Ireland to play inaugural test match against Pakistan in May

India cricketers celebrate the wicket of Angelo Mathews during the second Test against Sri Lanka at Colombo in August. Pic  AFP

Ireland, the latest entrants in the Test club along with Afghanistan, could be set to play their first official Test against Pakistan in May next year.

The decision on the contest follows after both the countries' respective boards reached an agreement in the ICC meeting held in Auckland this week. The exact date and venue for the match are yet to be confirmed. Incidentally, Ireland announced their arrival in global cricket by beating a full-strength Pakistan side in the 2007 cricket world cup.

The International Cricket Council will meet in Auckland this week, where announcements on separate league structures for Tests and 50-over cricket are expected to be made.

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Pakistan were top of the test match rankings as recently as a year ago before slipping back after the retirement of captain Misbah-ul-Haq and senior batsman Younis Khan.

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. "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".

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. With the chilly European conditions and a nervy Pakistan squad, Ireland might just be looking towards making a dream entry on cricket's most prestigious stage.

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"It's going to be a bit special and it's always great to be a part of history".

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

The subcontinent team might not play another Test until the proposed clash with Ireland next year. "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".

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