Ireland ready for inaugural Test match against Pakistan

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Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said, "It is a privilege to be a part of this historic Test match and all of us are really looking forward to it. Ireland, who have a great tradition of cricket, are playing at home and I wish them all the best in this big moment". "Before taking any decision we will definitely discuss the situation with ICC security and take input from Pakistan itself, but I can see that in the near future, a tour to Pakistan is possible", Deutrom was quoted as saying by Pakistan's Daily Express.

Al Jazeera's Lee Wellings reports.

But that has not stopped television rights for the Test being sold to Sky Sports and RTE - Ireland's national state broadcaster - for a reported 1.8 million euros ($2.1 million), a remarkable sum for Irish cricket, with Malahide on course for a 6,000 sell-out on Friday's first day. We are blessed in our sport to have three fantastic formats and with that comes the challenge for players of where to place their focus, but this week has reminded me of the importance of Test cricket in that mix. But Irish cricket has become successful on the global stage initially, punching above our weight, and we are using that to hopefully become a mainstream sport in Ireland.

"We've got a lot of those boxes ticked off and we're confident that we can beat any nation on any given day". It doesn't matter, against Ireland or England, we have to play good cricket and that will give us confidence, and make our youngsters to do well in the England series.

It will be a very special day for everyone connected with the game in Ireland and the fruition of a long-term ambition to play Test cricket. But he explained that if Ireland had test status back then, he would have turned down England.

Pakistan Test squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Amir, Rahat Ali, Saad Ali, Sami Aslam, Shadab Khan, Usman Salahuddin. Conditions are very different to Pakistan and hopefully the weather is good and we'll play good cricket.

Earlier, the PCB made an offer to New Zealand Cricket to play one of their T20Is in Pakistan later this year. The conditions are hard, as you see the rain and the wicket will be tough because it's early [summer] here.

Only Australia, in the first ever, has won their debut Test but, according to Stirling, "you never know, you need a few things to go your way but you always think you are going to win games". "He scored two fifties in the practice matches, that's why we are going with him". "There are personal goals there, we're working on it and inshallah we'll do well".