Boyd Rankin became the first-ever player to feature in all three formats for two nations. The 33-year-old has played for both England and Ireland. Born on July 5, 1984, in County Londonerry, Rankin comes from a family that loves cricket. His two brothers, Robert and David have represented Ireland in Under-19 cricket, while, his sister too played representative cricket. Interestingly, Rankin started out as a rugby player, occupying the all-important Number 8 position for Strabane Grammar School team. Rankin’s brute strength and steepling height saw him make waves in the rugby world.
By the age of 15, Ranking played for his team at Bready, the local club and from there went on to represent Ireland in all age groups starting from U13. Rankin’s impressive performances for the Ireland-A side evoked a slew of county offers. The fast bowler however shot to prominence in the 2007 World Cup, claiming 12 wickets to lead Ireland through to the Super 8.
Rankin’s 15 wickets from nine games in 2009 World Cup qualifier helped, Ireland qualify for the main event. ‘Boydo’ as he is called made his England Lions debut against Sri Lanka A
After playing 37 ODIs and 15 T20Is, Ranking announced that he will quit Ireland to play for the ‘Three Lions’. He made his England debut against New Zealand in a T20 game in which he took a wicket and conceded 24 runs.
After impressing at the start of 2013, Rankin was called into the England squad for the ODI series against New Zealand following injuries to Stuart Broad and Steven Finn. In June that year, he played his first game for England, a Twenty20 international against New Zealand. His England ODI debut followed shortly after, ironically in Dublin, where Rankin took a career-best 4 for 46 against his former country, and his returns during the one-day series with Australia were good enough to win him a place in the Ashes squad.
The tour did not go as he would have wished. Overlooked until the final Test, Rankin delivered a nervous performance on Test debut that raised questions about both his temperament and the environment within the England squad. He later revealed that he played the game carrying an injury.
The cricketer was subsequently omitted from England World T20 squad, but thrown a lifeline later in the year when he was recalled to the Lions squad for the tour of South Africa. It was a selection that ended any realistic hopes Ireland had of persuading him to return to them for the 2015 World Cup. They had, until then, retained hopes of the ICC providing special dispensation for a speedy return.