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News Ireland to make Test debut against Pakistan in May 2018
10-12-2017, 07:58 PM
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Ireland to make Test debut against Pakistan in May 2018
Latest Test entrants Ireland will be making their debut in the five-day format when they take on Pakistan at home in May next year, Cricket Ireland confirmed on Thursday (October 12). The announcement was made following an agreement between both boards during the ICC meetings in Auckland this week.

Ireland and Afghanistan became the 11th and 12th Full Members of the ICC after they were given Test status in June 2017.

"We are excited to welcome Pakistan to Ireland for our inaugural Test match next year. It has been our wish to make our Test debut in front of our own fans within 12 months of becoming a Test nation, and against a big team, so I'm delighted," Warren Deutrom, Cricket Ireland's CEO, said.

"There is a lot of work to do from now to ensure that it will be an occasion to remember but we, and I'm sure our players and fans, can't wait to rise to it. We would like to thank the Pakistan Cricket Board most sincerely for agreeing to be our first opponent in Test cricket, the Pakistan team has been a regular visitor to our shores in recent years, and their agreement to be our opponent on this important occasion for Irish cricket is further evidence of their terrific support," Deutrom said.

The announcement delighted Ireland skipper William Porterfield, who recalled Ireland's ODI victory against Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup - the team's first victory against a Test nation. Till date, that's Ireland's only victory against Pakistan across formats, although these sides were involved in a thrilling tie in an ODI in Dublin in 2013.

"It's fantastic news for Irish cricket. It's going to be a bit special and it's always great to be a part of history. There's a special affinity between ourselves and Pakistan going back to the 2007 World Cup and they've been regular tourists here over the past decade.

"Test cricket is the pinnacle of our sport and I know how much this game will mean to not only the players but all involved with Irish cricket. It'll be another step on what has been an incredible journey for our sport in a relatively short passage of time. It's sure to be an incredible and emotional experience for all involved. I know how much this will mean to all the players and just how much we all will forward to our dream of being Test cricketers realised. I'm certain there will be an incredible atmosphere from both sets of fans who will be keen to witness a piece of history," Porterfield added.

The exact dates and the venue for Ireland's Test debut is yet to be announced.

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