Pakistan tour possible, says Cricket Ireland chief

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When Ireland become the 11th nation to play Test cricket against Pakistan at Dublin's Malahide ground on Friday it will be the culmination of a journey that started almost three hundred years ago.

"It's always good to come and prove a point, and we're looking forward to this series".

Pakistan now sit in seventh place on the rankings, but even though they are going up against a side with no Test experience Imam pointed out that his side can not afford to underestimate Ireland.

Joyce, who has also represented England in worldwide cricket, is the most experienced Ireland player in first-class cricket, having played 254 matches, scoring 18,414 runs with 47 centuries.

I cherish that Test match and the others that followed and I don't think I'm alone in feeling that way about the longest form of the game.

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"The last practice match was very good - everything was complete, batsmen batted well, bowlers bowled well, so we are ready to play a Test match".

Imam-ul-Haq, the nephew of former Pakistan captain and chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, noted that the youngsters in the camp would have to step up and perform in the forthcoming Test assignments against Ireland and England.

"It is a big honour for me and my team to play this historic Test match - the first Test match to be played in Ireland". We are blessed in our sport to have three fantastic formats and with that comes the challenge for players of where to place their focus, but this week has reminded me of the importance of Test cricket in that mix.

"I think it's a great achievement for Ireland cricket and their cricket board to play Test cricket", Sarfraz was quoted as saying by the ICC website on the eve of Ireland's debut Test, starting on Friday in Malahide.

"It is a massive occasion for everyone involved in Irish cricket", said captain William Porterfield.

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"We played our first match against Kent and they (Imam and Sami) both played together so we saw who was playing well", added the wicket-keeper.

"Cricket is a amusing game and you can't take any side lightly", Imam said.

Earlier, the PCB made an offer to New Zealand Cricket to play one of their T20Is in Pakistan later this year.

"It's a very young side Test cricket is different, you need patience over here and it tests your fitness as well". The conditions are hard, as you see the rain and the wicket will be tough because it's early [summer] here.

"And no-one expected us to beat Pakistan (at the World Cup) in 2007 - and that went pretty well!" He maintains a decent average of 35.61, having scored 1923 runs including four tons and 11 fifties, in 36 matches so far. After all we don't work cricket, we play cricket.

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