Ireland will play their first ever Test match against Pakistan on home soil next May, the country's cricket chiefs announced on Thursday.
Ireland and Afghanistan were granted full Test membership rights after years of lobbying in the Annual General Meeting of the ICC in London earlier this June.
A genuine Test match world championship and an ODI league will be introduced to global cricket after both were given in-principle agreement by the ICC Board on the final day of the governing body's meeting in Auckland.
The ICC will also establish a 13-nation one-day worldwide league starting in 2020, with results counting towards World Cup qualification. "I would like to congratulate our members on reaching this agreement and putting the interests of the development of the game first", he said.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) are awaiting approval for the four-day, day/night fixture, which would also be their first home "pink ball" Test.
Cricket Ireland has five provincial unions - the newest, for the western province of Connacht, was founded in 2010, the first founded in more than 60 years, with nine teams involved. "Four-day Tests will also provide the new Test playing countries with more opportunities to play the longer version of the game against more experienced opponents, which, in turn, will help them to hone their skills and close the gap with the top-nine ranked teams".
While Ireland is still to have their Test debut and Pakistan has an upper hand of more than half a century in experience, the single game could prove a challenging one for Pakistan.
"Test matches have witnessed a decline in attendances in recent years, throwing the door open to a number of means to engage fans, including the introduction of day-night Tests".
"Throughout the discussions about the future of Test cricket it became clear. we must also consider alternatives and trial initiatives that may support the future viability of Test cricket", he said. But squabbling over formats, and fears that some nations will be disadvantaged, have twice stymied efforts to launch a league structure since 2010.
A 13-team ODI league, introduced from 2021, will now be used to qualify for the World Cup.
Namibia have been confirmed as the host of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 in February 2018 whilst the Netherlands have been approved as the host of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 Qualifier 2018.