Rankin called up to England squad
Updated: Friday, 31 May 2013 16:04
Former Ireland international Boyd Rankin has been added to the England ODI squad for the remaining two matches in the NatWest series against New Zealand.
The 28-year-old Warwickshire pace bowler played 37 ODIs for Ireland before retiring from Irish cricket earlier this year to focus on his ambitions with England.
Rankin will join the England squad ahead of the second ODI at the Ageas Bowl on Sunday. Both Stuart Broad and Steven Finn have been ruled out of the first two ODIs against New Zealand through injury.
Rankin made his England Lions debut in 2011 against Sri Lanka A and was selected on the England Performance Programme later that same year.
Elsewhere, Irish cricket fans will be able to watch their team take on Australia A at Belfast next month free of charge.
Cricket Ireland have decided to waive any admission charge for the high profile four-day match (June 14-17) at Stormont as a thank-you to fans for their support during the sell-out RSA Insurance ODI against Pakistan last Sunday.
"They're obviously looking to prepare well for the Ashes series and will be expecting Ireland to provide a tough challenge for them" - Phil Simmons
The Australians have named a very strong squad for the trip, as they are using the game as part of their preparations for the Ashes tour which follows the Champions Trophy.
The squad which will visit Belfast contains no fewer than seven members of that Ashes squad, including wicket-keeper Brad Haddin, who will skipper the A team.
The fast-bowling quartet of Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, Jackson Bird and James Pattinson will provide a stern challenge for the Irish batsmen. The others included are batsman Usman Khawaja and spinner Nathan Lyon.
No fewer than ten of their squad have played Test cricket, and in addition have played a total of 193 one-day internationals.
There are some very familiar names in the Australian back-room staff with Troy Cooley coaching the team, assisted by Darren Lehmann, who played in no fewer than 117 ODI's and 27 Tests.
The most famous visitor though will be Cricket Australia selector Rod Marsh, who played in 96 Tests and 92 ODI's.
Ireland coach Phil Simmons is aware of the quality of the opposition saying: "They've named a very strong squad for the match and their fast bowling attack in particular looks very dangerous.
“They're obviously looking to prepare well for the Ashes series and will be expecting Ireland to provide a tough challenge for them. It's a fantastic opportunity for the players to test their ability against Test quality opposition, and I'm certain they won't be found wanting."
Australia A squad: Brad Haddin (c), Steve Smith (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Alex Doolan, Ryan Harris, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, James Pattinson, Chadd Sayers, Peter Siddle, Jordan Silk, Patrick Cummins.