Ireland will play their first Test against Pakistan at home in May 2018, Cricket Ireland confirmed the news on Thursday. The announcement was made following an agreement between the two boards during the ICC meetings in Auckland this week. Ireland and Afghanistan had become 11th and 12th Full Members of the ICC which granted them Test status in June 2017.
Incidentally, Ireland had record their first win against a Test playing nation against Pakistan back in 2007 during the World Cup. Later in 2013, they played out a tie in an ODI in Dublin.
Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom welcomed the development. “We are excited to welcome Pakistan to Ireland for our inaugural Test match next year. 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 said.
“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. 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,” Deutrom said.
Ireland skipper William Porterfield expressed delight with the announcement and recalled the miraculous win in 2007. “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. 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,” Porterfield added.
The dates and venue are yet to be announced but it is believed that the match will be played in Dublin.