New Zealand in England 2013 May 31, 2013

Rankin called up as Finn, Broad cover


England have added Warwickshire's former Ireland fast bowler Boyd Rankin to their ODI squad for the remaining two matches in the one-day series against New Zealand amid injury concerns over Stuart Broad and Steven Finn less than a week before the start of Champions Trophy.

Broad suffered a bruised knee taking a catch off his own bowling during the second Test at Headingley and Finn has felt soreness in his shins. Both players were ruled out of the opening two matches against New Zealand and Alastair Cook admitted that England missed their presence as Jade Dernbach and Chris Woakes struggled to fill in effectively during the five-wicket defeat at Lord's.

"They are key parts of our one-day team, experienced campaigners and world-class bowlers," Cook said. "The guys coming in haven't got that experience and don't know their games quite as well those two. They are hard boots to fill but it gave them an opportunity today to show everyone how good they are. When you are defending a small total it's quite hard because you know the only way of winning is to bowl them out so you do start chasing it."

Asked whether leaving out Broad and Finn had been a precautionary measure ahead of the Champions Trophy, Cook said: "I think it's a little bit more than that. As I said at the start of the day, if it had been a cup final it would have been touch and go. Clearly it's not ideal. But it's another week away and we have a good medical team, so fingers crossed."

Rankin, 28, will join the England squad ahead of the second match at the Ageas Bowl on Sunday. He has played 37 ODIs and 15 T20Is for Ireland but retired from Irish cricket towards the end of 2012 in order to concentrate on winning a place in the England Test side. The 6ft 7in Rankin had struggled to remain injury free and it was made clear to him that his body could not sustain the burden of playing all formats of the game for Ireland, Warwickshire and England Lions. It was also made clear by his then club coach, Ashley Giles, that he would not be guaranteed another county contract unless he committed to Warwickshire and England.

Rankin made his England Lions debut in 2011 against Sri Lanka A and was selected on the England Performance Programme later that same year. He came very close to being called-up to the Test squad at the start of 2012 when Chris Tremlett was forced out of the series in the UAE due to injury, but was unavailable due to fitness issues of his own.

Rankin also becomes the fourth Warwickshire player in the current England ODI squad, a sure sign of the influence of Giles, who left Warwickshire at the end of 2012 to assume the role of England's limited-overs coach.

While Rankin's recent record is relatively modest - he hardly played in 2012 due to injury - he is just the sort of fast bowler preferred by England's bowling coach, David Saker. Not unlike Tremlett, who is still feeling his way back after a long injury lay-off, Rankin can sometimes appear unthreatening when striving for rhythm. But he is capable of generating steep bounce, sharp pace and movement in the air and off the pitch when he is at his best. Marcus Trescothick rated him as good a fast bowler as any he faced in 2011.

Although James Harris and Stuart Meaker have recently been involved with England's limited-overs squad, Cook said that Rankin's height, in particular, was an attribute the bowling group was short on in the absence of Broad and Finn.

"You try and have as balanced a bowling attack as possible," he said. "James Harris impressed when he was in the squad, but you would have five bowlers of pretty much the same height and similar skill set. When you have five bowlers you want as much variety as you can. When you lose two tall bowlers you want to replace them with another tall bowler."

Rankin's selection can do Ireland's calls for more inclusion within the ICC's elite teams no harm at all. He joins former team-mates Eoin Morgan and Ed Joyce as players who have graduated through the Irish system before opting to play for England. It is a situation that does little to refute Ireland's claim that they require Test status to end the talent drain.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 2, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    Even seven months ago, Rankin was playing for his own country. How come he became eligible to play for England so soon? Just curious! Any one has an answer?

  • Dummy4 on June 2, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    There is one point of view which i do not feel has been representd here yet: If you an aspiring 12 year old Irish cricketer you will likely never see any coverage of your national side on TV due to them not being a test nation (you might and if so i apologise). If Irish layers play for England instantly they become accessable to viewers meaning those young irish players will be able to see an Irish role model on the TV planning cricket. I agree Ireland should have test status; they are clealry good enough to compete with the others at the bottom, but in the meantime allow Irish players to get to the peak of their games and become role modles to other Irish youngsters by playing on the biggest stage.

  • Dummy4 on June 2, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    So who next from Ireland will jump ship and play for one of the top tier teams/squads/countries ?

  • John on June 2, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    @Foyez Morshed on (June 2, 2013, 5:44 GMT), if you think that Ireland could beat England in a Test match right now then you obviously don't know much about Test cricket. Ireland have had some success against the major nations at ODI and T20 level but even those are relatively few. Everyone who knows anything about cricket knows that the odds become more even as the length of the game gets shorter. Ireland are a good team and will get better but would be lucky to push a Test match to 4 days against any of the top teams on anything but the flattest of wickets. Ed Joyce and Eoin Morgan both played Test cricket for England and how well did they do? Why would they do any better playing for Ireland and why would any of the other Irish batsmen do any better?

  • Fred on June 2, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    He's Irish. Morgan could just about claim to be Anglo-Irish but nevertheless they are playing for the same reasons.

    Everyone knows that Ireland are good enough to play Tests and be in the World Cup every time. For Tests they could arrange series against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe to start with and I think have a great chance of beating them and moving up to bigger teams.

    If they keep losing their player to England this won't happen If it doesn't happen they'll keep losing their player to England

    Chicken and egg - either way, ICC and ECB should be encouraging Ireland as an emerging cricketing nation much like Sri Lanka in the 80's.

  • Martin on June 2, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    There really is some utter drivel on this forum. Jingoistic passport and envy driven drivel. Look - Ireland does not have Test status. Morgan wants to play Test cricket and the rules say he can play for England - so why shouldn't he? How dare anyone say - "Oh, sorry Morgan but you are a really cad wanting to play Test cricket", or "England are cheating by selecting players who are eligible to play for England". Thats the logic of it. Then there the United Kindgom passport holders like KP and Trott. They are eligible to play for England, so why shouldn't they? Simple international law. No-one is "stealing" anything or anyone. @brittop logic is lost on those 2 they are just flamming like they always do. And as for you @Prince Musab Hanzala Samar (June 2, 2013, 5:16 GMT) - there is something ridiculous here, agreed, but I would say that the thing that is ridiculous is people saying that they disagree with icc rules and international law. Now that is ridiculous, wouldn't you agree?

  • John on June 2, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    @ 5wombats on (June 1, 2013, 22:18 GMT) As I posted on another thread , it also works both ways - esp with Ireland. Tim Murtagh played for them the other day - qualifying because of his Irish grandfather and do you remember how many non Irish born players played under Paddy Charlton during the 94 world cup?

  • Dummy4 on June 2, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    why ireland is allowing them to go?? i guess with the likes of morgan, rankin, ed joyce , docrel , stirling , brien brothers they can beat england in test or onedayer actually they can beat any team with all these players....ICC should seriously think of giving them test status....though i am a die hard BD fan still i would say they are a better team then BD or ZImbabwe......

  • Dummy4 on June 2, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    how ridiculous is that england are just stealing good cricketers from their neighbour ireland n netherland.i mean icc should take some steps to prevent this or soon we might se kevin obrein,paul stirling,tom cooper,doeshcatt playing for england and ireland n dutch will become 3rd division team like italy and spain

  • Dummy4 on June 2, 2013, 1:29 GMT

    Interesting conversation. Great for Irish cricket because its not about a little team trying to beat the test nations (although the games against Pakistan show our credentials) but about the quality of the Irish side. For those that say this is the golden age of Irish cricket I will offer Sterling and Dockrell (both VERY early 20's) as signs that we have an underage system capable of bringing through great talent.

    In the end I will be getting up at 5am hoping to see an Irishman bowl well. Until we have our own tests my greatest dream is to see him with the new ball at Lords v Aussies or Morgan batting - I wish him well and hope for the day that Porterfield or Joyce (a county captain) leads Ireland out in Malahide for a cricket test against Bangladesh or Zimbabwae. Rational cricket supporters would agree thats not a stretch of skill equality and thats all we ask.

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