Affiliate members of the ICC's East Asia development zone and an Australian Aboriginal team may compete in a Super Eights tournament in Perth in February/March next year.

Still under consideration, the 'East Asia Championships' would see the Australian Aboriginals compete with Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, South Korea in a day time tournament.

The ICC's East Asia-Pacific Development Officer, Matthew Kennedy, said several elements in the preliminary planning of the format were consistent with the ICC's development strategy.

"Just like the Pacifica Championships, the ICC Development Program aims to expose developing/member cricket nations at all levels to competitive International cricket events in the lead up to their likely involvement in a global tournament structure from 2003 onwards."

The proposed tournament would mark the debuts of Indonesia, the Philippines and South Korea at an international tournament of this type. Japan has competed in several ACC Trophy tournaments, while Brunei was a past participant before being left out by the Asian Cricket Council due to lack of indigenous players in its national team.

Mr. Kennedy also said the initial leaning towards a Super Eights fomat was another component of the ICC's development strategy considered for the tournament.

"One of the objectives of the programme is to widen the global audience by embracing the diversity of cricket and promoting alternative versions of the game with key performance indicators including; promotion and expansion of Third Generation Games in a variety of forms."

The abbreviated forms of the game, especially the six-a-side format, are popular throughout the East Asia region, and are often the major events of the cricket calendar in these countries.

Countries yet to gain membership of the ICC such as China, Taiwan and Vietnam, will not be included due to present uncertainty over the boundaries between the Asian and East Asia-Pacific development regions. Any immediate planning involving non-members in the East Asia zone has been put on hold temporarily while the boundaries are reviewed.

Importantly, each team will be required to meet, yet-to-be-set eligibility rules to avoid teams being stacked with those with short term involvement in cricket in the respective country.