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The history makers! Ireland name squad for historic first Test match

Graham Ford springs a couple of surprises in his 14-man panel for Pakistan.

GRAHAM FORD HAS named his Ireland squad for next week’s inaugural Test match against Pakistan, with the head coach springing a couple of selection surprises, notably the inclusion of uncapped bowler Nathan Smith.

Graham Ford Head coach Graham Ford. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

William Porterfield has fully recovered from a knee injury to captain the side for a first foray into the Test arena, while the golden generation of players — including Ed Joyce, Kevin and Niall O’Brien and Gary Wilson — are rewarded for playing such a pivotal role in Ireland’s relentless pursuit of ascension to Test-playing status.

Boyd Rankin is the only member of the 14-man panel to have experienced Test cricket before, having featured for England during their 2013/14 Ashes tour in Australia, and will lead Ireland’s bowling attack at Malahide.

The early season form of Stuart Thompson, Tyrone Kane and James Shannon has been recognised with call-ups by Ford, with George Dockrell, Simi Singh, Barry McCarthy and Peter Chase among those who can consider themselves unlucky to miss out.

The exclusion of Dockrell, in particular, is a significantly harsh call considering he has been an ever-present in the side for the last eight years, but Ford has opted for Andy McBrine as the front-line spinner.

Now that the South African has unveiled his hand, the team largely picks itself with the batting order having a settled and experienced look to it, while it seems Smith and Kane are in direct competition for the final seam-bowling place.

Ireland’s team will be confirmed by Porterfield at the toss next Friday morning, with the game being shown live on Sky Sports and a nightly highlights show available on RTÉ2.

Ireland squad: William Porterfield (captain), Andrew Balbirnie, Ed Joyce, Tyrone Kane, Andy McBrine, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, Boyd Rankin, Nathan Smith, Paul Stirling, James Shannon, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson.

The history makers! Ireland name squad for historic first Test match
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  • William Porterfield

  • Tyrone Kane

  • Tim Murtagh

  • Stuart Thompson

  • Niall O'Brien

  • Kevin O'Brien

  • Nathan Smith

  • Ed Joyce

  • Gary Wilson

  • James Shannon

  • Andrew Balbirnie

  • Andy McBrine

  • Boyd Rankin

  • Paul Stirling

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Ryan Bailey

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