Monday 19 March 2018

Ireland's inaugural Test match scheduled for May next year

Dublin's Malahide ground is the favourite to host Ireland's inaugural Test
Dublin's Malahide ground is the favourite to host Ireland's inaugural Test

Ireland's inaugural Test against Pakistan has been scheduled for May 11-15 at a venue still to be determined.

The dates of next year's historic fixture for Ireland - given Full Member status alongside Afghanistan in June, allowing both countries to play Test cricket - was announced at a Cricket Ireland board meeting in Dundalk.

Press Association Sport understands Malahide in Dublin is the frontrunner to host Pakistan with Stormont in Belfast and Bready in Derry/Londonderry also under consideration.

Cricket Ireland said a decision on the venue will be announced "in the coming weeks".

Stormont came in for some criticism because of a washout in Ireland's one-day international against West Indies last month, with heavy overnight rain ruining the prospect of play despite a sunny morning in Belfast.

Cricket Ireland has looked at measures to mitigate the impact of poor weather at major fixtures, including sourcing volunteers to help the groundsmen.

Chief executive Warren Deutrom said: "Our washed-out ODI against West Indies gave us much to ponder. On reflection, there is probably too much simple acceptance of bad weather affecting our games given our geography, and probably not enough being done to mitigate it.

"The fact it rained most of the afternoon and previous fortnight isn't the point, rather it was the apparent lack of resource around getting play started when it was dry and sunny - which was nothing to do with groundsman Phil McCormick, whose personal efforts were extraordinary.

"We know we are being held to a higher standard now that we are a Full Member - we need to look in the mirror on this one, and it is an area in which we have a lot of work to do."

Meanwhile, former Ireland internationals Kyle McCallan and Alan Lewis have been named as part of a six-person High-Performance Committee, with duties including overseeing selection for the men's and women's teams.

Press Association

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