Ireland to make Test debut against Pakistan

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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.

An agreement between the two countries was reached during the ICC meeting in Auckland this week. Incidentally, Ireland announced their arrival in worldwide cricket by beating a full-strength Pakistan side in the 2007 cricket world cup.

Themselves and Afghanistan were given test status back in June when they became the 11 and 12 official members of the International Cricket council and Ireland have been on the lookout for opponents ever since.

Pakistan are popular visitors to Ireland over the years with their fan support.

Pakistan is scheduled to tour England for two Tests, fives ODIs and a solitary T20I in May next year and Ireland hopes to use this window to organize the match at Malahide.

Irish captain William Porterfield is delighted with the news. One is also reminded of the monumental defeat of Pakistan at the hands of Ireland at the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, a point often called the turning point for Ireland Cricket.

Ireland Cricket CEO Warren Deutrom is delighted with the announcement and thanked the Pakistan board for accepting the invitation to be their first opponent in the longer format.

"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's sure to be an incredible and emotional experience for all involved".

For Pakistan, unless they improve drastically in the months to come, there is no doubt that the match will be a major focal point that could show cricket fans the team's general trajectory for many years to come.

"We can hardly complain about compromising the traditional rhythms of Test cricket when Ireland hasn't played one yet", Deutrom told Cricket Country last month.