Ireland news August 18, 2011

Rankin eyes England spot

ESPNcricinfo staff

Boyd Rankin, the Warwickshire and Ireland fast bowler, has set his sights on joining former team-mate Eoin Morgan in the England side even though that will mean turning his back on his homeland.

Rankin was drafted into the England Lions squad for the final one-day match against Sri Lanka A, at Wantage Road, and responded with 2 for 19 as the hosts wrapped up the series 2-1. Ironically, however, his next major chance to impress England will come when he is in opposition to them in the one-day international at Clontarf next week.

"I want to play at the highest level and be the best I can be. I still feel I'm getting better and better and if the chance came I would probably take it," Rankin told the Belfast Telegraph. "The ultimate goal is to play Test cricket and I don't know if the [England] one-day team is the route to the Test team. It won't happen for a while anyway but it's just a matter of trying to get my foot into the Lions and do well with them and get on the winter programme."

Rankin has taken 44 wickets for Warwickshire in the County Championship and a productive season has helped him move on from the frustration of injuries which hampered his preparation for the World Cup earlier this year. Now he's aiming for a strong finish to the summer before seeing what is in store during the winter.

"I've got over my injury worries, I feel, and I just want to kick on for the rest of the season with a number of games with Warwickshire," he said. "We have all the top coaches and facilities over here and I want to make use of it and see what happens here."

And a few wickets against England wouldn't go amiss. "They will come out hard because we beat them the last time we met and it's good we are playing in Dublin in front of a home crowd," he said. "I hope it's a good day and we get another good result and I hope I get a few wickets."