Imam ready to shine in 'dream' Test debut

Ireland defeated the Windies in a group stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Growing up and hoping to emulate his uncle, former Pakistan captain and now chief selector, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Imam wanted to play Tests for his country - even if he did not expect his first to be in Ireland, reported Cricinfo. 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.

Imam-ul-Haq is set to make his first Pakistan Test appearance.

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. "It's the first Test match in Ireland and everybody will definitely be watching it", he said.

Craig Young, the 28-year old Bready man who debuted for the national side in 2013, has been called into the squad as cover for Smith and will join his teammates for Thursday's training session.

"I think it's a great achievement for Cricket Ireland to play Test cricket and my congratulations on behalf of Pakistan".

It will be a very special day for everyone connected with the game in Ireland and the fruition of a long-term ambition to play Test cricket.

"We know how big an occasion it will be and what Test cricket means to every nation", said Porterfield.

"We are very happy to play a historic Test match in Ireland and hopeful to have a good match - our preparations have been very good", he said.




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

"Cricket is a amusing game and you can't take any side lightly", said Imam."We have to do our best, and we have to prove a point and win the game".

"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", he added.

Earlier, the PCB made an offer to New Zealand Cricket to play one of their T20Is in Pakistan later this year.

Only Australia, in the first ever, has won their debut Test but, according to Stirling, "you never know, you need a few things to go your way but you always think you are going to win games".

The opening batsman added: "We're obviously pretty excited". We've also seen that some PSL matches were held in Lahore and Karachi and went off well.

"We've been working hard, as a subcontinent nation it's difficult to perform over here in England and Ireland". After all we don't work cricket, we play cricket.

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