Sport

Ireland confirm Pakistan as first Test opponents

Ireland and Afghanistan were granted full Test membership rights after years of lobbying in the Annual General Meeting of the ICC in London earlier this June.

South Africa announced plans to play Zimbabwe in the first four-day test starting on Boxing Day in Port Elizabeth, as part of their home summer calendar for the 2017-18 season. Additionally, there is further information of the opposition and the venue.

Cricket has been played in Ireland for almost 200 years but it was not until 1969 that they made the rest of the world game take true notice when they bowled out the West Indies for just 25 at Sion Mills in a televised match. The discussions are slated to continue at ICC meetings in Auckland this week.

Irish, the chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations urged stakeholders of the game not to look at ad hoc solutions to test cricket.

"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".

Cricket Ireland officials will be travelling to Auckland in New Zealand for the ICC Board meeting this week where they will lobby for worldwide fixtures for the next two calendar years.

Ireland have since established themselves during the course of several World Cups, recording one-day global wins over Pakistan, the West Indies and England.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the competition would give Test series a broader worldwide "context", making them more than stand-alone bilateral contests. In that case, Ireland can out their plan in place, having played a major chunk of cricket in the four-day format. "In fact, one might even argue that the four-day experiment is more likely to suit us given our familiarity with the Intercontinental Cup".



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