Irish women face stiff Test from Pakistan


A significant piece of Irish cricket history will be made at Kenure in Rush tomorrow when the national women's team plays host to Pakistan for the first time. The match is the first of three one-day internationals. The second will be played on Tuesday, also at Kenure, and the final game of the series will be staged at Sydney Parade next Thursday.

The first full Test match between the two countries will then be played over five days, starting on Sunday, July 30th and ending on Wednesday, August 3rd. The venue will be College Park. Though this is the Pakistan women's team's first visit to this country, the two nations have met before, during the World Cup in India in 1997, when Ireland won. Several players who took part in that series remain in the present squad - the captain, Miriam Grealey, Barbara McDonald, Catriona Beggs, Clare Shillington, Catherine O'Neill, Heather Whelan and Clare O'Leary.

Karen Young and Aoife Budd are the only uncapped inclusions in the Irish squad, which is using the fixture as preparation for the World Cup in New Zealand later this year. On the men's cricket front, the Leinster Senior League continues apace over the weekend, with six matches today and three tomorrow. Meanwhile, Louis Hogan is stepping down from umpiring at club and representative levels next month. "Twenty years is a long time to be wearing the white coat and perhaps this is the time to go quietly before they come to take me away!" he commented.

Never, Louis, never.