An anxious Hong Kong Cricket Association (HKCA) is to lobby international authorities after being handed a potentially devastating eligibility snub by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). The ACC has stunned local officials by rejecting pleas to recognise Hong Kong permanent identity card holders as 'citizens' as defined by the International Cricket Council (ICC). According to the ICC, international teams must field a minimum of seven players who are either born in the country they wish to represent or who are citizens of that country. The broad ICC definition of a citizen is someone entitled to a passport of the country they wish to represent. That has caused problems for Hong Kong because SAR passports are available only to ethnic Chinese. The immediate effect of the ACC ruling is that Hong Kong have been forced to tinker with their squad for next month's ACC Trophy in Nepal, axing players from the provisional 18-man squad in favour of locally-born players. But the long-term effects of the ruling are of greater concern to HKCA officials, who are now planning to lobby the ICC for a change. 'It is not a good decision from our point of view and that is putting it mildly,' said HKCA operations manager Mark Burns. 'We spoke to the ACC secretary Saliya Ahangama and he informed us that they did not recognise permanent identity card holders. 'We've picked our squad for next month's tournament accordingly but in the long term we are going to be making a protest to the ICC, probably at next year's conference,' Burns added. 'The ruling has implications for us, particularly with the 2001 ICC Trophy in mind when the number of non-citizens allowed in a team will be cut from four to two.' SQUAD Stewart Brew (Captain), Rahul Sharma, Mohammed Zubair, Sada Hussain, Raymond Brewster, Riaz Farcy, Ravi Sujanani, Kamran Raza, Jignesh Tailor, Geoff Hurrell, Sher Lama, Bharat Gohel, Munir Hussain, Adrian Lee.