FROM Bready to Brisbane, Boyd Rankin took another huge step towards his ultimate ambition of one day playing Test cricket for England after being named in the Ashes squad to face Australia this winter.
Rankin was one of three uncapped players included in the squad – the others Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance and Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes. His inclusion comes after a number of impressive performances against the Aussies in the one-day international series during the summer.
Most commentators believed Rankin had impressed sufficiently to book his ticket for the flight Down Under. The Bready man’s selection also vindicated his decision last year to somewhat controversially quit Ireland, for whom he played on 82 occasions, to pursue his burning ambition to play Test cricket.
The gifted 6ft 8ins fast bowler knows only too well that the hard work starts now as he bids to win a Test place for the Ashes series which gets under way on November 21.
“The hard work starts now to get into the team,” said the former Bready player following his selection on Monday.
“There are a lot of tall bowlers in the line up and it’s important to keep working hard and see what happens. Hopefully I will get my chance at some stage.
“There are obviously a few warm-up games and it’ll be a case of putting in a couple of good performances if I get the chance and put myself in the mix for the First Test.
“I think Broad and Finn are ahead of me but all I can do is to try and keep doing what I’m doing and wait my chance,” added Rankin, whose career has gathered momentum since his heart-breaking decision to quit Ireland.
It’s no secret that it was pressure from his county team Warwickshire and in particular Ashley Giles – now part of the England coaching set-up – that convinced Rankin he potentially had a future playing Test cricket.