Ireland to make Test debut against Pakistan in May, 2018
New Delhi , Oct. 13 : Ireland's first Test match will be on home soil against Pakistan in May next year, following an agreement which was signed between the two side during the International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in Auckland this week.Ireland and Afghanistan were given Test status earlier this year in June.
"We are excited to welcome Pakistan to Ireland for our inaugural Test match next year," Cricket Ireland 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," he added.
Pakistan certainly fit the bill as a team who were top of the Test match rankings as recently as last year before slipping back after the retirement of captain Misbah-ul-Haq and senior batsman Younis Khan.
"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 added.
"We would like to thank the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) 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."
Irish captain William Porterfield welcomed confirmation of the match and said, "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," he added.
The exact date in May and Irish venue for the five-day Test are yet to be confirmed, but a final decision on both will be announced in due course.