Ireland and Warwickshire legend Boyd Rankin has today announced his retirement from international and inter-provincial cricket.

The 6’8” paceman has called time on a stellar career in which  he won every trophy with the Bears and also became one of only 15 players ever to play Test cricket for two countries.

Ranked played 153 matches across the formats for Ireland in two stints separated by three years playing for England during which he played one Test, against Australia in 2014.

Announcing his decision, Rankin said: “To retire from international cricket is always a tough call, but I feel now is the right time to step away. I have put my heart and soul into playing cricket professionally since 2003 and have loved every minute of it. I never dreamt I would play for Ireland as much as I did and to travel the world playing in numerous World Cups and to pull on the Irish jersey is something I will never forget.

“To have also a long career in county cricket especially during my 11-year stint with Warwickshire where we won the County Championship, 50-over competition twice and the T20 Blast in 2014 was very special and something I am very grateful for.”

Between 2008 and 2016, Rankin played 157 games for Warwickshire and was an key member of their trophy-winning sides in all formats. He was integral to the Bears lifting the T20 Blast trophy in 2014 and was, along with Chris Wright, Keith Barker, Chris Woakes, Rikki Clarke and Jeetan Patel, a member of arguably the best bowling attack ever to represent the Bears when they won the championship in 2012.

“There are many people to thank for helping me on this journey,” he said. “Firstly my parents for introducing me to the game and taking me to practice and games as a kid growing up, and for supporting me throughout my career. Also to my partner Anna who has helped and supported me for the last part of my career.

“Various coaches have helped me along the way – Brían O’Rourke in my younger years with Ireland, Mike Hendrick at Derbyshire, Adi Birrell for giving me the opportunity during the 2007 World Cup, as well as Phil Simmons, John Bracewell and Graham Ford over my Ireland career.

“Ashley Giles, Dougie Brown, Allan Donald and Graeme Welch also had a massive influence on me at Warwickshire, and I thank them for all their help and guidance.

Rankin joined the Bears from Derbyshire in 2008 and made his debut at home to Essex late that season- his first wicket for the club, soon-to-be team-mate Varun Chopra, caught by Darren Maddy in the slips.

“I arrived after the club had just had a really bad season and it was great to be part of the rebuilding process,” Rankin said. “In 2010 we performed the great escape, winning four of the last five games to stay in the championship Division One, and that was a massive turning point. In 2011 we almost won the title and in 2012 we did win it. I feel very privileged to have been part of that squad amongst such good players – and good mates.”

Rankin’s standout day as a Bear followed on Finals Day in 2014 when Dougie Brown’s side lifted the trophy at the end of a pulsating day at Edgbaston. ‘Big Boyd’ played a pivotal role in the triumph, harvesting figures of 4-0-26-0 against Surrey in the semi-final and 4-0-21-2, including the huge wickets of Ashwell Prince and Usman Khawaja, against Lancashire in the final.

“I was most happy with the 0 for 26 because Surrey had started really well and then I came on about the fifth or sixth over and we reined them in,” he said. “We had really good plans in the tournament that year and it worked out perfectly.

“It was a fantastic day. When the second semi-final was on I went home and watched it on the TV, doing a few stretches. It was really good to get home and chill out for a while. Then we managed to win the final and the atmosphere in the ground was incredible. It was a special day – and a great night!

“The Bears fans were always great to me. I’d like to think they see me as someone who always gave everything for the team. I can’t thank them enough for the way they made me feel at home and I will never forget that. As they say, once a Bear, always a Bear!”