The Ireland squad travelled to Abu Dhabi today for an afternoon net session ahead of their opening game tomorrow in the Desert T20 tournament, under the lights of the Shekh Zayed Stadium.

Yesterday, the squad enjoyed their first day of down time with a number getting a feel of what it is like to be on top of the world, but not Boyd Rankin.

"Some of the boys went up to the roof of the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world) but I'm not a massive fan of heights so I left that to others," said the 6ft 8ins fast bowler.

"Eight of the lads played golf - a couple of fourballs - while I went out with Craig Young, my fellow Bready man, and Josh Little down to the Mall to have a look around.

"It was just nice to see a bit of Dubai and chill out."

Rankin, a massive Liverpool supporter, woke up to the news of the Reds' EFL Cup first leg defeat to Southampton, but he still has confidence in the team for the rest of the season.

"They have been doing really well of late, but there's still a big part of the season to come so hopefully we can stay in contention for everything," he commented.

In contrast, Ulster Rugby, his other supporting passion, have not been enjoying the best of seasons but Rankin has a theory for that.

"I went to the Connacht game before Christmas and I think that's the last game we won.

"They haven't been doing too well but every time I see them they seem to win, so I must try and go more often and maybe it will change their fortunes!" he joked.