Afghanistan v Ireland - the ESPNcricinfo reader

Tim Murtagh claimed the key scalp of Azhar Ali in his first over Sportsfile/Getty Images

The one-off Afghanistan v Ireland Test in Dehradun, only the second in the format for the two newest Test nations, will start on Friday, March 15. Here are some of our best pieces on the two teams.


The stirring journey of a team of nomads

Afghanistan's players have surmounted incredible odds to change the image of their country in the lead-up to their maiden Test in Bengaluru

The Afghanistan story

A visual narration of the evolution of Afghan cricket: from refugee camps to the World Cup and Test status

Mohammad Shahzad, the original Afghan superstar

You've seen his "Champyan" dance, seen him hit sixes because running is tiring, celebrate even before completing stumpings. What you've not seen is his struggle to keep doing what he has done all his life: play cricket

The grind behind Afghanistan's last-ball magic

Without nutrition on bodies bound to flag because of fasting, Afghanistan have religiously maintained admirable training regimes, and it showed


You need heart to hit sixes - Shahzad

Mohammad Shahzad talks his cricket philosophy, learning from past mistakes, and more in a candid chat with ESPNcricinfo ahead of Afghanistan's historic first Test


Kimber: After the dream, the reality for Ireland

Ed Joyce, William Porterfield and Niall O'Brien have waited most of their professional career for a chance at Test cricket: their first innings were done inside eight overs

How Ireland got their groove back

Cricket was played on the island as far back as the 1730s. How the game fell out of favour, and is now finding its feet again, is a tale and a half

The first family of cricket

Perhaps no group of siblings has done as much for cricket in their country as the Joyces in Ireland

From Joyce to Jedward

Ireland has always been a cricketing country, but now they are a Test nation