Ireland vs Pakistan one-off Test: Ireland gears up for historic maiden Test

Porterfield banking on county experience, local conditions as Ireland get ready for Test debut

Ireland, who along with Afghanistan were granted the Test status by the International Cricket Council past year, will become the 11th nation to play the longest format of the game.

"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". "We've also seen that some Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches were held in Lahore and Karachi and went off well", Deutrom told Pakistan's Daily Express, as quoted by espncricinfo. This is the first time since Bangladesh in 2000 that a new team is making its debut in Test cricket. Well wishes for Ireland coming in from around the world of cricket, four-page pullout supplements in national newspapers and even Test cricketers-to-be bringing out tea for the hordes of journalists at Malahide.

The Pakistan captain hopes that the magnitude of the occasion would help boost cricket in Ireland and make it a mass sport.

"You face Test bowlers in Championship games in England, and in white-ball cricket", said Porterfield, a former Gloucestershire and Warwickshire batsman.

While Pakistan's opening tour game was a soggy affair at Kent, they show some impressive form to brush aside Northamptonshire by nine wickets on Monday.

The PCB Chairman Najam Sethi will be attending the Test match on Friday and says that there is no room for a tour at the moment.

But the 31-year-old, who made his five-day debut for England in 2010, does not believe a similarly successful outcome is essential in Ireland's first foray into Test cricket.

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"They are playing their first Test match, so we want to give them good luck, it's very good for Irish cricket".

Joyce, who has also represented England in worldwide cricket, is the most experienced Ireland player in first-class cricket, having played 254 matches, scoring 18,414 runs with 47 centuries.

Ireland, who were granted Test status past year, will play their first Test against Pakistan in Dublin from Friday 11 May.

It was a much-appreciated decision by the ICC to grant Test status to Ireland and Afghanistan, who have been the most consistent performers among the Associate Nations over the years.

"Looking ahead, we know some players will shortly be calling time on their careers and we need to make sure there is real quality to fill their boots and that means a lot of opportunities for them to play higher level cricket".

Pakistan now sit in seventh place on the rankings, but even though they are going up against a side with no Test experience Imam pointed out that his side can not afford to underestimate Ireland. It also provides the strongest economic legacy for the game enabling us to invest further in the future of cricket.

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