A decision to bring in a second overseas professional for Ireland's final two Friends Provident Trophy games is due be taken today after consultations between National Coach Phil Simmons and Irish Cricket Union chief executive Warren Deutrom.

Jesse Ryder effectively terminated his Ireland contract two days ago when he 'missed the flight' from Liverpool, where he playing club cricket, to London and failed to meet up with his Ireland team-mates at the Brit Oval where he was due to play against Surrey. Simmons said on Sunday night that, as far as he was concerned, Ryder would not play for Ireland again.

That game was abandoned without a ball bowled, because of rain, and a wet square after heavy overnight rain and squally showers throughout the day meant that Ireland's scheduled game yesterday against Sussex at Hove went the same way.

For the second successive day, Ireland collected one point and put them level with Glamorgan on points, but still at the bottom of the South Conference table, ahead of the Welsh county's game against Surrey yesterday.

Simmons is keen for Ryder to be replaced and, I understand, an experienced former Test and one-day player has indicated his willingness to travel to Ireland for the games against Middlesex in Clontarf, on Sunday week, and against Glamorgan at Stormont three days later.

If the decision is taken to call in a second professional, in addition to Nantie Hayward, it will be a case of better late than never following the rushed signing of the unknown Ryder - he was recommended by the same agent who works for Hayward - and his subsequent disappointing performances against Gloucestershire and Essex when he scored one and two and bowled two overs for 14 runs in the only spell he was asked to bowl.

There should be little discussion to bring in a quality one-day player - there is money available which would have gone to Ryder - and if terms are agreed then it would allow Ireland to play on a level playing field with the counties who can use two overseas stars throughout the season.

The Glamorgan game offers Ireland their best chance of success - the visitors should have won the corresponding match in Cardiff last year - and the signing of a top name would also draw more spectators through the gate.

The Middlesex game with Ed Joyce and, possibly, Eoin Morgan in the opposition is already an attractive contest for the Dublin public and if Ireland can have two big names then that would even up the contest and give Simmons the chance to record a first one-day victory since he took over as coach last month.