Ireland could be the beneficiaries of a proposal to create two divisions in Test cricket, which will be discussed at the International Cricket Council's annual conference in Edinburgh this month.
The ICC board will meet from 27 June to 2 July with the structure of international cricket among its top priorities, chief executive David Richardson has indicated.
Any new structure would be unlikely to come into effect until 2019 at the earliest, with details to be discussed at the conference before guidance is given by the board to its members.
Richardson said: "Unless we can give some meaning to bilateral series, beyond just the rankings and a trophy at the end, then interest in Test cricket will continue to waver.
"We have to create a proper competition structure with promotion and relegation, with opportunities to get to the top."
One possibility up for discussion is for a first division featuring the top seven teams in the world rankings playing one series each against each other over a two-year-period.
The next five teams would form a second tier, with one promotion and relegation place at the end of the two-year cycle.
That would mean an increase to 12 teams playing Test cricket, which could see Cricket Ireland's long campaign for five-day action recognised with teams such as Afghanistan and Nepal also in the mix.
Ireland are currently hoping to achieve Test status by retaining the Intercontinental Cup and competing against Test cricket's current weakest link in the first ICC Test Challenge in 2018.
There could also be the opportunity for other top associate nations to step up via promotion and relegation between the second division and the Intercontinental Cup.
Richardson said: "(Teams) will all be striving for something. They will be thinking 'We could end up in the Intercontinental Cup if we're not careful'."
He also talked of the new-look board, under chairman Shashank Manohar, seeking to "reverse the sense that the 'Big Three' are in control" - the national boards of India, England and Australia had previously pushed through a restructuring giving them significantly increased powers.
That will be on the agenda in Edinburgh as the published minutes of the ICC board's February meeting in Dubai confirmed: "The present composition of the committees will be reviewed in their entirety in June 2016."