Ireland to make Test debut v Pakistan in 2018

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Ireland are very close to be a part of history after the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed that they are very close to finalizing the details of their inaugural Test match. This Test proved that a day five was needed. Cricket has been played in Ireland for almost 200 years but it was not until 1969 that they made the rest of the world game take true notice when they bowled out the West Indies for just 25 at Sion Mills in a televised match. Each competing team will play in eight series over that time, each one being played over three matches.

Shashank Manohar, the ICC chairman, said that member countries had moved with the times by accepting the need for greater context for worldwide cricket, responding to the demands of broadcasters, sponsors and fans.

Manohar congratulated ICC members for "putting the interests of the development of the game first" in an oblique reference to the leagues' long and fraught development.

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The ODI series will become a direct qualification pathway to the World Cup.

ICC member nations will be able to schedule four-day tests by bilateral agreement until the next World Cup in 2019, but playing conditions have yet to be finalized.

"Our priority was to develop an worldwide cricket structure that gave context and meaning across global cricket and particularly in the Test arena".

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"We would like to thank the Pakistan Cricket Board most sincerely for agreeing to be our first opponent in test cricket - the Pakistan team has been a regular visitor to our shores in recent years, and their agreement to be our opponent on this important occasion for Irish cricket is further evidence of their terrific support", added Deutrom.

Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom recently admitted the Test newcomers would be open to the concept, with Ireland having excelled in four-day games in the rung below Test cricket, the ICC's Intercontinental Cup. Each series is tipped to be worth 100 league points, 60 awarded to the series victor and 40 distributed on the basis of results in individual matches.

"The approval of both leagues is the conclusion of two years of work from the members who have explored a whole range of options to bring context to every game", he said.

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Numerous questions remain about how the new league structures will unfold, particularly around the fraught issue of bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan.

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