A moment in time that 11 players will never forget, but on behalf of the so many more that came before them who never had the chance. That is the message from Ireland captain William Porterfield ahead of his country's first ever men's Test Match beginning on Friday.

Winning a Test cap at 33 years of age would usually be a story in itself, but in the XI that will turn out at Malahide on Friday, Porterfield is one of a handful of anything-but-green players who will be debuting. Instead, he used his pre-Test media conference to deflect the attention away from his charges.

"It would be remiss if we didn't talk about everything that has gone before," he said as the finishing touches were being put on the Dublin ground. "Every cricketer who has played for Ireland. On and off the pitch, administrators, a lot of people have devoted a lot of their lives to make this happen, culminating with us being lucky enough at the time of our careers."

After what promises to be the game's longest cap presentation, the veteran captain is under no illusion about the nervous energy that comes with this new territory and the attention that will follow. "I am sure there will be a lot of different emotions that will flow through everyone over the next 24 hours but excitement is the main one.

"It's obviously been a long journey but in some ways a pretty quick journey as well. In my career personally, we have gone from not having ODI status to having ODI status and everything else, then now tomorrow going out there and playing the first Test match for Ireland. So yes, it has been a long banging of the drum and it is going to be a pretty special occasion."

There is an acceptance from Porterfield that the white-ball formats are more important to the progress of Irish cricket, but that doesn't diminish the importance of having the chance to turn out in the whites.

Where Full-Member status will have the biggest effect, Porterfield believes, is delivering a pipeline of international top-flight fixtures that administrators can plan for years into the future, especially the financial opportunities it opens up to invest to grow the game and bolster Ireland's fledgling domestic first-class competition.

"This week is all about Test cricket but the financial aspect that opens up with being a Full Member allows us to grow the game within Ireland and make it more sustainable and allows us to get more fixtures," he continued. "That is probably the biggest thing it brings from Cricket Ireland's point of view and Test cricket comes along with that and we are fortunate."

Turning to the task ahead, Porterfield lamented about a side strain that will prevent 22-year old Nathan Smith from making his debut. "You've gotta feel for the lad, probably going from the best moment in his career to the worst in the space of 48 hours." Craig Young, a 28-year old with 28 international starts to his name, has been called up as the replacement, but Porterfield stopped short of naming his side. That will come at the toss.

The composition of the seam attack is all-important for the hosts, with Porterfield nominating lateral movement as vital if they are to knock off the more fancied visitors. He hopes the weather forecast might help as well: "It might be at best in double figures. So, all those little factors only add to giving us a better chance of winning."

With Ireland's modest international record of late, expectations of them stunning Pakistan are suitably measured. "But we've as much chance as anyone," Porterfield said. "If we do the basics right, in our own conditions we will give ourselves a very good chance. There is a lot of experience in our line-up, exciting youth as well. So don't see any reason why not."