Cricket Ireland announces first ever Test match on home soil

Ireland will play Pakistan on home soil in May in their first ever Test match.

Ireland and Afghanistan were given Test status in June and Ireland have now secured a deal for Pakistan to be their inaugural opponents.

Ireland captain William Porterfield said: "It's fantastic news for Irish cricket. It's going to be a bit special and it's always great to be a part of history."

Agreement was reached during an International Cricket Council meeting in Auckland this week, with the date and venue for the match yet to be confirmed.

Porterfield continued: "There's a special affinity between ourselves and Pakistan going back to the 2007 World Cup and they've been regular tourists here over the past decade.

"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.

"I'm certain there will be an incredible atmosphere from both sets of fans who will be keen to witness a piece of history."

Ireland played their first one-day international against England in 2006 and qualified for the World Cup the following year, where they beat Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Ireland have claimed victories over England and the West Indies in subsequent competitions while they are four-time winners of the ICC Intercontinental Cup.

Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom said: "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."

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