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Ireland set for Test debut

Ireland set for Test debut

Ireland captain William Porterfield says there will be a "few emotions knocking around" tomorrow and has targeted a surprise victory over Pakistan.

Despite a World Cup win against Pakistan in 2007, an even more celebrated one over England in 2011 and their elevation to full Test match status previous year, Ireland has always seen cricket very much as a minority game, way behind soccer, rugby and the traditional sports of Gaelic football and hurling.

Ford might have given Aussie-born Nathan Smith his first game of any sort for Ireland but the tall paceman, who plays in Belfast, has withdrawn with a side strain so Merrion medium-pacer Tyrone Kane is pencilled in as first change after Rankin and Tim Murtagh.

"You've got a lot of past players - some of them are here with us, some aren't, but we have to remember and recognise what they have done to get us to this stage because if it wasn't for them, and everything that they have done, we would not have been lucky enough to be taking the field, come Friday". "But it would be remiss if we didn't talk about everything that has gone before us. It is a big honour for me and my team to play this historic Test match".

"On and off the pitch, administrators and a lot of people have devoted a lot of their lives to make this happen".

Ireland have joined the sport's top table at a time when there are ongoing fears over Test cricket's standing in the game's hierarchy.

"This week is all about Test cricket but doors and the financial aspect hopefully open up with being a full member".

"They will go in as favourites but we know we've got everything we need to win a game of cricket, especially in our own conditions".

Imam, who is also the nephew of chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, said he'd be lying if he said he wasn't nervous.

Ireland was expected to enter the cricket ground in what would have deemed a historic moment in their cricketing history.

"We have already decided, we will play the same team that played against Northamptonshire", said Sarfraz.

"In my career personally, we have gone from not having ODI status to having ODI status and everything else, now we'll be going out there and playing the first Test match for Ireland", said the skipper. We've also seen that some PSL matches were held in Lahore and Karachi and were incident-free.

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