Ireland became the 12th Test nation after they became a full time member with the ICC – alongside Afghanistan. Unofficial sources within the ICC have reportedly confirmed that, as expected, Ireland’s first Test would only come in 2018. Additionally, there is further information of the opposition and the venue. It has emerged that Ireland could play their first ever Test in front of home fans in Dublin against Pakistan.
As per a report on cricket.com.au, talks between Ireland and Pakistan are ongoing over a Test being played in April or May. The discussions are slated to continue at ICC meetings in Auckland this week.
While there is no official confirmation, ICC had said in a release that Pakistan will play a “red ball” match against Ireland in April ahead of their two-Test tour of England in 2018. Spokesperson for Cricket Ireland declined to confirm whether the Test has been locked in.
There are further hints that the Test could be played over four days instead of five – something Ireland had been accustomed to in ICC’s Intercontinental Cup. Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom recently admitted the Test newcomers would be open to the idea. “”We can hardly complain about compromising the traditional rhythms of Test cricket when Ireland hasn’t played one yet,” Deutrom was quoted as saying by Cricket Country last month. “In fact, one might even argue that the four-day experiment is more likely to suit us given our familiarity with the Intercontinental Cup.”
South Africa had announced plans to play four-day Test against Zimbabwe for Boxing Day and are hopeful of getting ICC’s nod at the meetings in Auckland.