Ireland (above) were granted the Test status, along with Afghanistan earlier in 2017 © Getty Images
Ireland (above) were granted the Test status, along with Afghanistan earlier in 2017 © Getty Images

After intense speculations this week, it was finally confirmed that Ireland will be hosting Pakistan to play their first-ever Test match. The decision was taken during an International Cricket Council (ICC) meet at Auckland on Thursday. Ireland were granted the Test status, along with Afghanistan earlier this year. Pakistan would be touring Ireland for the Test just before their tour of England in May 2018. Although it was earlier reported to be Dublin as the venue for Ireland’s first-ever Test, the date and exact location is yet to be confirmed. Prior to Ireland, Bangladesh was the last team to have earned the Test status in November 2000. IRE could host their first-ever Test match against PAK in Dublin

“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. 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,” Cricket Ireland (CI) CEO Warren Deutrom said, as reported by ESPNCricinfo. Ireland prepared to play four-day Tests, confirms Warren Deutrom

Ireland skipper William Portefield too commented on the issue. “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,” he said.

“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,” he added.