Porterfield credits former players for Ireland's test debut

Ireland cricket team to play first test match

It doesn't matter, against Ireland or England, we have to play good cricket and that will give us confidence, and make our youngsters to do well in the England series.

Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Azhar Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Sami Aslam, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Saad Ali, Asad Shafiq, Usman Salahuddin, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali, Faheem Ashraf.

But it will be the Ireland batting which will be key to their performance, putting runs on the board to give the bowlers something to defend and having scored two centuries in his previous seven games against Pakistan, Stirling will be comfortable in the middle. "We hope they will play good and be a very good side in future".

Imam, the nephew of former Pakistan captain and current chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, has been in excellent form going into the fixture as he made 61 in the warm-up match against Kent and followed it up scores of 11 and 59 not out against Northamptonshire. Meanwhile, Joyce, who has also represented England in white-ball cricket, is Ireland's most experienced batsman with 254 first-class matches under his belt. 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.

But the 31-year-old, who made his five-day debut for England in 2010, does not believe a similarly successful outcome is essential in Ireland's first foray into Test cricket. "Everyone has been looking forward to this week, so it is a big occasion for all involved", he was quoted by ICC.

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

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Barry McCarthy, one of those unlucky to miss out on selection initially, picked up an injury in his latest county match for Durham, thus ruling him out of contention to replace Smith, Cricket Ireland said.

T20 worldwide cricket is the way we will grow the sport globally, there are more T20 domestic leagues than there are 50 over leagues so we need to grow the global game in this format, making it as easy as possible for more countries to compete.

The batsman told the Belfast Telegraph: "Hopefully we can get stuck in from ball one".

"You don't know if the toss will be crucial, if you get a couple of early wickets and put pressure on from there, there could be a few surprises, so no-one really knows what to expect".

It was a much-appreciated decision by the ICC to grant Test status to Ireland and Afghanistan, who have been the most consistent performers among the Associate Nations over the years. After all we don't work cricket, we play cricket.

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