Irish cricketers to play Pakistan in first test match

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After continued speculation and near confirmations, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has finally announced that Ireland will play their first Test match against Pakistan in May 2018 in Dublin, Ireland.

The Test league was among a raft of reforms agreed at an ICC board meeting in Auckland, including revamping the one-day global schedule and trialling four-day Tests.

Ireland have since established themselves during the course of several World Cups, recording one-day worldwide wins over Pakistan, the West Indies and England.

"We are excited to welcome Pakistan to Ireland for our inaugural test match next year", said Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom.

Cricket Ireland has five provincial unions - the newest, for the western province of Connacht, was founded in 2010, the first founded in more than 60 years, with nine teams involved.

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said, "This is a significant point in time for ICC Members and our collective desire to secure a vibrant future for global bilateral cricket".

"The ICC Board decision means we can now go and finalise a playing schedule.as well as the points system, hosting arrangements and competition terms".

While Ireland is still to have their Test debut and Pakistan has an upper hand of more than half a century in experience, the single game could prove a challenging one for Pakistan.

David Richardson said, "Our priority was to develop an worldwide cricket structure that gave context and meaning across global cricket and particularly in the Test arena".

"The trial is exactly that, a trial, just in the same way day-night Tests and technology have been trialled by members". This has been delivered and every Test in the new League will be a five-day Test format.

While the ODI league will feature the game's top 13 limited-overs nations and will run for two years, before changing to a three-year league after the World Cup in 2023.

The team is now coming to terms with the retirements of greats like Misbah ul Haq and Younis Khan after sliding from the top of the ICC Test rankings to a lowly seventh below Sri Lanka after their latest defeat. The process for the appointment of the ICC female independent director was confirmed and the recruitment will get underway in the coming week.

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