Good luck to Ireland in their debut Test match

Former Kent wicket-keeper and batsman Niall O'Brien

The Sky Sports cricketing schedules have been dominated by the Indian Premier League since the tournament started just over a month ago.

Today, however, the summer’s season of Test cricket gets underway – and in historic fashion.

At 11am today, the first ball of Ireland’s debut Test match will be bowled at Malahide near Dublin.

Ireland have been a rising force in the game and are justly deserving of this opportunity to play the touring Pakistanis.

Mickey Arthur’s team began their tour of the British Isles with a warm up game at Canterbury’s St Lawrence Ground last month.

Pakistan fans photograph bowler Mohammad Amir

It is, of course, the same ground where one of the Ireland’s best ever players learned his cricket.

Wicket-keeper and batsman Niall O’Brien played for Kent from 2004 to 2006 and scored nearly 9,000 First Class runs at an average of 35.

His talents and achievements alongside those of Ed Joyce, Boyd Rankin, and the current England one-day captain Eoin Morgan, who first played for Ireland, were surely signs that the cricket of the Emerald Isle would soon be taken seriously.

It is only 12 years since Ireland played their debut one-day international against England at Stormont in Belfast.

Last year, the ICC awarded Ireland Test status alongside Afghanistan, some of whose players now feature prominently in the Indian Premier League.

Lovers of cricket can only hope that by playing the ultimate form of the game, they will both flourish and prosper at the highest level of the game.

Ahead of today’s Test, Ireland captain William Porterfield said: “We know how big an occasion it will be and what Test cricket means to every nation.

“We’re preparing to win the game – there’s absolutely no reason why in our own conditions we can’t beat Pakistan.”

And no doubt there will be a fair few England fans hoping that our neighbours across the Irish Sea will be able to give the Pakistanis a bloody nose ahead the first Test here at Lord’s starting on May 24…


  1. I know Brexit is weird, and all that … but when did they agree to move Canterbury to Ireland?
    I missed that completely!

  2. “All content must be directly relevant to the Canterbury district or have a strong and exclusive connection to the area. While issues of national importance affect the district, that by itself is not strong enough grounds for inclusion. Articles must have a local angle.”


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