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Playing at 'the home of cricket' is a pretty special thing, says William Porterfield
Ireland News

Playing at 'the home of cricket' is a pretty special thing, says William Porterfield

William Porterfield has termed his side's Test clash against England on Wednesday as the "pinnacle" of Irish cricket.

This is only Ireland's third match in the longest format, two years after they were awarded Test status alongside Afghanistan.

While Ireland are yet to get off the mark in Test cricket, their presence at Lord's symbolizes the amount of progress achieved over the years.

Porterfield dubbed the Lord's Test a special occasion for his team, ranking it above Ireland's past appearances at the World Cups.

"We have got quite a few World Cups under our belt, little things like that. They have been pretty big occasions, but getting to Test cricket and then having the opportunity to play here at 'the home of cricket' is a pretty special thing," he said on the eve of the match.

"We had a taste of it a couple of years ago with the one-dayer here... It's going to be a pretty special moment."

It will be a homecoming of sorts for the opening batsman who at one time served as a member of the Marylebone Cricket Club's Young Cricketers scheme.

"We used to have to dish out the programmes in the boxes and stuff every morning, so little bits and pieces that you have to do," the 34-year-old said.

"It's going to be slightly different being on this side of the fence."

'It's just 11 guys against 11 guys'

Ireland are fancying their chances of causing a mighty upset considering England will be drained from all the celebrations following their dramatic World Cup final win at the same venue on July 14.

England will also be testing fresh faces in the one-off encounter with the star duo Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler being rested by the team management.

"It's 11 guys against 11 guys, it's bat against ball. You take names, reputation, everything out of it," he said.

Having featured in three World Cups already, Ireland failed to qualify for the tournament this time around and Porterfield admitted it hurt his teammates.

"It was disappointing that we didn't make the cut," he said.

"From a personal point of view, I was delighted for Moggie [Eoin Morgan] and everything that he's achieved with England. That's fantastic for him and they deserve all the plaudits that they get.

"But it (the Test) provides an opportunity for us now to get out and show what we can do."

Porterfield said he understood England's decision to rest some of their key players for the four-day Test after an absorbing six-week cricket extravaganza of the highest quality.

"They (England) have just come off seven or eight weeks of tough World Cup cricket. I don't think they're in any way taking anything lightly."

The Ireland skipper also believed the idea of holding four-day games instead of the traditional five-day format could add much-needed flair to Test cricket.

"It's a good initiative. You are still making up time with 98 overs (per day).

"I think that the pace at which some Test matches are played at these days anyway, it might be a good thing for the game as well."