Hong Kong will be used as the base of the International Cricket Council's plan to develop cricket in China and Japan, it has been confirmed. The Australian and New Zealand cricket boards, which have been given responsibility for implementing the ICC's Asian development plan, informed Hong Kong officials that the territory should be used as a launch pad for the scheme. ACB chief executive Malcolm Speed met with Hong Kong Cricket Association officials last week to discuss the appointment of the ICC's new regional development officer for Asia. The ACB was initially believed to be in favour of basing the development officer in Melbourne, but opted for Hong Kong after lobbying from local officials. HKCA chairman Terry Smith said the search for a suitable candidate for the ICC job would begin 'as soon as possible'. A detailed development brief would also need to be drawn up, Smith added. The ICC's development committee chairman, Dr Ali Bacher, announced a push to spread the cricket gospel after last year's ICC Trophy tournament in Kuala Lumpur.