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Ireland set for Test bow on May 11


Ed Joyce will be looking to win his first Test caps on May 11 next year. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Ed Joyce will be looking to win his first Test caps on May 11 next year. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile Sportsdesk

Ed Joyce and Niall O'Brien will be hoping to win their first Test caps on May 11 next year after Cricket Ireland yesterday confirmed the date for the start of the historic five-day game against Pakistan.

The venue has yet to be officially announced but it will be Malahide - as previously revealed in the Irish Independent - where Cricket Ireland are planning to build a national stadium.

Ireland have been eligible to play Test cricket since June when they were elevated to full member status of the International Cricket Council.

Pakistan have agreed to be Ireland's first opponents ahead of their Test series in England.

The Boys in Green are likely to become the 12th Test-playing nation, with fellow new boys Afghanistan expected to make their debut earlier next year.

Meanwhile, England remain in the dark about whether Ben Stokes will make the Ashes tour.

All-rounder Stokes will not fly out with the rest of the squad to Australia on today, having been suspended following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September.

Stokes was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and, although he was released without charge, he remains under police investigation.

The 26-year-old, who also suffered a broken finger, has not been ruled out of the five-match Test series which begins in Brisbane on November 23, but he is out of consideration for selection until further notice.

Captain Joe Root admitted he has had to plan for the eventuality that one of his star men, and vice-captain, will miss the entire tour.

"I think we've got to plan as if he's not going to be there for the whole series," said Root. "It's an ongoing investigation, we're very much in the dark about what's happening, as is everyone.

"So as a side we have to make sure we plan accordingly and approach this as our squad."

Irish Independent

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