Ronald Charles Irani, also known as Ronnie Irani, is a former England cricketer who played Tests and ODIs for England as a genuine all-rounder until a knee injury in 2003 forced him to stop bowling and play as a specialist batsman.
He was born on 26th October 1971 in Lancashire, England. He was a lively right-arm seam bowler, who doubled up as a capable batsman.
Ronnie started his career playing for Lancashire in 1990, before he moved to Essex in 1994.
He spent most of his career at Essex County Cricket Club, latterly as captain. He served Essex with distinction for over a decade.
Irani was handed his ODI debut against the visiting Indians at Birmingham in 1996 and his Test debut on 6th June in the same series against India.
He scored 34 runs in the first innings and did not got the opportunity to bat in the second innings and also took a wicket in that match.
In a cruel quirk of fate, Irani was dropped from the squad soon after that match. He next Test appearance came only in 1999, where he failed to deliver.
Rise to Glory
Irani initially plied his trade for Lancashire but the move to shift to Essex in 1994 proved to be the turning point of his career. After a series of impressive performances for Essex, Irani was handed his ODI debut in 1996.
In Natwest Series 2002 featuring India and Sri Lanka, Irani was awarded Fans' player of the series for his allround performance in which he scored 169 runs and took 8 wickets in the tri-series.
He played a useful hand in the Lord's Test against Sri Lanka with a gritty 41 lower down the order, helping England salvage a draw when a defeat loomed large which was one of his special innings.
The advent of injuries did not help his career. In 2003 he was forced to give up bowling and focus only on batting due to injury which meant that Irani was relegated to the sidelines again.
Before he became captain in 2000, he gained cult status at Essex and is generally accepted to have done a decent job in charge and helped to bring promising players such as Alastair Cook, Will Jefferson and Ravi Bopara.
Professionally he scored over 20,000 runs and took more than 650 wickets during his career which include 13000 first-class runs at an average of 41.58 to go with 339 first-class wickets.
His international career also include one 5-wicket haul against India in 2002 where he was awarded man of the match award.
Irani was forced to retire from first class cricket due to his recurring nature of this injury. In June 2007, he rejected a new contract with Essex and announced his retirement from first-class cricket at the end of the 2007 season.