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Ireland edge closer to historic first Test

ICC confirm 'likely' Test between newcomers Ireland and Pakistan next year with Dublin the expected venue

The biggest moment in Ireland's cricketing history looks set to be staged in front of their home fans next year after the International Cricket Council confirmed they're close to finalising details of their inaugural Test match.

Ireland's first-ever match in cricket's most prestigious format is "likely" to be staged in Dublin against Pakistan next year, an ICC spokesperson confirmed to cricket.com.au.

It's understood talks between Ireland and Pakistan are ongoing over a Test being played in late April or early May, with discussions to continue at ICC meetings in Auckland this week.

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While nothing has yet been officially locked in, the ICC said in a media release on Tuesday that Pakistan will play a "red ball" match against Ireland in April ahead of their two-Test tour of England next year.

A spokesperson for Cricket Ireland declined to confirm whether the Test has been locked in.


One thing is for certain; should the match go ahead, Ireland will have a significant home advantage when it comes to the prevailing weather conditions.

The average temperature for Dublin in April is a frosty eight degrees, which jumps to a balmy 11 in May, conditions far removed from the kind Pakistan is used to for their home games in the desert kingdom of the United Arab Emirates.

Pakistan fans at an ODI in Dublin in 2016 // Getty
Pakistan fans at an ODI in Dublin in 2016 // Getty

The match could also be limited to four days rather than the traditional five.

Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom recently admitted the Test newcomers would be open to the concept, with Ireland having excelled in four-day games in the rung below Test cricket, the ICC’s Intercontinental Cup.

"We can hardly complain about compromising the traditional rhythms of Test cricket when Ireland hasn’t played one yet," Deutrom told Cricket Country last month.

"In fact, one might even argue that the four-day experiment is more likely to suit us given our familiarity with the Intercontinental Cup."

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South Africa announced plans for an innovative four-day Test against Zimbabwe this summer and are hopeful the ICC will grant the match official Test status. 

The ICC Test match playing conditions presently dictate that matches shall consist of five days, but Tests of varying lengths have been staged throughout history.

Ireland and Afghanistan became the 11th and 12th teams to be granted Test-playing status earlier this year but both sides are yet to play their inaugural match.

Ireland famously upset Pakistan at the 2007 World Cup on St Patrick's Day in Jamaica before repeating the dose over rivals England at the 2011 World Cup in Bangalore.