Deutrom: Ireland may not play first Test match till after 2018

Ireland were given Test status last week

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom has admitted that the country may have to play a waiting game when it comes to making their Test debut.

Last week, the International Cricket Council (ICC) bestowed Ireland and Afghanistan with the honour of Test status, making them the newest Test nations since Bangladesh were made one in 2000.

While Deutrom is over the moon that Ireland will be able to go up against the strongest sides in the longest format, he reiterated that Ireland’s Test debut may not take place until after 2018.

“To be honest there are so many pieces of this jigsaw,” he said. “It is probably somewhere between not wanting to wait years for our first Test match versus making sure we have the appropriate sense of occasion.

“Another consideration is that we [aren’t] ready to play our first Test match as we haven’t played a five-day game yet. History would suggest that new full members play their first Test, at home, against a big nation within a year.

“But I know how much busier the full members are with their own schedules so trying to find a gap within 12 months in an already-congested schedule is incredibly difficult.

“We are going to do our best, we will have as many conversations as possible, but I can’t put any members on the spot, although quite a few have been generous to say ‘let’s have a conversation’. I don’t want to express disappointment if no-one is available because I know how packed those schedules are.”

Since it seems that Ireland will have to bide their time when it comes to playing their first Test match, they are likely to hold talks with Afghanistan about a potential Test series.

Meanwhile, Deutrom is also waiting to find out what financial benefits Ireland will get from the ICC now that they are a Full Member nation. However, he pointed out that it may take some time to get the exact figure.

“My understanding is that, like any other business, the ICC will have budgeted for cash-flows in this year so to throw a couple of extra million in the pot may or may not be possible,” he said. “I suspect it will be the beginning of next year when the financial distributions for being a full member will commence.

“My heart says it would be great to have the cash now, my head says it may well be better that we have six months sitting down and planning our priorities. The game should be patient while we get those right. There are a whole series of things that are questions to be answered.”

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