now been closed for this article

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

All articles by this writer