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ICC gives green light to test championship, ODI league

13 October, 2017, 08:56 | Author: Leah Owens
  • Ireland and Pakistan in a one-day international in Malahide in 2016

While Ireland has only been admitted to test status this year, cricket has existed in the country since the 18th century and the national team, like its rugby union counterpart, represents both Northern Ireland and the Republic.

The test championship is planned to involve nine countries and be run over a two-year cycle, while a 13-nation ODI league would operate between World Cups and also be used to determine which teams qualify for the showpiece 50-overs tournament every four years.

According to a report published by the Independent in Ireland, a well placed source has revealed that Irish cricket officials will look to use the Auckland meeting to tie down Pakistan for the Malahide fixture.

Cricket Ireland announced on Thursday, that it had been finalised that the nation's first ever 5-day game would be played against Pakistan at home.

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Four-day Tests have also been allowed, although they will not count towards the championship as Richardson said such games are still at an experimental stage.

ICC said in a media release on Tuesday that Pakistan will play a "red ball" match against Ireland in April before their two-Test tour of England in 2018.

Pakistan were top of the test match rankings as recently as previous year before slipping back after the retirement of captain Misbah-ul-Haq and senior batsman Younis Khan. "If it was a rain-off yesterday, it would have been very disappointing so I am a fan of that".

The Test league was among a raft of reforms agreed at an ICC board meeting in Auckland, including revamping the one-day worldwide schedule and trialling four-day Tests. Members will be able to schedule four-day games by bilateral agreement and a set of standardised playing conditions will now be finalised.

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Pakistan are popular visitors to Ireland over the years with their fan support. One is also reminded of the monumental defeat of Pakistan at the hands of Ireland at the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, a point often called the turning point for Ireland Cricket.

"Test cricket is the pinnacle of our sport and I know how much this game will mean to not only the players but all involved with Irish cricket", he went on.

While the news is certainly a major moment for Ireland, it will be quite significant for Pakistan as well.

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