WILLIAM PORTERFIELD: '˜Dream' first Test date against England
Ireland captain William Porterfield has described as a 'dream' confirmation of the first-ever Test meeting with England.
Porterfield and his international team-mates will perform at Lord’s, deemed the home of cricket, over July 24-27 of 2019 in a landmark four-day Test.
“It’s matches like these that players dream about – to play at Lord’s in 2017 in a one-day match was special, but to play a Test will be truly memorable,” said Porterfield, captain of both the Ireland Test and one-day teams. “Our first Test against Pakistan in May was an historic occasion but has only served to increase the players’ hunger to challenge themselves again in this arena.
“Test cricket is the pinnacle of our sport and to compete with the best you have to play the best.
“The recent release of the ICC Future Tours Programme shows that we have some world-class cricket coming our way over the coming years, and through Tests like this against England we will gain the confidence and experience to progress as a new Test nation.
“When I look around the Irish cricket scene I see a lot to be positive about. We have a core of experienced internationals, surrounded by an impressive crop of youngsters coming through the system.
“Just look at the recent Ireland Wolves tour to Scotland, the inaugural Inter-Provincial T20 Festival in Dublin and even at the Ireland Under-15s with their recent success in Middlesex. All across the board there are up-and-coming players who are now determined to push for higher honours and make a career out of cricket.”
Ireland will host England in advance on May 3 for an eagerly-anticipated one-day international.
“Coming soon after our competitive inaugural men’s Test against Pakistan in May, the confirmation of this news is incredibly exciting for Irish players and fans alike, and further demonstrates the growing status of Ireland as a front-line nation in the world game,” said Warren Deutrom, chief executive of Cricket Ireland. “In 2017 we played in front of a 25,000-strong crowd at Lord’s in a one-day international, which was a special day for Irish cricket.
“To return to the world’s most famous cricket ground only two years later to play our first Test against England will be a truly remarkable occasion and a reward for the many people on and off the field that have driven Irish cricket forward over recent decades.
“When we set our sights on Test status it was games like this that we envisioned, and we have always believed that our passionate, sport-loving island can play its part in expanding cricket’s global reach.”