Ireland may have to wait until 2019 for their maiden Test
Ireland may have to wait beyond 2018 to make their Test debut. A statement in this regard has come from none other than the Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom.
Even as Ireland and Afghanistan became the latest entrants to the big boys club, that is, the elite group of Test-playing nations, the former will have to wait until 2019 to play their first Test. It was only last week that the two teams became 11th and 12th members respectively to the exclusive club of the longest format, when they were granted Test status by being awarded full membership to International Cricket Council (ICC). However, a latest development suggests Ireland may have to wait beyond 2018 to make their Test debut. A statement in this regard has come from none other than the Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom.
"To be honest there are so many pieces of the jigsaw," Deutrom said as quoted by bbc.com report. "We are probably somewhere between not wanting to wait years for our first Test match versus making sure we have the appropriate sense of occasion," he added.
The two countries were unanimously allowed to become the first newcomers in Test arena since Bangladesh in 2000, and take the number of full ICC members to 12. Ireland have been playing as Associate Members since 1993 and have recorded famous victories over Pakistan, England and the West Indies over the years. Even before they got the Test status, it was being speculated that Ireland may face England at Lord s in their maiden Test in 2019. Deutrom had also maintained the same last week when he said they were hoping to play England in a Test match at Lord's.
But scheduling the first match may take some organising and Deutrom believes it could prove difficult given other nations' busy and already-decided schedules. "Another consideration is that we are ready to play our first Test match as we haven't played a five-day game yet. History would suggest that new full members play their first Test, at home, against a big nation within a year. But I know how much busier the full members are with their own schedules so trying to find a gap within 12 months in an already-congested schedule is incredibly difficult, he said.
"We are going to do our best, we will have as many conversations as possible, but I can't put any members on the spot, although quite a few have been generous to say 'let's have a conversation'. I don't want to express disappointment if no-one is available because I know how packed those schedules are," Deutrom concluded.
With most Test-playing nations have their fixtures planned, it could turn out that Ireland make their Test debut against fellow newcomers Afghanistan, with neither Deutrom nor his Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) counterpart Shafiq Stanikzai ruling out the possibility last week.
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