HONGKONG Cricket Association chairman Peter Slack began his second term of office last night with a pledge to step up the development of the sport within the Chinese community. The association, who appointed a development officer for the first time last season, are to begin a series of courses to increase the number of qualified coaches. And then the coaches will start to promote the game in Chinese schools to create a broader base of players in the build-up to the 1997 changeover. Following the blueprint of development officer David Wilson, Slack said he would dedicate his second term of office to the continued expansion of cricket at grassroots level. ''We are hoping to recruit people from the cricket clubs, schools and parents of young players on to the courses, which will be graded at four levels, from under-12 to senior,'' explained Slack, who was re-elected, unopposed, at last night's annual meeting of the association at the Hongkong Cricket Club. ''By the end of the year we can put out coaches into schools with no previous connection with cricket. ''If we can create interest among the Chinese children in the schools where cricket is already played - like King George V School and the Diocesan Boys' School - there is no reason why the Chinese schools cannot get involved on a similar basis. ''There was no infrastructure for this to happen before but now it is essential to extend the playing base as 1997 approaches. ''In the past the cricket association has been run by people who play cricket for people who play cricket but now it's all about development. ''We want to work with the Sports Development Board in making cricket available to everyone who wants to play.'' The coaching courses will run hand in hand with a proficiency award scheme in which youngsters can earn badges as their performance improves. Slack said the success of the first Hongkong Sixes last October had created tremendous interest in cricket in the territory. And it has led to an approach by the Beijing Cricket Club for Hongkong to stage a six-a-side tournament in the Chinese capital in either October or March next year. Hongkong plan to send two teams - an all-Chinese side and an expatriate team - to compete against the foreign embassies in Beijing. The cost of hiring the development officer, who also serves as national coach, took its toll on the association's annual accounts. For the year ending December 31, expenditure outweighed income by over $217,000, with the national coach expenses over $90,000. Income was $323,000 and expenditure was $540,000. There was a surplus for the year, however, of $286,000 because of revenue received from the ICC World Cup in Australia and New Zealand of more than $500,000. This surplus of $286,000 meant the association has funds of over $570,000. Treasurer John Holgate warned, however, that the spending must be kept in check because it would be another three years before they received any more such grants from the ICC. One major change at last night's meeting was the decision to use orange coloured cricket balls in next season's Saturday League. A number of players and umpires had complained that the traditional red coloured balls were hard to see so proposed either white or orange. It was decided that the white balls become quickly discoloured and also hard to pick out so the orange will be used as a one-year experiment.