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Ireland vs Pakistan, One-off Test, Day 1

Ireland vs Pakistan, One-off Test, Day 1

A historic moment awaits Irish cricket, when it plays its first ever Test match, by hosting Pakistan at The Village, Malaside, Dublin, this morning.

Going into the match, No.7 ranked Pakistan expectedly start as the favourites and can boast of World No.10 Test batsman in opener Azhar Ali as the top ranked batsman.

It was a victory over Pakistan at the 2007 World Cup which put Ireland on the world stage, but even then no-one, not even forward-thinking Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom, had Test match status on their radar and certainly within 11 years.

Ireland will become the first team to debut in the longest format of the game since Bangladesh in 2000, after being awarded full member status last June along with Afghanistan.

"Nowadays we saw that Imam was playing better: he scored two fifties in the practice matches (61 against Kent and an unbeaten 59 against Northamptonshire) so that's why we go with Imam-ul-Haq".

Imam-ul-Haq is set to make his Test debut when Pakistan face Ireland in Dublin on Friday.

"But Irish cricket has become successful on the worldwide stage initially, punching above our weight, and we are using that to hopefully become a mainstream sport in Ireland".

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"I think it is a great achievement for Ireland Cricket that they will be playing global cricket", he said at his pre-match press conference.

Ireland's Tim Murtagh's tally of 712 first-class wickets is the most by a player before making Test debut for the national team.

"We're preparing to win the game - there's absolutely no reason why in our own conditions we can't beat Pakistan". He added that Pakistan has stood at the number 1 spot in the test cricket.

"We are adopting a less-is-more approach, to develop a brand of hosting Test cricket without it becoming too financially unsustainable".

"The last practice match was very good - everything was complete, batsmen batted well, bowlers bowled well, so we are ready to play a Test match".

"After this Test, there will be more cricketers and kids will be coming to play cricket as well".

After that, the Green Caps will travel to South Africa for a tour in December which will consist of three Tests, five ODIs and three T20Is.