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Boyd Rankin: I ruined my big England chance

But Ulsterman has no regrets about choosing england

Ulsterman Boyd Rankin has said he has no regrets about ditching Ireland to play Test cricket for England and is still hoping for a recall by the Three Lions.

Rankin, the 29-year -old from Bready, Co Tyrone, suffered a nightmare first Test when selected for the final match of the Ashes series in Australia in January despite not being fully fit and beset by nerves, and admits in a frank interview that he let down his England team-mates. Speaking during his first county match of the season for Warwickshire, on his comeback from a shoulder injury, Rankin also said he actually considered his future in the game but is now fully committed and desperate to prove he should not be judged on that one match.

"I wasn't anywhere near where I wanted to be in that Sydney game," said Rankin.

"I had torn half the cartilage off my shoulder in a fielding session a couple of days before the Test. So I was struggling with that and I had a back spasm during the Test as well."

“I felt I had to play. I had to take my chance, but I don't suppose I did that, really. I tried to fight hard through that. It was still a special occasion for me, but I did feel I let myself and the rest of the team down.

“I don't feel as if I took my chance. I'm sure a lot of people weren't impressed. Hopefully I can still show what I'm capable of. I didn't do that during the winter.”

The 6ft 8ins pace bowler admits he went through a tough period when he returned home from Australia.

“There were a few days when I was thinking ‘should I still be playing cricket?' There were quite a few questions asked.

“But I learned a lot from the experience and I believe it has made me a stronger person. All I can do now is put in some strong performances and see what happens. I know deep down what I can do.

“I would never turn down an (England) tour,” he said. “I still want to bowl fast and I still want to knock people over. If it is the only Test I play, then so be it. I would never change what I have done.

“I've always said I wanted to try and play at the highest level and that is Test cricket.”

Rankin, who played 82 times for Ireland before quitting the team after the World Twenty20 in 2012 to declare for England, subsequently discovered that the shoulder injury he went into the Test match with was more serious than first thought.

“I only found out about my injury a month ago,” added Rankin. “I asked for a scan and then had a call which said: ‘You might need an op. You could be out for four or five months.' It's still giving me some pain, but it's calmed down quite a lot now.

“We had a fitness and fielding session two days before the Test and I did something to it then. They didn't pick it up at the time.

“Now, I just want to get back to enjoying playing cricket. It’s just nice to be back.”

Belfast Telegraph

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