Boyd Rankin said it is a dream come true for him to be able to represent Ireland in Test cricket but admitted it will be strange lining up against England since he is familiar with their set-up and the players."Its going to be pretty strange for me because I know their guys so well," he said. "It is a dream come true and it is something I never thought would happen in my playing career.
Rankin, who made his ODI debut for Ireland in 2007, was one of many Irish cricketers who took up the chance to play for England due to Ireland not having Test status at the time.
He played the lone Test for England against Australia in Sydney in the 2013-14 Ashes as well as two ODIs before once again opting to play for Ireland in 2015.
Looking back at his time in the England set-up, Rankin said he didn’t regret his decision as there was no way he could have played Test cricket for his country of birth.
"At that stage of my career there were no real opportunities to play Test cricket for Ireland. That has changed now but at that time I wanted to play at the highest level and that was the only way I could do it.”
He did add, however, that he probably shouldn’t have played that Test match in Sydney because he wasn’t fully fit going into the match due to a shoulder injury suffered a few days prior to the match.
"I hurt my shoulder a few days before the Test and I wasnt fully fit going into the game. I felt I had to give it a go. It was one of those that I didnt know how bad it was until I got back home.
“In hindsight I shouldnt have played but when you get an opportunity to play Test cricket it is one you want to take."
And while he admitted that his debut was a blur, he still cherishes his time as a part of the England team.
"It was a tough tour to start with. I made my debut and it was a blur, to be honest. I have still got my shirts and caps. They will be cherished as that is a big part of where I have been.
“It didnt go to plan for me but that is the way it goes sometimes. That is a long time ago and now I am back playing for Ireland full-time and that is what I am concentrating on."