14 January 2010

Injury has forced the withdrawal of Ireland opening bowler Boyd Rankin from the squad which begins a tour in Sri Lanka next week.

Rankin was obviously disappointed to be missing out on the trip saying: “I’ve been diagnosed with a stress reaction in my right foot, and am wearing a protective cast. It’s not broken but it needs to be rested for four or five days. It was picked up by the physios and doctors at an ECB training camp in Loughborough earlier this week.

“We’ll see where we are then depending on how sore it is. I’ve been told it could take between two or three weeks to fully heal, but we’ll know more when I get it checked out again next week at Warwickshire, where I’ll be doing my rehabilitation.”

Civil Service North all-rounder Nigel Jones has been called in as Rankin’s replacement. The 27 year old has played twice for Ireland, against New Zealand and West Indies in T20 fixtures just before last year’s finals in England.

Ireland coach Phil Simmons said: “Nigel’s a talented player who is a useful bowler and a very talented batsman. He’ll come in for the Sri Lanka leg of the tour. We’ll not make a decision on the Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers until we get an update on Boyd’s fitness.”

Ireland play Afghanistan in a four day Intercontinental Cup fixture from January 21-24, before both take part in a quadrangular T20 tournament alongside Sri Lanka A and Canada. The team then move on to Dubai where they participate in the Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers from February 9-13.

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