The next cycle of the Women's Championship could feature ten teams, with Bangladesh and Ireland joining the current eight. The ICC is exploring this possibility, with its new Global Strategy - set to be rolled out after the governing body's board meeting in October - featuring a big push for women's cricket.
The clamour for Bangladesh to become part of the Women's Championship has grown louder in recent months, particularly after they lifted their maiden Asia Cup title in June. In that tournament, Bangladesh beat two Championship teams in Pakistan and India (twice, including in the final).
"It hurts when you have to wait for your chances because you're the ninth-ranked team," Rumana Ahmed, Bangladesh's captain, had told ESPNcricinfo then. "Teams like India, Pakistan - they're in the top eight and play [ICC Women's Championship] matches all around the year. It's like you're made to feel you're not good enough, but I hope this goes some way towards changing that perception."
The matter is still under discussion, and a clear picture is likely to emerge after the October meeting, but if this move does see light, it will come as a boost for Bangladesh and Ireland, who currently negotiate with the eight Full Members to schedule tours outside the Women's Championship.
"We've got a discussion on paper [about the expansion] going into the ICC board meeting in October," Geoff Allardice, the ICC's general manager, said on Tuesday. "We'll take it up with the chief executives to discuss the structure of the Women's Championship from the next cycle. The discussion in October will be about what the future and the formats of the Women's Championship cycle will be.
"Having said that, we acknowledge the giant strides Bangladesh have taken in recent times. They are starting to emerge as a strong team and we must ensure they get every opportunity to improve. Ireland are shaping up well. One of the steps we've taken towards bringing a balance is by ensuring all T20s between teams now have international status, because this could have the potential to unlock government funding. This has now helped Thailand women make big strides in recent times."
Thailand famously beat Sri Lanka at the Women's Asia Cup in June - their first win over a Full Member - while Bangladesh recorded their first-ever wins against India.
In Ireland, meanwhile, the government has announced a funding injection of EUR 1.5 million into high performance sporting organisations in the country. This includes EUR 40,000 in new funding specifically for Ireland women ahead of their participation at this year's Women's World T20.
In line with the ICC's new vision, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is also looking to increase the country's talent pool to bring the women's team up to the standards of the top sides. Ehsan Mani, the new PCB chairman, has put this down among his priorities as the team builds towards the 2021 Women's World Cup in New Zealand.
"I was quite surprised that the pool of women cricketers in Pakistan is very small, so obviously we have to increase the pool substantially," Mani said. "One of the main things we have to focus on is that all the men's cricket associations in the country adopt women's cricket equally and develop it in every town, every region. India has done it very well, Bangladesh has done it very well.
"We are dealing with a very very small pool at the moment and this is going to be an important priority for me to develop this. We have to try and popularise the game even more in women and children. It's already popular but we have to get them to come and play."