Whisper it; there is a strong belief that Ireland could achieve Test nation status by June 22 but there are still "some hoops to jump through", according to Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom.
Previously, to become a full member - a current member nation would have to propose a new nation and that proposal would have to be seconded by another full member.
Following a meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday, Ireland's application will now go before a newly-created membership committee which will decide whether Cricket Ireland meet a list of various criteria.
"There's about twenty to twenty-five new criteria that have been put forward for new full members to satisfy", Deutrom told 98FM Sport today.
"That's across, of course, cricket playing in terms of - you have to have demonstrated a strong performance over a period of years, not just men but also women and across the three formats of the game.
"There's also a level of development activities which are, whether you've got player pathways, coaching education, umpire education programmes and there's stuff around governance, administration and financial sustainability.
"So the idea is let's make sure we're not going to leave those elements to chance when it comes to bringing forward new members of the game."
The committee may or may not ask Cricket Ireland to make some necessary adjustments before making their recommendation to the ICC board.
The board meets in June before their annual conference after which they will announce whether or not Ireland's application has been accepted on June 22.
If the Irish application was accepted along with Afghanistan who are going through the same process, the number of Test nations will expand from ten to twelve.
"Only nine of them would be involved in a regular league system", Deutrom clarified.
"The current discussion is that one of those [full] members, Zimbabwe, won't be part of the league and that they will play Test matches against Ireland and Afghanistan, if we are to become new Test countries.
"The benefit to that is learning the lessons of history, which is immediately putting up brand new Test countries playing against the best teams in the world is a recipe for some very one-sided matches for a number of years and a number of decades."
"We hope we'll be coming into Test cricket with some very, very good pedigree in terms of the Intercontinental Cup, in terms of the ability and the familiarity of our players with four-day cricket through the County structure and through the I-Cup and through our own domestic structures.
"But it's still I think a wise move of the ICC, if it goes through, to ensure that we have a number of years of playing bi-lateral matches without the necessity of competition pressure in a league."
To hear the full details of Ireland's next steps to full Test status from Warren Deutrom, click the podcast link at the top of the article.
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