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Ireland confirm Pakistan as first Test opponents

Ireland’s first Test match will be against Pakistan in May 2018 after the two countries came to an agreement during the ICC meetings in Auckland this week.

William Porterfield drives on the off side (AFP photo)

Ireland, along with Afghanistan, were elevated to Test status earlier this year.

“We are excited to welcome Pakistan to Ireland for our inaugural Test match next year,” CEO Warren Deutrom said. “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.”

Pakistan’s trip to Ireland will come before their two-Test tour of England which begins in late May. The date and location for the Ireland match will be confirmed in the coming months.

“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,” Deutrom said.

“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.”

Bangladesh were the previous team to join the Test ranks when they played their first match against India in November 2000.

“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,” William Porterfield, the Ireland captain, said.

“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.” (ESPNCricinfo)