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CIYMS sign master blaster Justin Kemp

By Ian Callender

One of the biggest hitters in world cricket will be playing in the NCU next season after CIYMS announced the signing of Justin Kemp.

The South African played four Tests and 79 one-day internationals between 2000 and 2008, including every game at the 2007 World Cup when the Proteas reached the semi-finals and defeated Ireland in the Super Eights.

Kemp has also starred in the Indian Premier League and has a strike rate of 124 in Twenty20 cricket.

Kemp turns 38 next month but he is still likely to be more than good enough to play a major role for CI and will stay for the entire summer, unlike his predecessor as overseas player at Belmont, Rassie van der Dussen, his fellow South African.

Meanwhile, Boyd Rankin has been left out of both the England Performance and Lions squads this winter, possibly bringing closer a return to the Ireland squad.

The Warwickshire opening bowler has a decision to make in January when he becomes eligible to play for Ireland again, two years after his only Test appearance for England, with his former international team-mates heading to the World Twenty20 in India in March.

Rankin could also play a full part in Ireland's quest for Test status which resumes in Namibia next month with the Intercontinental Cup game. Ireland have named a familiar squad of 14 for the match, including a return for Max Sorensen who has played only two T20 games since the World Cup in March.

Stuart Poynter, who has signed a new contract with Durham, is the extra player for the trip to Zimbabwe which precedes the I-Cup game when Ireland will play three ODIs - the first on October 9 - and a four-day game against Zimbabwe A.

The squad for the Under-19 World Cup qualifying tournament in Malaysia has also been named and Coleraine leg spinner Varun Chopra has been added to the squad which missed out on direct qualification from the European qualifier in the summer.

Ireland's opponents are Papua New Guinea - their first game on October 16 - USA, Uganda and Nepal, with the top two after the round-robin games meeting in the final on October 22.

Ireland (for tour of Zimbabwe): W Porterfield (capt), A Balbirnie, G Dockrell, E Joyce, J Mooney, T Murtagh, A McBrine, K O'Brien, N O'Brien, S Poynter, M Sorensen, P Stirling, S Thompson, G Wilson, C Young

Ireland U19s: J Tector (capt), R Anders, A Austin, V Chopra, S Cott, A Dennison, A Gillespie, J Little, J Mitchell, G McClintock, W McClintock, T Stanton, L Tucker, B White.

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