History was made at the Cricket Ireland annual meeting today when Aideen Rice became the first female President of Cricket Ireland.

From the YMCA club in Dublin, Aideen ends an unbroken line of male presidents since the first of the old Irish Cricket Union in 1924 when she succeeds Brian Walsh.

Hopes that Michael D Higgins, the Ireland president, would toss the coin at the start of next month’s historic Test match at Malahide against Pakistan have had to be abandoned because he will be away on business on May 11.

The president, who was present at the one-day international against England in 2013, had originally accepted Cricket Ireland’s offer but has now had to pull out.

It has also been confirmed that the Test match and Ireland’s two T20 internationals against India on June 27 and 29 will be covered live by Sky Sports.

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IT has been a frustrating week for Ireland coach Graham Ford, who saw only two days’ play out of four in the countdown to next month’s Test against Pakistan.

Ford insists there are still places up for grabs and that’s what made the loss to rain of the second day in both inter-squad trial games in Dublin so disappointing.

At least everyone had a chance to bat and bowl – some more than once, indeed Stuart Thompson batted and bowled in the same innings – as players switched sides or batted again to get the maximum benefit from the games.

Instonians pace bowler Nathan Smith impressed, taking four wickets, while Tyrone Kane went one better, including the scalps of Ed Joyce, twice, Kevin O’Brien and Ireland captain William Porterfield.

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THE first inter-provincial of the season, between Leinster Lightning and North West Warriors, gets under way on Tuesday at Pembroke with, weather permitting, two full days of action before the Ireland selectors sit down to name the 13 for the Test match.

No fewer than 17 internationals will be involved with the Warriors for the first time fielding seven, including William Porterfield and Niall O’Brien and, making his debut in a three-day game, Boyd Rankin.

All three are certainties to play in the Test, but while the first two have retired from county cricket and will be available for Warriors all season, Rankin has yet to force his way into the Warwickshire team this season, so Ireland coach Graham Ford persuaded his Edgbaston counterpart Ashley Giles to release the big pace bowler to give him valuable red-ball action.