Eoin Morgan says Ireland's maiden Test match is 'huge step forward'

Ireland defeated the Windies in a group stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Ireland defeated the Windies in a group stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

In what could be termed a major boost to the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB's) efforts to regularize the conduct of worldwide cricket matches in the country, Ireland has expressed interest in touring Pakistan for a cricket series in future.

Meanwhile, the overcast conditions in Dublin mean it's not going to be a walk in the park for Pakistan, who have named five uncapped players - Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Usman Salahuddin, Saad Ali and Faheem Ashraf - in their squad.

The European side will become the first team to debut in Tests, after being awarded full member status last June along with Afghanistan, since 2000 when Bangladesh played against India in their first-ever Test.

Barry McCarthy, one of those unlucky to miss out on selection initially, picked up an injury in his latest county match for Durham, thus ruling him out of contention to replace Smith, Cricket Ireland said.

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

Imam-ul-Haq, the nephew of former Pakistan captain and chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, noted that the youngsters in the camp would have to step up and perform in the forthcoming Test assignments against Ireland and England.

The left-handed batsman was in fine form in the two warm-up games that Pakistan played versus Kent and Northamptonshire, compiling a couple of fifties.

William Porterfield will captain Ireland in their inaugural Test proud of the years of campaigning that have led to Friday's match against Pakistan in Dublin. "On their day, they can beat anybody in the world, and while conditions might be against them, you'd say they're still going in as very strong favourites".

Earlier, the PCB made an offer to New Zealand Cricket to play one of their T20Is in Pakistan later this year.

Ireland, however, did spring a huge surprise when they knocked Pakistan out of the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean, although that was in a one-day worldwide tournament. Jokes apart, it was a sad day for Pakistan as a nation, so hopefully we'll get our own back by winning the Test. We need to celebrate what is different about each format and understand that they each have a role to play in our sport. The writers and editors of The Fan Garage are not responsible for any decisions taken by readers of this article while playing any fantasy league game. But it also provides a newer, younger audience with the chance to deepen their engagement with the game and that is what we've been seeing this week as the excitement has been building in Ireland.

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