Sport

Imam-ul-Haq set for 'dream' Pakistan Test debut

Imam-ul-Haq set for 'dream' Pakistan Test debut”

Ireland captain William Porterfield feels that their Test debut on Friday against Pakistan in Dublin is a massive moment in the history of Ireland cricket.

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

Joyce, who has also represented England in worldwide cricket, is the most experienced Ireland player in first-class cricket, having played 254 matches, scoring 18,414 runs with 47 centuries.

But that has not stopped television rights for the Test being sold to Sky Sports and RTE - Ireland's national state broadcaster - for a reported 1.8 million euros ($2.1 million), a remarkable sum for Irish cricket, with Malahide on course for a 6,000 sell-out on Friday's first day. "I'm very hopeful that I'll do well in this series", he said.

Pakistan batsman Imamul Haq, who is set to debut in Tests for Pakistan against Ireland, has drawn a lot of controversy, especially since he is the nephew of former Pakistan captain and current chief selector Inzamamul Haq.

"I think it's a great achievement for Cricket Ireland to play Test cricket and my congratulations on behalf of Pakistan". "I didn't think I would play my first Test match in Ireland, so it's different but as a sportsman you have to be ready for everything".

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Imam has already played four ODIs, scoring a century on debut against Sri Lanka previous year, and he is set to slot into the top three of the Test side.

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. "Everyone has been looking forward to this week, so it is a big occasion for all involved", the ICC website quoted Ireland captain William Porterfield, as saying. "The game is thriving, more people are playing it, more people are getting interested in it so we've got to back ourselves". "We hope they will play good and be a very good side in future".

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

Porterfield added: "It still looks like it's going to be a pretty decent wicket". We've had two very good four-day matches, the guys were working hard and talking to our batting coach.

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. "There are personal goals there, we're working on it and inshallah we'll do well".



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