Warwickshire are hoping to secure the services of Ireland and England Lions pace bowler Boyd Rankin on a new contract early in the New Year.
Rankin’s existing deal at Edgbaston does not expire until next December but Warwickshire are keen to retain another of their prize assets having already persuaded England one-day international all-rounder Chris Woakes to sign a two-year extension to a contract that was due to expire next September.
Rankin has just returned home after a spell in South Africa with the England Performance Programme squad bowlers and he is due to depart for the United Arab Emirates early in the New Year to play for a Combined ICC Associates and Affiliates XI in a three-day match against England in Dubai.
But Rankin will then fly to Bangladesh to link up with the England Lions and Ashley Giles, Warwickshire’s director of cricket, who is accompanying that tour in his role as an England selector.
“We’ve already had a chat with Boyd’s agent but Boyd hasn’t been around much lately,” Giles said. “He’s off again in the New Year but I’m going to Bangladesh so I’m sure that we will sit down and talk out there.
“We think we are close to an agreement with him and we would like to get things tied up as quickly as possible. We were delighted to get Chris Woakes’s extension sorted out so quickly. We always thought that we would.
“He’s a highly valuable player now, but he’s a Bear and we felt that he would want to stay. It was just a case of getting the detail sorted out.”
Meanwhile, Rankin will link up with his Warwickshire and Ireland team-mate William Porterfield, who will captain the ICC XI, in Dubai.
The combined side also includes Northamptonshire’s new recruit Kyle Coetzer, the Scotland and former Durham batsman.