Nigeria and Tanzania are to apply for Associate Membership of the International Cricket Council.
Both countries, members of the West African Cricket Association and East and Central African Cricket Conference respectively, were given approval at the recent Africa Cricket Association Annual General Meeting to seek stand alone status of the world governing body.
However, neither is likely to have their Associate Membership applications decided before June 2002.
Both countries will submit their applications for preliminary deliberation at next year's 2001 Annual General Meeting.
The ICC will conduct its standard visitation necessary for all Associate applications in the first half of 2002.
The ACA will support and advise both countries in their applications.
Nigeria's application would seem a formality, given its high indigenous participation rate.
Given the South Asian foundations of Tanzanian cricket and domination of the national team, Tanzania's application may not be as straight forward.
The West African Cricket Conference would comprise Gambia, Ghana and Sierra Leone following Nigeria's departure.
Malawi and Zambia would remain as East and Central African Cricket Association's only members should Tanzania succeed. Zambia has set 2005 as a time frame for achieving stand alone status. (Despite an internet article in 1997 indicating otherwise, Rwanda, Burundi and Mozambique are not members of the EACACA).
The meeting also heard of plans for the Africa Cricket Association to revamp itself into a stronger vehicle for the game's development throughout the continent.
It intends to meet with officials of the Asian Cricket Council to strengthen ties, seek expertise and also discuss the possibility of staging an Asia vs. Africa match to generating funds for African development.
Morocco, which has been receiving considerable financial and practical support from United Arab Emirates cricket philanthropist, Abdur Rahman Bukhatir, and Egypt, will receive visits from the ICC's Africa Development Officer, Mr. Hoosain Ayob, in the next two months.