Ireland will make a giant leap when they host their first ever Test match, against Pakistan in Dublin on Friday, the start of what will be a slow introduction to the longest format of the game, according to Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom.
Ireland will become the first team to debut in the test format since Bangladesh in 2000, after being awarded full member status by the International Cricket Council (ICC) last June along with Afghanistan.
The benefits of being a full member are more likely, especially initially, to be felt more keenly off the pitch though as the game seeks to earn mainstream status in Ireland.
"We have done things in the opposite way to the norm," Deutrom told Reuters in a telephonic interview from Dublin.
"Normally a game becomes a major sport in their country first and they then use that to create success on an international stage.
"But Irish cricket has become successful on the international stage initially, punching above our weight, and we are using that to hopefully become a mainstream sport in Ireland.
"Will test cricket be the format to bring people to the sport in Ireland? The answer is probably no. But we wouldn't anticipate playing more than one or two test matches at home per year, probably up until 2022. Then we can look again thereafter.
"We are adopting a less-is-more approach, to develop a brand of hosting test cricket without it becoming too financially unsustainable."
Deutrom says the ICC full member status provides certainty to the board's commercial partners, an important step forward in developing the game in the country.
ICC charge UAE-based coach with corruption approach
A United Arab Emirates-based coach has been provisionally suspended and charged with three counts of corruption, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Thursday.
Irfan Ansari, the coach of the One Stop Tourism and Multiplex team, has two weeks from May 19 to respond to the charges, the ICC said in a statement.
Ansari has been charged with making a corrupt approach to a player and for not cooperating in an investigation by the ICC's anti-corruption unit since last October.
According to media reports, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed had reported a corrupt approach made before an one-day international against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi during the same month.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi has also confirmed the approach, adding that the board had informed the ICC of the same.
Former Test cricketer Rajinder Pal passes away
Former Delhi cricketer Rajinder Pal, who had represented the country in one Test match, passed away at his Dehradun residence yesterday, family sources confirmed.
"My elder brother Rajinder Pal passed away yesterday at his Dehradun residence. He was 80 years old and is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter," his younger brother Ravinder Pal, also a former first-class cricketer said.
A right-arm medium pacer, Rajinder Pal played his only Test match against England (then known as MCC) during the 1963-64 series at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. He bowled 13 economical overs (0/19 in 11 overs & 0/3 in 2 overs) in that Test but returned wicket-less, which forced the selectors to replace him with a much quicker Ramakant Desai for the next Test match.
Incidentally, along with Rajinder Pal, the other debutant was leg spin wizard Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, who went onto have a distinguished international career.
However, it was domestic cricket where Rajinder Pal was a force to reckon with, scalping 337 wickets from 98 first class games with 23 five wicket hauls.
He served Delhi for a decade in Ranji Trophy, followed by stints for Southern Punjab (Punjab had two teams in Ranji then) and Haryana.
After his retirement, he was involved in coaching junior cricketers and settled in Dehradun.
A few months back, he came to Delhi to attend a felicitation function of former state captains organised by the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).
In the function, he regaled everyone with anecdotes of his playing days and his relationship with Tiger Pataudi.