Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Cricket

Boyd Rankin is offered route to Ireland return by Bracewell

By Ian Callender

Ireland coach John Bracewell has offered Boyd Rankin an immediate return to the Ireland side, but the Bready-born paceman does not want to be known as a one-Test wonder.

Rankin played 82 times for Ireland before he committed himself to England after the 2012 World Twenty20 and he achieved his ambition when he was selected for the final Test of the Ashes series in January last year.

But after playing in two one-day internationals immediately afterwards, Rankin has not got a look-in since and if he does not play for England again before next January, he automatically becomes available to declare again for Ireland - two months before the World Twenty20 in India.

Ireland qualified for the finals - their eighth successive global event - by finishing top of their group in the qualifying tournament and Bracewell admitted he had been in talks with the Warwickshire professional.

"I have spoken to Boyd and he doesn't want to be remembered as a one-Test wonder.

"I let him know that he will always be welcome back and thought, as the new coach, it would be good to introduce myself to him and let him know the door is always open if he desires to return.

"Time is ticking for Boyd (he turned 31 this month) and he probably doesn't want to spend his time playing county cricket when he could be playing international cricket, but I can also understand that he wants to say he has played more than one Test," said Bracewell.

The subject of Rankin came up after the Kiwi mentioned his younger brother David as the one batting hope on the horizon who could break into the World Twenty20 squad which reached the finals, despite a sequence of poor batting performances.

"The batting, of course, was a disappointment, probably only about 5 out of 10," added Bracewell.

"But we are there are thereabouts with the squad.

"(Peter) Chase is coming back from injury, his bounce creates an option. And I like the way Davy Rankin strikes the cricket ball, though he needs to score more between the boundaries, but it would be nice to see a batter come through from the domestic game. But there is work to do."

For the bowling unit, however, he had no hesitation in giving them 10 out of 10 and had a special word for a current Bready bowler, Craig Young.

"They bowled to plans throughout, picked up wickets every two overs and were aggressive with the ball.

"The bowling kept us in the tournament and Young, playing his first tournament, grew as it went on," said the coach.

Describing the tournament as one of the most ruthless he has ever been involved in, interestingly, he claimed that Ireland failed to cope with the role of favourites on their home ground.

"We need to learn to be better against sides we are fancied to beat and need to be more ruthless and confident.

"You could say, in some ways, the batters were slightly overwhelmed at the pressure of having to perform in front of the home crowd managing the expectation as favourites.

"You have to be confident with that tag.

"In big tournaments, you tick over big teams as underdogs but to make those big games (World Cups) we need to sustain to be top of the tree at our own level first."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph