The NW Warriors have been given a boost ahead of the new season with the news that pace bowler Boyd Rankin will be available for all the campaign following confirmation of his release by Warwickshire.

The Bready man enjoyed a successful career at Edgbaston, winning the county championship in 2012 alongside Irish team-mate William Porterfield.

“I have really enjoyed my 11 years at Warwickshire and throughout this time I have been very lucky to have been a part of squads that have managed to win trophies in every format,” said Rankin.

“Warwickshire are building a young squad for the long term and I can now concentrate on playing for Ireland and the North West Warriors. I wish them all the best for the future and I will continue to always support them as a Bear.”

Rankin, who will be 35 in July – is approaching an age when many fast bowlers retire – but he has no intention of hanging up the boots just yet.

“I still feel I have a good few years with Ireland and Warriors ahead of me and I’m looking forward to the exciting challenges yet to come.

“As a senior player, as well as performing on the field I want to help bring through the next generation of young cricketers in both squads and hopefully help my transition into coaching after playing.”

While Rankin is keen to play for the Warriors, he is unlikely to make a return to boyhood club Bready, given his international and interprovincial commitments, in addition to being domiciled in England.

“I am continuing to base myself in Birmingham this year and I will travel back for Ireland and Warriors games. As yet I’m not sure what my plans are for club cricket.

“If things go well with Ireland I won’t be available for too many club games to be honest. But I would have thought if I’m in England at the weekend it would be logical to play for a local club in Birmingham, but nothing has been confirmed at the moment.”

Rankin has played 117 times for Ireland since his debut in 2003, taking 178 wickets at 22.67, which included five wicket hauls against Namibia and The Netherlands.

He was part of Ireland’s World Cup squads in 2007 and 2011, before switching allegiances to England, for whom he played an Ashes Test in 2014.

He returned to Irish colours in 2016, and played in the T20 World Cup in India that year, and was a member of the Ireland Test team that played in their inaugural match in Malahide last year.

Rankin has made just two appearances in interprovincial cricket, making his debut in 2003, returning after a 15-year gap to play against Leinster Lightning at Pembroke last season.