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Ireland to make Test debut against Pakistan
12 October 2017, 10:32 | Henrietta Morgan
Ireland cricket team is all set to make its Test debut in April 2018
The date and venue of the game will be announced in due course.
Cricket Ireland officials will be travelling to Auckland in New Zealand for the ICC Board meeting this week where they will lobby for global fixtures for the next two calendar years.
Ireland and Afghanistan were given Test status in June and Ireland have now secured a deal for Pakistan to be their inaugural opponents. With the chilly European conditions and a nervy Pakistan squad, Ireland might just be looking towards making a dream entry on cricket's most prestigious stage.
It has been believed that Ireland's inaugural Test match will take place in Dublin against Pakistan 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".
"Test matches have witnessed a decline in attendances in recent years, throwing the door open to a number of means to engage fans, including the introduction of day-night Tests".
Afghanistan and Ireland joined an exclusive club that also includes Australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand, the West Indies, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
Ireland captain William Porterfield said: "It's fantastic news for Irish cricket".
"There's a special affinity between ourselves and Pakistan going back to the 2007 World Cup (when Ireland defeated Pakistan to knock it out of the group stage) and they've been regular tourists here over the past decade". Incidentally, Ireland announced their arrival in worldwide cricket by beating a full-strength Pakistan side in the 2007 cricket world cup.
Irish, the chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations, urged stakeholders of the game not to look at ad hoc solutions to Test cricket.
While Ireland has only been admitted to test status this year, cricket has existed in the country since the 18th century and the national team, like its rugby union counterpart, represents both Northern Ireland and the Republic.
"It's sure to be an incredible and emotional experience for all involved".
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