Ireland cricket team to play first test match

Ireland famously knocked Pakistan out of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007

In what could be termed a major boost to the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB's) efforts to regularize the conduct of global cricket matches in the country, Ireland has expressed interest in touring Pakistan for a cricket series in future. I'm very hopeful that I'll do well in this series.

Although the team which faces Pakistan at Malahide, starting on Friday, is nearly certain to include 10 players, each with at least 61 internationals under his belt, the rest of the 14-man squad are the ones who will be around for years to come.

But Ford accepts and, indeed, warns the Ireland cricket followers it will not be a smooth or quick ride.

"We know how big an occasion it will be and what Test cricket means to every nation", he was reported as saying by BBC Sport.

"You face Test bowlers in Championship games in England, and in white-ball cricket", said Porterfield, a former Gloucestershire and Warwickshire batsman.

Pakistan, however, have been acclimatising with two warm-up matches against English county clubs Kent and Northamptonshire.

"But you still need a bit of luck in Test matches, especially going in as the underdogs, but all the lads can do is go out and show good basics and a lot of fight".

As for Ireland, players like captain William Porterfield and his opening partner Ed Joyce, all-rounders Paul Stirling and Kevin O'Brien, and fast bowler Tim Murtagh would all be looking to make a fine start to their Test careers, having achieved decent rankings in the shorter formats.

Irish players are believed to be happy to do a tour of Pakistan as long as they are paid an incentive fee similar to the West Indies. "We hope they will play good and be a very good side in future".

The captain is preparing to lead his team out for their first ever Test match with Pakistan joining the celebrations, although they will aim to play party pooper. 18 years ago, when women's cricket was yet to be taken over by the ICC, the Ireland women's team had hosted Pakistan for a one-off Test, which remains the only one that has been played in the country until now. Jokes apart, it was a sad day for Pakistan as a nation, so hopefully we'll get our own back by winning the Test. Apart from him, Pakistan will rely on Sarfraz Ahmed, the skipper, Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam and Asad Shafiq to take care of the batting department.

Pakistan are undoubtedly favourites but Porterfield believes his charges can cause an upset in Dublin. "And seeing that will help ensure the game grows and produce better players". The writers and editors of The Fan Garage are not responsible for any decisions taken by readers of this article while playing any fantasy league game.