Rankin hopes for no more Irish exiles ahead of World T20 opener


Boyd Rankin hopes he will be the last player to convert to playing for England as he prepares to lead Ireland's attack at the World Twenty20 starting against new boys Oman on Wednesday.

Pace bowler Rankin somewhat controversially opted to represent England in 2012 in a bid to play Test cricket, but he made just one appearance in the longest form, during the dismal 5-0 whitewash against Australia in the 2013-14 Ashes.

Rankin, who also played seven one-day internationals and two T20Is for England, subsequently opted to resume his Ireland career in December - something he says has been a seamless transition.

"I'm hoping I'm going to be the last person to do it [switch allegiance] and that in the next few years we can kick on and get the opportunity to play Test cricket," Rankin told ESPNCricinfo ahead of Ireland's Group A opener in Dharamsala.

"It's just been really easy [playing for Ireland]. It's still pretty much the same core of players as it's been over the last eight to 10 years."

Ireland have shocked the likes of England and Pakistan in the Cricket World Cup over the past decade, but as yet have failed to transfer those performances to the World T20.

Two years ago they were stunned by a huge Netherlands chase that prevented them making the Super 10 stage.

Oman - who have never played Ireland in an international match - are huge underdogs in what will be their first appearance at an ICC event.

They proved their mettle with wins over Canada, Netherlands, Afghanistan and Namibia in last year's World T20 qualifiers.

However, in a group also containing Bangladesh and Netherlands, few expect Oman to progress to the Super 10.