Ireland will be one of 13 teams which will participate in the new ODI league unveiled by the ICC in New Zealand today.

The format will guarantee the Irish cricketers regular series both home and away and follows on from their recent elevation to full member status and the scheduling of the first men's test against Pakistan for next May.

In the first edition of the League will see every entrant play four home series and four away series - each series being comprised of three ODI's. 

From the second edition of the League onwards, all teams will meet each other. 

The league will provide a direct World Cup qualification pathway when it gets under way in 2020. 

Zimbabwe was also confirmed as the host country for the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers, where Ireland will bid to qualify for their fourth consecutive World Cup - that tournament is scheduled to held next March. 

Ireland Women will also be on the qualification trail next summer as they travel to The Netherlands who were confirmed as  host of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier 2018. The 'Girls In Green' won the 2015 qualification event which was held in Thailand, beating Bangladesh in a last-ball thriller.

Meanwhile in Sylhet, Ireland Wolves have given themselves a fighting chance of victory going into the final day of their unofficial Test against Bangadesh A.

A brilliant 90 from Instonians James Shannon followed by two wickets by Andrew McBrine has left the hosts on 27 for 2 in their second innings, needing a further 105 with 8 wickets remaining.

George Dockrell and Andrew McBrine finished with three wickets apiece as the Irish wrapped up the final four first innings wickets for 15 runs in the morning session, to limit the deficit to 82 runs.

The Irish reply started badly with both Jack Tector and Andrew Balbirnie falling cheaply, but Shannon continued to play positively displaying excellent timing and placement. 

He top scored with 90 from 118 balls (7 fours, 3 sixes) before being trapped lbw by Mahadi Hasan (3-48) - one of six lbw verdicts against the visitors.

Shane Getkate (26), Stuart Thompson (21) and Sean Terry (20) all chipped in as the Irish were eventually dismissed for 213 -a lead of 131. Sanzamul Islam (5-90) was the destroyer-in-chief for Bangladesh.

Andrew McBrine struck twice in the space of three balls to give the Irish real hope, but first innings centurion Sadman Islam (14*) ensured no further damage for his team before the close.

 ‘It was great to get four wickets this morning quickly after working hard throughout the day yesterday," said skipper Andrew Balbirnie, who was quick to praise the contribution of James Shannon. "It  was brilliant to see James Shannon in the runs and the way he played on a very tricky third day pitch was superb and guided us to a lead we can defend. 

"It's a great boost for us going into the final day to get them two down early, and we'll certainly hunt for the win tomorrow."

Bangladesh A v Ireland Wolves

At Sylhet International Stadium, Day 3 of 4

Ireland A 255 (74.5 overs; Simi Singh 121, A McBrine 57) & 213 (60.2 overs; J Shannon 90, S Getkate 26, S Thompson 21, S Terry 20, S Islam 5-90, M Hassan 3-48)

Bangladesh A 337 (116.4 overs; Sadman Islam 108, Nazmul Hossain 69, Nurul Hasan 54, Yasir Ali 35, Mahadi Hasan 35; A McBrine 3-64, G Dockrell 3-90, N Smith 2-42) & 27-2 (11 overs; A McBrine 2-14)