A new chapter is going to written in Irish History books as Test Cricket comes to their shores in 2018. Ireland will make its Test debut on home soil against Pakistan in May 2018, Cricket Ireland confirmed on Thursday (October 12) by Cricket Ireland.
“We are excited to welcome Pakistan to Ireland for our inaugural Test match next year,” Warren Deutrom, the Cricket Ireland CEO, has been quoted as saying by cricketireland.ie. “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.
“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,” Deutrom added. “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.”
Ireland were granted Test status at ICC Annual General Meeting held in June 2017 along with Afghanistan and many of the Irish players, it will be dream come true to play the game’s purest & longest form in front of their home crowd. ICC also granted First-Class status to Ireland’s domestic structure ensuring credibility to the competition to nurture future players for the country.
Ireland captain William Porterfield is over the moon with his enthusiasm “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,”.
“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,” he went on. “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.”
The dates & the venue for the match haven’t been decided yet but will be confirmed sooner than later. After the abandonment of the ODI between the two countries few months ago due to rain, Cricket Ireland will have to pull off all stops to ensure that play is possible for the maximum duration during the 5 days of play. It’s a Historic Test Match after all.