Ireland will make cricketing history in May of next year when they take on Pakistan in their first ever Test match, it has been confirmed today.
The news came after months of speculation and was finally confirmed at the International Cricket Council meeting in Auckland this week.
“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 twelve months of becoming a Test nation, and against a big team, so I’m delighted.”
Ireland and Afghanistan became the 11th and 12th teams to be accepted into the exclusive club that is Test cricket in June. Neither side have made their debuts in the Test arena yet but Ireland will change that next May.
Ireland captain William Porterfield welcomed the news 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.”
Ireland have punched well above their weight in one day international cricket over the past decade, beating the likes of Zimbabwe, the West Indies, England and famously at the 2007 World Cup, next May’s opponents, Pakistan.
No venue has yet been set for the historic clash but Malahide will be the heavy favourite to host the event. Belfast and Clontarf have also been touted as possible venues.
By Leo McGuinn