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  1. #1
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    Pakistan confirmed as Ireland's first Test opponents

    IRELAND’s first Test match will be on home soil against Pakistan in May, following an agreement between the two sides reached during the International Cricket Council meeting in Auckland this week.

    Ireland and Afghanistan were given Test status in June when they became the 11th and 12th Full Members of the ICC and Cricket Ireland has since been looking for the right opponents for an historic first match.

    “We are excited to welcome Pakistan to Ireland for our inaugural Test match next year,” CEO Warren Deutrom said. “It has been our wish to make our Test debut in front of our own fans within 12 months of becoming a Test nation, and against a big team - so I’m delighted.”

    Pakistan certainly fit the bill as a team who were top of the Test match rankings as recently as last year before slipping back after the retirement of captain Misbah-ul-Haq and senior batsman Younis Khan.

    "There is a lot of work to do from now to ensure that it will be an occasion to remember but we, and I’m sure our players and fans, can’t wait to rise to it,” Deutrom added.

    "We would like to thank the Pakistan Cricket Board most sincerely for agreeing to be our first opponent in Test cricket – the Pakistan team has been a regular visitor to our shores in recent years, and their agreement to be our opponent on this important occasion for Irish cricket is further evidence of their terrific support.”

    Irish captain William Porterfield welcomed confirmation of the match saying: "It's fantastic news for Irish cricket. It's going to be a bit special and it's always great to be a part of history.

    "There's a special affinity between ourselves and Pakistan going back to the 2007 World Cup and they've been regular tourists here over the past decade.

    "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. It'll be another step on what has been an incredible journey for our sport in a relatively short passage of time.

    "It's sure to be an incredible and emotional experience for all involved. I know how much this will mean to all the players and just how much we all will forward to our dream of being Test cricketers realised. I'm certain there will be an incredible atmosphere from both sets of fans who will be keen to witness a piece of history."

    The exact date in May and Irish venue for the five-day Test has yet to be confirmed, but a final decision on both will be announced in due course.

  2. #2
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    Hope it will be a well attended historic match.

  3. #3
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    Hopefully it's late May and my exams are done by then, I'll go over and hang out with @Donal Cozzie

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
    Hopefully it's late May and my exams are done by then, I'll go over and hang out with @Donal Cozzie
    Can I come


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

  5. #5
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    Congrats @Donal Cozzie big moment for Irish cricket, I hope the weather holds up but am not sure what it's like during a May in Ireland


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

  6. #6
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    I have a bad feeling about this Test match. If Ireland makes a green wicket with overcast wet-tish conditions, Pakistan could look like a rabbit caught in the headlights. Wouldn't rule out an Ireland win if those are the conditions. Plus we've known to be gracious people. Handing wins to minnows when they need them.

  7. #7
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    Who are all the teams that have won their first ever test match and will be joined next year by Ireland??

  8. #8
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    Good news for Irish cricket

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    Can I come

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by shariqnoor View Post
    I have a bad feeling about this Test match. If Ireland makes a green wicket with overcast wet-tish conditions, Pakistan could look like a rabbit caught in the headlights. Wouldn't rule out an Ireland win if those are the conditions. Plus we've known to be gracious people. Handing wins to minnows when they need them.
    Luckily Ireland don't have the bowlers to take advantage of such conditions.

  11. #11
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    Finally BD can become the second worst test team in the world

  12. #12
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    Another opportunity for Mickey to lose to a minnow


    #Mein inko rolaonga

  13. #13
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    Good news for Ireland and good match practice for Pakistan before we take on England.

  14. #14
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    Pakistan should have declined the invitation we will gain nothing in fact its a banana skin hopefully it will be rained off


    Quote Originally Posted by Arsal_AK View Post
    If Hafeez can get two hundreds in a game anyone can.

  15. #15
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    Will be a historic occasion if hopefully the weather stays clear. Cannot afford any complacency or thinking Ireland are just preparation for the England tour - we all saw what happened on a greentop in the 2007 WC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Syed1 View Post
    Another opportunity for Mickey to lose to a minnow
    A friendly reminder that your Pep Guardiola of cricket Waqar shelled an ODI to Zimbabwe in a match where we were 76-6 only two years ago.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syed1 View Post
    Another opportunity for Mickey to lose to a minnow

    It will also be on Sarfrazs record just like anytime we lost to a minnow under Misbah.

  17. #17
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    I bet @Donal Cozzie stopped following Cricket like 99% of the Irish.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    Will be a historic occasion if hopefully the weather stays clear. Cannot afford any complacency or thinking Ireland are just preparation for the England tour - we all saw what happened on a greentop in the 2007 WC.



    A friendly reminder that your Pep Guardiola of cricket Waqar shelled an ODI to Zimbabwe in a match where we were 76-6 only two years ago.
    Didn't know we were paying Mickey a bucket ton of money to be as bad as Vicki


    #Mein inko rolaonga

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syed1 View Post
    Didn't know we were paying Mickey a bucket ton of money to be as bad as Vicki
    Mickey replaced him so it is natural for him to be compared to his predecessor. However, I agree that it is pointless to compare a professional coach to a P.E. Master with fake British accent.

  20. #20
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    We might just end up losing lol.


    A skilled hawk conceals its talons.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Destroyer View Post
    We might just end up losing lol.
    Will probably get rained-off!


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafa View Post
    Hope it will be a well attended historic match.
    And without any nepotism.

  23. #23
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    Good news all round.

  24. #24
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    Will be a rain affected draw which means Pak will lose points.

  25. #25
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    Ireland hopeful of playing return series in Pakistan, provided security situation remains stable

    http://www.cricketeurope.com/DATABAS...8/004849.shtml


    See You Space Cowboy....

  26. #26
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    Dates confirmed for Ireland's first Test match in 2018

    Ireland will play Pakistan on 11-15 May next year in their inaugural Test match with the venue still to be confirmed.

    It was known earlier this month that the historic game was pencilled in for May 2018 and Cricket Board Ireland has now announced the five days of play.

    Malahide in Dublin is favourite to host the game but Belfast ground Stormont has also hosted internationals.

    Cricket Board Ireland said on Friday that the venue will be confirmed in the "coming weeks".

    Ireland and Afghanistan were given Test status in June when they became the 11th and 12th full members of the ICC.

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/cricket/41777683


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  27. #27
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    Cricket Ireland faces several off-field challenges ahead of first Test match

    In six months' time Ireland will become the 11th nation to play Test cricket, a long-coveted prize that brings with it administrative and financial challenges not seen since rugby union turned professional.

    On May 11 next year at around 11am, weather permitting of course, Pakistan will be on hand to welcome the format's first new arrival since Bangladesh were invited to the top table in November 2000.

    It will be a cause for great celebration for fans and players on the island and the culmination of years of diligent work - with behind-the-scenes politicking and unimpeachable on-field progress playing an equal part over the years.

    But before that happens, a Stakhanovite workload awaits those at the helm.

    Warren Deutrom is the chief executive of Cricket Ireland and a major factor in the advancement of a cause which has gone from fanciful to optimistic to achievable and finally inevitable in a decade.

    As well as leading the organisation, Deutrom is effectively HR manager, in-house lawyer and head of corporate affairs. He estimates performance director Richard Holdsworth's role overlaps with the work of five people at the England and Wales Cricket Board.

    "We are going through a huge, huge process of transitioning from associates to full membership. It's going to be a finger in the air exercise to some extent... we have an extraordinary dearth of people," Deutrom told Press Association Sport.

    "To satisfy all the requirements we would have next year - working on a proper interprovincial structure, more support for our women's teams and grassroots, coach development, investment in facilities, identifying and commercialising our fixtures for the next four to five years, hosting a Test match - we would need 14-15 million euros. We're likely to turn over around 8million and the exchange rate of Dollars to Euros means we're getting less from our ICC distribution.

    "We might be facing a unique set of challenges," he said. "The only thing I am aware of on this scale in Ireland would be the transition from amateur to professional in rugby union.

    "I suspect that was comparable to what we're doing but rugby was already ingrained in our national psyche, it was an established mainstream sport in the way cricket is only aspiring to be."

    Also on the list of priorities is a new headquarters.

    "We haven't got any more room...we've already knocked through into next door and you can't keep knocking holes in walls forever," he added.

    Deutrom is also pragmatic enough to know cricket will not be knocking holes in the established structure of Irish sport anytime soon. Among team pursuits rugby, football and Gaelic sports are untouchable, with horse-racing and golf also boasting a large, devoted following.

    The goal is to join them.

    "What are the measure to become mainstream? I've talked about cultural ubiquity: our own tab on the news sites, on TV regularly, pundits on the radio," he said.

    "There's not many sports that can attract 10,000 people to a game as we can and we're already the country's second biggest sport in terms of social media following. That could be damn lies and statistics but it seems a relatively solid measure, given we've never been certain of our fixture list before."

    Many fans will be desperate to know when England will face their neighbours in Test cricket. It was once expected they would be the side to welcome the boys in green to life in whites, but Deutrom is applying light-touch diplomacy on that score.

    "It would be crazy to put a public megaphone to their ear and say 'it's outrageous they're not playing us'," he said.

    "We know their schedule is among the busiest in world cricket but there is a human side to everything and is there a natural kinship between England and Ireland? Yes. I think there is a real willingness to get it done but that doesn't lessen the challenge of a very busy calendar."

    For now though, all eyes are on Pakistan in May.

    "We have a mountain to climb, and there will be bumps in the road, but let's not lose sight of what has been achieved by Irish cricket."

    https://www.independent.ie/sport/cri...-36308345.html


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  28. #28
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    Dedicate it to bob ‘Sufi’ Woolmer

    Hopefully Mohammed Amir and Azhar Ali are back in form by then


    "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles"

  29. #29
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    Good luck to Pakistan and Ireland for this historic match.


    Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

  30. #30
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    MALAHIDE TO HOST HISTORIC IRELAND TEST AGAINST PAKISTAN

    Cricket Ireland have confirmed Malahide will be the venue for the inaugural Test match against Pakistan in May next year.

    “We are delighted that Malahide has agreed to host this historic game against Pakistan," said Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom.

    "Even in its short history of hosting our matches, the club has already given us some wonderful memories, and we trust that May 11th and its ensuing days will provide many more.

    "We would like to thank the club’s members for their continuing hospitality.”

    Malahide Chairman Ciaran Keohane was clearly delighted that his club would be hosting the first blue riband match of the 2018 calendar at the picturesque venue.

    "Malahide Cricket Club is delighted to host the Inaugural Test Match in Ireland. We are looking forward to welcoming both teams to The Village.

    "This is a great showcase not only for Irish cricket, but for Malahide and the wider Fingal area."


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  31. #31
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    I hope we thrash them in their first match.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arsalan Pro View Post
    I hope we thrash them in their first match.
    So do I, would love to rain on their parade.

  33. #33
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    I dont really know why but I've noticed a serious amount of bitterness towards the achievements of the Ireland team on this forum in the past two years or so.

    I get from a Pakistani perspective the 2007 game will always carry emotion, but its a tad disappointing to see so much ill will towards a group of players who have been an immense credit to their country and the Associate game for a decade, only for people to gleefully jump in when the performances and form start to dwindle to the extent people seem to have forgotten just how far this team have come on a shoestring budget, with zero ICC support (until now) and a criminal lack of games until 2016.

    .


    See You Space Cowboy....

  34. #34
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    IRELAND’S HISTORIC FIRST Test match against Pakistan this summer is on course to be a sell-out, but it won’t be broadcast live on terrestrial television despite considerable interest from overseas.

    Cricket Ireland has reported strong ticket sales three months in advance of the inaugural five-day match on these shores and as anticipation builds, the organisation is looking to maximise every potential revenue stream.

    Barry McCarthy Members of the Ireland squad at Malahide Castle yesterday.
    Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

    The construction of a temporary 10,000-seater stadium at Malahide, which includes changing rooms, corporate hospitality and media facilities, is expected to cost in the region of €450,000 while the overall running cost of a Test match is close to €1 million.

    While ticket sales and hospitality packages will foot some of the bill, the process of tendering television rights both to the domestic and overseas markets, as well as securing commercial deals such as in-ground naming rights, are key off-field targets in the build-up to a historic summer.

    Event management company Pitch International are currently engaging with potential broadcasters on behalf of Cricket Ireland with a view to selling the live television rights around the world, and with several interested parties, an announcement is expected in due course.

    But the visit of Pakistan between 11-15 May will not be carried live on Irish domestic television with both RTÉ and TV3 yet to express an interest which means either Sky Sports, BT Sport or eir Sport are likely to acquire the rights for the UK and Ireland region on a pay-per-view platform.

    Cricket Ireland are hopeful of securing a deal with an Irish free-to-air channel to show a daily highlights package, but as of yet the national broadcaster hasn’t shown any interest in providing cricket coverage with BBC Northern Ireland the most likely candidate.

    “The Test match will definitely be broadcast as there is very, very strong interest from overseas, including Pakistan,” Dennis Cousins, Cricket Ireland commercial director, told The42.

    “In terms of terrestrial TV in Ireland, that’s just not going to happen for us in terms of live coverage. Let’s be honest, RTÉ are never going to free up the schedule for five days to show a Test match or even a Twenty20.

    “What we’ll be hoping for over time is to get some sort of highlights package on domestic TV and as the sport grows here, that’s a point we’re trying to get to. You’d hope they [Irish broadcasters] would look at that as we’d like to see it happen and it’s high up the agenda for us.”

    While the sale of television rights will be finalised closer to the time, Cricket Ireland is in the final stages of closing out deals for in-ground sponsorship for both the Pakistan Test and Twenty20 series against India in June.

    That process will see the title sponsorship rights being sold to an Asian-based sports agency, who will then in turn distribute advertising space to different companies in Pakistan and India, as was the case for last summer’s triangular series involving Ireland, Bangladesh and New Zealand in Malahide.

    As for the ticket sales, nearly 4,000 have been pre-sold for the first two days of the Test match while all corporate hospitality tickets for the opening day have been sold, with Cricket Ireland set to transform Malahide into an international venue again much like it was for the visit of England in 2013.

    “We’re hoping to have in or around 10,000 for each of the first two days,” Cousins continued. “A lot of people want to be at it because it’s a piece of history and we’re really confident of a big, big crowd.”

    Additionally, the two T20s against India at Malahide on 27 and 29 June are on course to be sell outs with 5,000 tickets pre-sold already, just two weeks after the fixtures were confirmed.

    The added interest from spectators has also been complemented by further engagement from perspective commercial partners — both from home and abroad — since Ireland’s ascension to full membership and Test-playing status of the ICC.

    “There’s definitely more interest,” Cousins explained. “The platform is now much bigger, and there’s more visibility — but just because you have Test cricket doesn’t mean the phone is going to start ringing the next day.

    “We’ve had quite a lot of interest from Asia as large Indian companies are interested in match sponsorship rights and we’ll make an announcement on that soon.”

    http://www.the42.ie/ireland-pakistan...16966-Jan2018/


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  35. #35
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    With pakistans flimsy batting line up, early year weather conditions in ireland we could see a shock win for ireland in their debut test match.

  36. #36
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    I think it will be a well-fought match but I feel either side may just squeeze a victory.

  37. #37
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    There's no way they'll be able to bat against Hasan Ali and Mohammad Amir with a red ball on a green pitch.

  38. #38
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    When is this happening? April?


    You gotta work until your idols become your rivals.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by aloo paratha View Post
    There's no way they'll be able to bat against Hasan Ali and Mohammad Amir with a red ball on a green pitch.
    Hasan, yes.


    You gotta work until your idols become your rivals.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdul View Post
    When is this happening? April?
    May 11.


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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    May 11.
    Well, something at last.


    You gotta work until your idols become your rivals.

  42. #42
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    If this is happening before the England test tour, then I am fine with it t. Good for the Pakistan to play in wet seaming conditions.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdul View Post
    Hasan, yes.
    I know Mohammad Amir is pretty poor, but I'm sure he can take wickets against Ireland at least.


    Does cricket survive off of it's money or does it survive for it's money?

  44. #44
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    AS THE ARCTIC wind penetrated the January air, and Malahide Castle and Gardens was littered with woollen-dressed walkers, the idea of Test match cricket and a bright new dawn could not have felt any further away.

    Cricket grounds can be forlorn places in the depths of winter, and even the venue which will play host to Irish sporting history in three short months is not exempt, with Malahide barely recognisable under an early-morning mist.

    As winter turns to spring, work will begin on transforming the idyllic village ground into a purpose-built international stadium which will provide the setting for a momentous occasion as Ireland make their first foray into the Test arena against Pakistan.

    For so many involved in the sport on this island, and indeed those who previously laid the foundations, it will be the most fulfilling, yet surreal, of days just a decade on from the indelible victory over Pakistan which initiated this remarkable journey to the top table.

    No one has played as significant a role as Ed Joyce, and two decades on from his Ireland debut, against Scotland at a club ground in 1997, he — like so many others — is on the verge of realising a childhood dream.

    It’s no secret that the curtain would have long fallen on Joyce’s pioneering career had Test match cricket not been around the corner, but that’s not to say the 39-year-old is clinging on to bow out on the grandest of stages.

    You’ll find few who argue against the assertion that Joyce remains the key cog in Ireland’s batting wheel and certainly his sixth ODI century earlier this month against United Arab Emirates is evidence of his enduring worth.

    But a long career, spanning over two decades and including four years in England colours, has taken its toll over the last number of years, with debilitating knee and hip problems forcing him to end his time in county cricket to scale back his workload.

    His right knee required surgery at the end of 2016 and even last summer — at which stage he had returned to live in Dublin having taken a considerable pay-cut to sign a central contract with Cricket Ireland — there was still a great deal of uncertainty over whether he’d be fit enough to play on into 2018.

    “The knee isn’t great, lots of other things are hurting, and my body is telling me to stop,” the Bray native said last June, and there were further concerns when he missed the pre-Christmas series against Afghanistan in India.

    But that May Day has focused Joyce’s mind, and the prospect of taking to the field on a historic occasion, has made the painful rehabilitation work a little more bearable.

    Ireland’s long-serving figurehead is soldiering on.

    “Playing in that Test is the only thing keeping me going,” he says.

    And now it’s within sight. Pakistan. Malahide. Test cricket. The holy grail.

    On the back of his match-winning century in Dubai a fortnight ago, Joyce is feeling as fit and fresh as he has in quite some time and there is a real sense of enthusiasm and excitement when he looks ahead to a busy schedule.

    “The knee wasn’t great a few months ago but I started doing pilates and has actually really helped,” he explains.

    “I felt it getting worse and worse last year again and trying to strengthen up the muscles around the knee was proving difficult. Pilates has really helped and I went away on this tour to UAE and it went really well, felt really good and felt somewhere back to 2015 when it was still a bit sore but could get through it and perform.

    “I’m feeling a lot more comfortable in my body, and because of that I’m looking forward to the cricket a bit more. I’ve gone on record by saying if the Test match wasn’t there I might have stopped already and that’s still true, but I’m feeling a lot happier about playing cricket this year. A lot of stuff to look forward to too.”
    Encouragingly, Joyce was yesterday named in Graham Ford’s squad for the World Cup qualifying tournament to take place in Zimbabwe in March and he will again be crucial to Ireland’s hopes of booking their place at a fourth successive World Cup.

    The task has been heightened significantly with the ICC’s decision to reduce its showpiece event in England in 2019 to a 10-team tournament, with Ireland set to vie with West Indies, Afghanistan, Netherlands and hosts Zimbabwe among others for the two remaining qualification berths.

    Ireland will finalise preparations with a training camp in South Africa, where four warm-up games have been scheduled, before facing the possibility of nine make-or-break games in the space of three weeks.

    The congested and intense nature of a tour will be a firm test of Joyce’s fitness and how he and the coaching staff manage his workload — both on the field and in training — will be a crucial factor in getting the best out of him with the bat.

    “I’m going to Zimbabwe to play every game but if there’s a situation where it’s sore for one game and we feel I should miss that one and manage it day-to-day then so be it,” he continues.

    “But I’d be hopeful of getting through every game out there and being able to perform.

    “It is about managing it but I’m feeling a lot more positive. I feel good and because the knee is feeling good I’ve actually been able to practice properly. That was probably the biggest thing for me when the knee wasn’t good, I wasn’t able to practice properly and therefore you can’t be in as good as form as you’d like to be in.

    “I’ve been able to bat for a long time in the nets and actually work on things and get a lot of volume in which I haven’t been able to do previously. I feel like I’ve hit enough balls and prepared well and mentally I’m in a good place going into games.”

    It also helps when the team appear to have turned a corner following a difficult 18 months under John Bracewell, with Ireland winning their last six ODIs before and after Christmas.

    New head coach Ford is still settling into the role but certainly the early signs leave huge grounds for optimism heading into the World Cup qualifiers, with the bowling attack producing far more accurate and consistent displays and the likes of Joyce providing solid platforms with the bat.

    “I feel very positive about the next few months,” Joyce adds. “I’m looking forward more to the Zimbabwe trip as it’s such a big tournament because the last couple of years in ODI cricket we haven’t played well but then it looks like the team has turned the corner.

    “Rob Cassell [bowling coach] has done wonders with the bowling unit, we have a lot more variation. We seem to have moved on in terms of accuracy and hopefully we can bring that into the qualifiers. I feel like the team is in a better place and because of that I think everyone is a bit more positive about it.”

    While the World Cup qualifiers are the primary focus, 11 May is a date ingrained in everyone’s mind, even yesterday when Cricket Ireland unveiled its first Test kit.

    But for Joyce, he can’t afford to look even that far down the line as he manages his knee on a day-to-day basis while at the same time appreciates knows the significance of the forthcoming tournament, even if he’s unlikely to be around in 2019 for the World Cup should Ireland make it that far.

    “I’m looking to play the Test match and make a decision after that,” he says of his future.

    “We’ve got the next three or four months, and I’m going to really put everything I have into those few months and hopefully, the team does well as well and then see where we stand after the Test match.”
    It’ll be a special moment.

    “Looking back, I played my first game for Ireland back in 1997 and I never thought we’d be anywhere close to playing Test match cricket in my lifetime, let alone still being able to play,” Joyce adds.

    “It’ll be a very proud moment for me personally but it’ll just be a momentous day for Irish cricket considering where the sport was and where we’ve got to in the last decade. It’s an incredible achievement.”

    105 days and counting.

    http://www.the42.ie/ed-joyce-ireland...17659-Jan2018/


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syed1 View Post
    Another opportunity for Mickey to lose to a minnow
    Best captain since Imran Khan

    He will be bashed the most if PAK lose this test match, not Micky.

  46. #46
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    Pakistan should win this easily.

    Pakistan should look to play three Test series.

  47. #47
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    So India will face Afghanistan in their debut test and Pak will face Ireland.

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