Pakistan after having levelled the high-profile Test series against England are on their Irish leg of the tour for a two-match ODI rubber at Malahide, a picturesque village ground outside Dublin.
It was drizzling on Wednesday as Pakistan practised but the locals predict a better day ahead and hope that the match will go ahead with a good crowd in.
After the Test series against England over now the baton has been passed on to Azhar Ali who is confident his team will do well.
As associate member of the ICC, Ireland played in the last three 50-over World Cups.
And Ireland skipper William Porterfield is aware of Pakistan’s ODI strength.
“Pakistan are a very dangerous team; therefore, we can’t take them lightly. It does not matter which ranking they presently hold; on their day they can be a handful,” Porterfield told Dawn on Wednesday.
Cricket is not the most popular game in Ireland but hurling and Gaelic football are. Cricket brought into Ireland by the English as far back as early 1800 also suffered a ban in the country during tenant and absentee landlord (the English) dispute near the end of that century.
The Gaelic Irish Association had put the ban on all foreign games and that lasted till 1970 before the ban was lifted. Anyone found playing cricket or a foreign game was not allowed to participate in hurling or Gaelic football.
Before the ban however the Irish national team played their first match against England in 1855 and their first against the MCC in 1858.
Meanwhile, on their arrival in Dublin on Wednesday the Pakistan squad members were invited to a reception in the evening and dinner by Pakistan Embassy. Led by their manager Intikhab Alam, the team turned up in force to be feted by the Embassy.
On the occasion, Ambassador Dr Syed Rizwan Ahmed spoke highly of their performance against England and hoped that “the team will display the same spirit they exhibited in England Test series which has made the Pakistani community so proud”.