Ireland captain William Porterfield says the Lord’s Test against England is a huge achievement for Irish cricket.
The four-day match gets under way on Wednesday at the home of cricket.
It will be Ireland’s third Test since gaining full-member status in 2017, having lost at home to Pakistan and away against Afghanistan.
“It’s right up there, if not the pinnacle for everything that’s been achieved with Irish cricket,” said Porterfield.
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He added: “Obviously we’ve got a few World Cups under our belts, but getting to Test cricket and getting the opportunity to play here at the home of cricket is a pretty special thing.
“It’s a mental test as much as anything, there is a lot of county cricket and four-day first-class experience within the side so we have all that to draw on.”
The veteran opener admits it has been difficult living with Ireland’s failure to qualify for the World Cup, but he is relishing the chance to go toe-to-toe with the newly crowned world champions.
“It was obviously disappointing, it’s not something you get over quickly,” said the 34-year-old.
“But I was delighted for Moggie [England’s Ireland-born one-day captain Eoin Morgan] and everything he’s achieved with England, that’s fantastic for them.”
Despite Ireland’s status as clear underdogs, Porterfield insists they can claim their first Test victory by beating England.
“It’s an opportunity for us to show what we can do.
“It’s 11 guys versus 11 guys. You take names and reputations out of it and take each delivery as it comes.”