Ire­land to play first Test against Pak­istan in 2018

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DUBAI: Ire­land’s first Test match will be on home soil against Pak­istan in May, fol­low­ing an agree­ment between the two sides reached dur­ing the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil (ICC) meet­ing in Auck­land this week.

Ire­land and Afghanistan were given Test sta­tus in June when they be­came the 11th and 12th full mem­bers of the ICC and Cricket Ire­land has since been look­ing for the right op­po­nents for a his­toric first match.

“We are ex­cited to wel- come 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,” he added.

“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," said Ir­ish cap­tain Wil­liam Porter­field while wel­com­ing con­fir­ma­tion of the match. “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," added the Ir­ish cap­tain.

“Test cricket is the pin­na­cle of our sport and I know how much this game will mean to not only the play­ers but to 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."

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