Massive moment, says Ireland skipper Porterfield ahead of debut Test

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Pakistan are without the injured Yasir Shah for a tour where, after their match against Ireland, they will also play two Tests in England. We've never had Test cricket in Ireland before.

Ireland captain William Porterfield said it is a massive occasion for everyone involved in Irish cricket and everyone has been looking forward to this big occasion.

The 33-year-old also acknowledged the work done behind the scenes to get Ireland where they are.

"Throughout my career we've gone from not having ODI status to having everything else".

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Meanwhile, Sarfraz added Pakistan were honoured to be the Ireland men's team's first opponents at Test level.

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 Ireland guys know how to play four-day cricket, so it is not easy to beat them". "We saw that Imam was playing better, he scored two fifties in the practice matches so that's why we go with Imam-ul-Haq". "You've got a lot of past players - some of them are here with us, some aren't, but we have to remember and recognise what they have done to get us to this stage because if it wasn't for them, and everything that they have done, we would not have been lucky enough to be taking the field, come Friday". Cricket Ireland will have the ability to plan for the future and also structure their domestic circuit depending upon the demands of worldwide cricket.

"It's a very young side Test cricket is different, you need patience over here and it tests your fitness as well".

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"I think it's a great achievement for Cricket Ireland to play Test cricket and my congratulations on behalf of Pakistan". I'd like to think they'll leave Malahide, fans of Test cricket as well as ODIs and T20Is. "I'm very hopeful that I'll do well in the series". "We hope they will play good and be a very good side in future". That's probably helping the board and the biggest thing from Cricket Ireland's point of view.

Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom merely wants the historic test to be completed without any issues, although a day-long forecast of heavy rain on Friday threatens a damp start.

For Porterfield and his team-mates it promises to be an especially memorable occasion, but he was quick to pay tribute to all those who had helped make Ireland's Test debut a reality.

Rankin will become the 15th player ever and the first since Kepler Wessels 25 years ago to play Test cricket for two nations if he is picked in the playing XI. "We won't be thinking too much about that when we take the pitch", he said.

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