Scotland are on course to become the next full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC), according to the chief executive of Cricket Scotland.
Malcolm Cannon says the Saltires are well placed to become the next full member of the world governing body.
Full membership of the ICC would guarantee Scotland more matches against the top cricketing nations such as England, Australia, India and South Africa.
Currently there are 12 nations who have full membership, with Ireland and Afghanistan stepping up last year.
Scotland are associate members of the ICC but the feeling is that Scottish cricket is on the rise.
Over the last 13 months the Scots have beaten four full members, including England, come so close to qualifying for the World Cup and won a Twenty20 tri-series with Ireland and Holland.
Cannon said: “It’s hard work – even convincing teams (full members) to play us can be hard work.
“Then you have the planning and organisation that goes into hosting a full member. It’s enormous and it’s a massive drain on the organisation.
“The three games in the summer (one-day international against England and two T20s with Pakistan) took a year of organisation for our small team.
“But we recognise that that is what we have to do, we back ourselves and we continue to back ourselves.
“I have total belief that we will be the next full member of the ICC.we’re not far off it now, we just need to keep doing this.
“But to keep doing it takes not only money but a hell of a lot of hard work.
“It would be absolutely enormous, it would be game-changing.
“We’ve come so far on and off the field in the last three years with the women’s performance, the men’s performance, the performance pathway, the governance of the organisation, financial stability and structures.
“We’ve completely changed it in Scotland and I believe we’ve changed it in every area for the better.
“We are behaving like full members and if we continue to behave like full members they will have no option but to give us full membership.
“It might not be round the corner – but it’s not far away.”
Full membership would also open the door for Scotland to play test cricket.
Cannon added: “The two have been de-linked, disconnected, full members are no longer required to play test cricket.
“We could play test cricket. Is it something we want to do? I think we’ve got to have the debate.
“Do we have the ability and the quality of grounds? I don’t know.
“I think Ireland have found to their cost that it’s a massive step up not only in terms of the cricket but also in terms of the requirement and cost, maintenance and ground type.
“Also it would mean we’d probably have to have a multi-day domestic set-up which currently we don’t have.
“We’re a bit away from test cricket, but we’re not far off full membership and those two are different.”