Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Cricket

Boyd Rankin's Twenty20 World Cup: I'm raring to stun the world with Irish again

By Boyd Rankin

Published 08/03/2016

Old pals: I take in the scenery with Ireland captain William Porterfield during training ahead of our first World Cup game in India
Old pals: I take in the scenery with Ireland captain William Porterfield during training ahead of our first World Cup game in India

It's almost game time and it's great to be involved with Ireland again at what will be my sixth World Cup.

We have caused upsets numerous times before on the big stage over the last 10 years so we are not scared to front up and hopefully we can perform for the next three games here in India.

We face Oman in the first match tomorrow but we know we will probably have to win all three games to get through to the next stage of the World Twenty20.

The other Associate teams have got closer to us in Twenty20 cricket, maybe because we have been involved in all three formats while others have been able to concentrate on T20, but we are focused now and there will be no excuses.

We've been in India for a couple of weeks and preparation has been excellent. The first week was our training camp in Mohali, with good facilities, including middle practices under lights, so that was a tough three or four days but it will help us in the long term, especially as our first two games are under lights.

The batters and bowlers know their plans so everyone is ready to go tomorrow. We are in a good space and even though we lost to Zimbabwe on Saturday, I thought we did a lot of things right because it was two different types of wickets on which we batted on and bowled on.

The fact that all three group games are here in Dharamsala will also benefit us a lot. We have played two games here and we don't have to move about until the group stage is over.

So how and why am I back wearing the Ireland colours? John Bracewell came over to see me, just after he took over as coach last summer, and basically said 'any time you want to come back, we would love to have you'.

It's well known that my first and, so far, only Test match did not go well for me and I hadn't been picked for England since January 2014. So it got me thinking throughout the summer and when the England squad for South Africa was named and I wasn't in it, that made up my mind to come back.

I told my county Warwickshire and Cricket Ireland of my intention and left it to them to come to an agreement.

In the end both sides were happy with the amount of cricket I would be playing and when I'm away with Ireland we have an app which details the number of overs you bowl per day and if you are feeling any niggles they will be flagged up straight away.

That's all passed back to Warwickshire and that will keep going over the next few years to make sure I stay on the park as long as possible.

My first game back was the Intercontinental Cup match in Townsville at the end of January and because of my county commitments I hadn't actually played a lot of red ball cricket for Ireland in my first spell, in fact I've been told this was only my fifth game out of 83!

It was strange to start with making that switch back but I have fitted in pretty easily, everybody was very welcoming and I really enjoyed that first game and managed to take six wickets.

The conditions were pretty tough, with temperatures in the high 30s and humidity of 90 per cent, but that's now part and parcel of travelling the world.

You just have to get on with it and I have been around the world enough to know it will not always go to plan, especially here in India where there always seems to be a Plan B, C and D to cover for Plan A!

Since I've been back I have noticed a strong bond between the players and the younger guys coming in and that's the good thing about Ireland. Any new person can settle in very quickly.

It's just a natural progression from club cricket and it brings out the best in you. At the same time, people like Tim Murtagh and myself can pass on our experience as we've been playing a lot longer than the other bowlers, but I've been really impressed with the younger lads and the amount of talent coming through.

For example, Andy McBrine, whom I played against right at the start of his career with Donemana, is still only 22 but he has a really good cricket brain on him and he's really cool in pressure situations.

Craig Young, from my own club Bready, has also impressed me and has really come on in the last year. But, if he needs any help, I am happy to pass that on because he has a long career ahead of him.

The fact that everyone gets on so well leads onto the field where we want everyone else to do well and that makes a big difference.

We are certainly going to have to stick together this week. Bangladesh, our second opponents on Friday, have just reached the Asia Cup final and are playing really well at the minute and the Netherlands, whom we play on Sunday, have beaten us in the last two games we have faced them.

But it is T20 so anything can happen.

It's not about recent form, it's about what happens on the day of the game and we just have to go out and back ourselves.

Boyd Rankin is proud to partner Foyle Food Group, suppliers of quality beef to leading retailers, manufacturers, food service providers and butchers around the world. Read his exclusive column in the Belfast Telegraph throughout the Cricket World Cup.

Belfast Telegraph

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph