More than 5,000 tickets were sold for Ireland’s first day of cricket but not a ball was bowled. (Reuters: Clodagh Kilcoyne)
Ireland has had a wet welcome to Test cricket with the opening day of their inaugural one-off match against Pakistan completely wiped out by bad weather.
The Irish were set to become the 11th nation to play cricket’s longest format, yet heavy overnight showers and further light rain and strong winds in the morning prevented the five-day game from starting on time.
The teams went to lunch without a ball bowled in the grounds of Malahide Castle, just north of Dublin.
The continuous steady drizzle turned to a huge downpour shortly after 2pm and the game was called off for the day after a pitch inspection less than an hour later.
The International Cricket Council awarded Ireland Test status in June last year.
Only 11 Irishmen have played Test cricket, one for Australia in the very first Test in 1877.
Fast bowler Boyd Rankin, who achieved his Test ambition for England in 2014 and returned to Ireland in 2016, is part of the golden generation of Irish cricketers who have been rewarded with places in the first Test squad.
They include 39-year-old Ed Joyce, Kevin and Niall O’Brien, Gary Wilson and captain William Porterfield.
Pakistan’s team includes leg spinner Shadab Khan, who took 10 wickets in a warm-up win over Northamptonshire.
Cricket Ireland said the abandonment of play would cost the organisation 75,000 Euros.
The ground had been fitted with temporary stands to increase capacity to 6,300, with about 5,000 tickets pre-sold for the day.
Some people took extreme measures to protect themselves from the weather. (Reuters: Clodagh Kilcoyne)