New entrants Ireland will play their maiden Test against Pakistan on home soil next May, the country's cricket bosses announced on Thursday. Ireland and Afghanistan became full members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in June, taking the number of countries who play the five-day format of the game from 10 to 12. An agreement between the two countries was reached during the ICC meeting in Auckland this week. "We are excited to welcome Pakistan to Ireland for our inaugural Test match next year," said Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom.
"It has been our wish to make our Test debut in front of our own fans within 12 months of becoming a Test nation, and against a big team - so I'm delighted."
Pakistan's trip to Ireland will take place before their two-Test tour of England which begins in late May.
"There is a lot of work to do from now to ensure that it will be an occasion to remember but we, and I'm sure our players and fans, can't wait to rise to it," Deutrom said.
"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."
Pakistan are currently seventh in the ICC Test rankings but were top of the pack as recently as last year. The exact date and venue for the match have yet to be confirmed.