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Dates for Ireland's historic first Test match confirmed

Ireland will host Pakistan next May.

Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

IRELAND’S FIRST-EVER Test match has been scheduled for the second week of May next year, after Cricket Ireland confirmed the dates for the historic fixture at its board meeting.

Ireland will face Pakistan between Friday 11 May and Tuesday 15 May in the first Test match on Irish soil, although the venue — believed to be Malahide — has yet to be confirmed.

Cricket Ireland was granted Full Member status of the International Cricket Council in June and today’s confirmation follows the announcement of Pakistan as first Test opponents earlier this month.

By the time the fixture rolls around, Ireland will have a new coach with Graham Ford set to take over from the departing John Bracewell in December.

Meanwhile, Cricket Ireland says it is looking at measures to mitigate the impact of poor weather on major fixtures on this island after the governing body came in for criticism for its staging of the ODI against West Indies last month.

Heavy overnight rain in Belfast meant the marquee fixture of last summer was washed out without a ball in bowled, despite sunny conditions at Stormont on the day of the game.

“Our washed-out ODI against West Indies gave us much to ponder,” Warren Deutrom, Cricket Ireland CEO, said.

“On reflection, there is probably too much simple acceptance of bad weather affecting our games given our geography, and probably not enough being done to mitigate it.

“The fact it rained most of the afternoon and previous fortnight isn’t the point, rather it was the apparent lack of resource around getting play started when it was dry and sunny – which was nothing to do with groundsman Phil McCormick, whose personal efforts were extraordinary.

“We know we are being held to a higher standard now that we are a Full Member – we need to look in the mirror on this one, and it is an area in which we have a lot of work to do.”

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