Ireland tour of England: Along with Afghanistan, Ireland is the most recent team to enter the sphere of Test-playing nations. A full ICC membership was granted to Ireland on June 22nd of 2017, making them the eleventh team qualified to play first-class Test cricket. Their debut on the Test field took place in The Malahide Cricket Club Ground in May this year.
They were off to a rough start – their initial issues arising not from Pakistan but from the Dublin weather with a wet outfield. Having Nathan Smith and Barry McCarthy out of the picture due to injuries left the maiden Test team with some trouble assembling the 14-man squad, and Craig Yong had to do as a placeholder. Under Porterfield’s captaincy, the squad was composed of Andrew Balbirnie, Ed Joyce, Tyrone Kane, Andy McBrine, Tim Murtagh, Kevin O Brien, Niall O Brien, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, James Shannon, Stuart Thompson, Gary Wilson, and Craig Young.
Ireland tour of England: Other than the whole Ireland squad, Pakistan’s Faheem Ashraf and Imam-ul-Haq had their debut Test match, and they played a crucial role in netting Pakistan the match win in the long run. The match was, as forecasted, punctuated by the dismal overcast weather in Dublin, as 22 overs were lost due to rain and inadequate light. That said, the newly-formed Test team was supposed to be the underdogs next to Pakistan who rocked the same squad as their last practice against Northamptonshire, where they steamrolled their opponents, winning by the staggering margin of nine wickets. But the debutant hosts gave it they’re all, with Kevin O’ Brien taking the mantle of the player of the match, and the team’s steady bowling performance in the fourth innings, which they delivered with unflinching courage.
Kevin O’ Brien holds a crucial role in the rise of Ireland as a first-class team – the vanguard to its formation. The feather of scoring the first Test century from Ireland goes to his already-adorned hat, with stellar performances every now and then whenever he is given a platform to deliver it. The memory of the legendary 50-ball century in the 2011 World Cup still lingers, and hopefully, Kevin will continue to deliver consistently. He will definitely be one to watch out for in the upcoming fixtures.
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Ireland tour of England 2019 Schedule
July 24-27: Only Test v Ireland, Lord’s
Ireland tour of England: Ireland has come a long way from their humble beginnings in a relatively short time and deserves plaudits for their sincere effort they put in before and in the first foray into international Test cricket. Coming from a country which is relatively indifferent about their cricket team, cricket has to compete against the Gaelic passion for rugby. Long seen with the alienated tag of a ‘foreign sport’, it took years of hard work and dedication from the Irish cricket team to reorient public interest towards them even if slightly during recent years, with their brilliant performance in the 2011 and 2015 World-Cup ODIs. The full membership and Test status will go a long way in reinforcing that national interest in cricket. “It has been a long journey. But in some ways, it has been a pretty quick journey as well. Throughout my career; in the past 10-12 years, we have gone from having no ODI status to having ODI status and now having everything else. Tomorrow going out there and playing the first Test for Ireland. It has been a lot of banging the doors and it is going to be a special occasion for the XI taking part tomorrow,” a proud Porterfield had told the press on the pre-match conference before their debut Test match.
ICC’s proposed future tours programme already has Ireland scheduled to play at least sixteen international Test matchups before 2023. The most recent fixture announced is, of course, the Lords one-off Test against England. Having taken the brunt of a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Australia who took the Ashes in the 2017-18 series, England will be looking to redeem themselves and reclaim the trophy on the next Ashes, which is to take place on their home turf shortly after their fixture with Ireland. Head coach Bayliss will have a lot to work for as England will have to patch up their brittle middle-end, and definitely improve on the bowling front. On the flip side, even though defeated, Ireland had caused Pakistan to sweat in their last (and first) Test match. It is perhaps viable in England to think of the fixture as a warm-up for the Ashes, or a practice matches the bridge the gap between the big ones – ODI World Cup and Ashes, in truth the scenario might turn out to be one where Ireland will give the English a run for their money.
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Ireland tour of England: Ireland is all set for another chance at highlighting their validity as a table-climbing team, having given Pakistan a test of their potential. The four-day test is scheduled to take place July 24 – July 27th next year. Four-day tests as a format were directly endorsed by Colin Graves, chairman of ECB, and were recently greenlit by the ICC, as Zimbabwe and the Proteas revived the four-day test format in their playoff for the first time after 44 years.
As the Ireland panel decides the most optimal strategies and reassembles a squad after almost a year, the Englishment prepare with patching up the glaring issues in their batting lineup after the departure of Ben Stokes left a void they will have to work hard to fulfill. If Ireland manages to improve over their debutant Test lineup and perform better, for England the Lord’s one-off will function as a prologue to the fierce competition they will face in The Ashes. But even the Ashes will themselves act as a curtain raiser to the larger theatre that is the ICC’s new World Test Championship, to take place after The Ashes. Talks were held about the nine-team international tournament as early as 2013, but the scheme has since then suffered two setbacks, delayed till 2017, and then delayed again and pushed back to 2019. The next year will finally see the inaugural buntings as each team will play three away and three home series over a two-year cycle before the top dogs of the chart meet for a final showdown in 2021. While Ireland has not been invited, they will attempt to bolster their plays and try and ensure a higher ranking in the foreseeable future.
Pakistan tour of England 2019
Zimbabwe Tour of Bangladesh 2018