EX-IRELAND bowler Boyd Rankin certainly is a man of his word
Having spoken to the Warwickshire man in Dubai last year were he stated when he retired from County Cricket in England one day he would love to return home and start passing on his knowledge to the young guys coming through and that is exactly what he started to do at Bready Cricket Club last week.
Although retirement from the County game is no where near his thoughts, the 28-year-old along with fellow Bready man Craig Young held a bowling clinic last Thursday where a host of young cricketers boys and girls took part in the two sessions.
“Hopefully this is the start of things to come,” stated Rankin.
“I thought it was a great opportunity as I was back home for a few weeks to get a few guys and girls who were interested in fast bowling to come along and hopefully I’ll have passed on some of my knowledge about fast bowling and what it takes to get to that next level.
“There was a really good turn out and maybe, hopefully there will be a few bowlers who go through the ranks and play for Ireland some day.
“I have to admit that I was really surprised in terms of how many youngsters turned up, but it’s a great sign for cricket in the North West that there is so many fast bowlers who want to learn a few things and try to improve their game.”
The 6 ft 7 in right arm bowler, along with fellow North West man and Irish skipper William Porterfield helped Warwickshire secure the County Championship last season and he’s already looking forward to next season with the Bears.
“We have another couple of months of training indoors and then we fly out to Barbados in the first week in March for some warm weather and out door training, so yeah the season is coming around pretty quickly again.
“I’m looking forward to hopefully having a full season sort of injury free and hopefully getting another league title to my name.
“At Warwickshire we have always said that we want to try and do better than what we did last year and try to keep improving. I think all the lads are well grounded and we feel we can push on to that next level in terms of winning more than one competition.
“We want to do well in all three formats (limited overs, T/20 and County Championship) of the game.”
The ex-Derbyshire man also feels despite his retirement from the Irish cricket scene, coach Phil Simmons has a number of young talented cricketers coming through the ranks.
“There are young guys coming through like Stuart Thompson, while there is the likes of Andrew Balbirnie and Andy McBrine who are from that next group of young cricketers, who played at the U19 World Cup recently.
“I have seen those guys play and they are more than capable of playing for Ireland over the next ten years, so there is great signs ahead in terms of the players who are coming through and who can step up pretty much straight away.
“Hopefully the likes of Purdy (William Porterfield) and a few others will still be around for quite a few years yet to lead them and leave Ireland in good stead for the future.
“I feel that Irish cricket is at a good stage at the minute, there is more and more people who want to play the game and a session like this just shows to me that there’s still a lot of young guys who want to play the sport. There is more opportunities for Irish cricketers, there’s hopefully going to be contracts in each Union over the next couple of years, so it gives the young guys something to aim for in terms of making a living by playing cricket in Ireland.
“Cricket Ireland is doing a really good job in trying to set-up a structure here, so in the years to come young guys can play cricket here full-time and not have to go across the water, which would be a bit different when I first started,” concluded Rankin.