Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Ireland have announced that they will play their maiden Test match against Pakistan in May next year.
The two countries came to an agreement over the one-off Test match during the International Cricket Council (ICC) meetings in Auckland this week.
Ireland and Afghanistan were made Full Member nations in June, meaning that they are now eligible to play Test matches.
“We are excited to welcome Pakistan to Ireland for our inaugural Test match next year,” Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “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.”
Ireland captain William Porterfield echoed Deutrom’s sentiments, saying: “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.”
While the Test match will be held in May, the venue that will host the historic game will be confirmed in the next few 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.”