Pakistan tour possible, says Cricket Ireland chief

Kevin O'Brien hit the fastest century in World Cup history he scored a 50-ball hundred against England in the 2011 World Cup

Kevin O'Brien hit the fastest century in World Cup history he scored a 50-ball hundred against England in the 2011 World Cup

The fairytale soon became a nightmare, however, when Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer, the former England batsman who in his previous development role with the International Cricket Council had done much to raise the standard of non-Test nations, was found dead in his hotel room the next morning.

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

"I think after this Test match, more cricketers will come to play and kids will also come forward to play as well".

"Will Test cricket be the format to bring people to the sport in Ireland?".

"It is a massive occasion for everyone involved in Irish cricket., something that we have built up to for a long time, since the decision was made in June 2017 to get across the line in terms of Full Membership".

"We've got a lot of those boxes ticked off and we're confident that we can beat any nation on any given day".

It's now six north west players in the squad as Young joins, Andy McBrine, Stuart Thompson, William Porterfield, Niall O'Brien and Boyd Rankin.

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It will be a dream realised for Imam-ul-Haq, should he make his Test debut as expected this week.

Although the team which faces Pakistan at Malahide, starting on Friday, is nearly certain to include 10 players, each with at least 61 internationals under his belt, the rest of the 14-man squad are the ones who will be around for years to come.

They will be without Yasir Shah who has been ruled out of the Ireland and England tour due to a hip bone injury.

But they appear to have an able replacement in fellow leg-spinner Shadab Khan, with the 19-year-old taking a first-class career-best 10 for 157 against Northamptonshire.

"It's always good to come and prove a point, and we're looking forward to this series. I'm very hopeful that I'll do well in the series".

"We have a very good diet of multi-format cricket coming up, of which the mainstay will be the one-day global league". 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.

With Ireland also making their Test debut on Friday, Imam doesn't want to see Pakistan fall to the hosts, which shockingly occurred during the 2007 World Cup. The conditions are hard, as you see the rain and the wicket will be tough because it's early summer here.

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