China has been granted affiliation to the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and India will take up the Asian country's case at the ICC Conclave.
"China has expressed a desire to come into the cricketing fold. Their government has approved it. They have been made an affiliate member of the ACC. We will now propose their name to the ICC for granting them affiliate membership," Board of Control for Cricket in India president Jagmohan Dalmiya said in New Delhi.
China's affiliate membership was accepted at the two-day meeting of the ACC Development Commitee that concluded in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Dalmiya, who chaired the Development Committee meeting, said the ACC had identified five "fast track" countries --Nepal, Malaysia, UAE, Singapore and Hong Kong -- for special thrust as these countries have shown a lot of improvement.
"We have decided to put a lot of emphasis in terms of extensive training and exposure in these countries. The idea is to give them the boost which will help them to qualify for the 2007 World Cup," he said.
Dalmiya said three other countries -- Thailand, Kuwait and Maldives -- were also doing well. "We will now request the ICC to make them associate members instead of affiliate members. We also have some special programmes for these countries so that they can come up".
He said the ACC, which has a budget of $ four million for 2004-05, has drawn up a detailed calendar and programme for the region.