China welcomed India's support in its bid to secure affiliate membership of the International Cricket Council and said it will look to have "bilateral exchanges" with India on the cricket field to give the fledgling game a boost in the country.
"We have noticed the very friendly attitude of the ICC on China's affiliate membership issue. We also warmly welcome the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) president's statement that India will propose China's affiliate membership in the ICC," Director General of China's Sport General Administration Hu Jianguo said.
"We are speeding up the preparation work for securing the affiliate membership of the ICC," Hu added.
BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya said recently that India would propose China's name for affiliation to the ICC when the game's world governing body holds its annual general meeting in London later this year.
Hu said China would seek assistance from India to train its players.
"We lack professional cricket players, coaches and umpires. We also know that India is very advanced in the game of cricket. China should learn from India not just in the field of software but also cricket," he said.
"I hope we will have more bilateral exchanges with India in the field of cricket which would help us improve our cricketing skills," he said.
"We will seek assistance from major cricketing nations to help us train our young students."
It is believed that cricket was introduced in China around 1860, but the game has been played by expatriates mainly in the Chinese capital Beijing and the communist giant's commercial hub Shanghai.
With the number of expatriates in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou growing at a fast pace, Hu hoped that the foreigners living in these cities would also help China learn the basic skills of cricket.
He said China supports further development of cricket in the country and some of the international schools in major cities have shown keen interest in developing the game.
Regarding China's affiliate membership of the ACC, Hu said the China Cricket Association, which is in the process of being established, will speed up the work and become part of the Asian cricket body at an early date.
Hu acknowledged that cricket as a sport has just taken roots in China, the world's most populous nation but efforts were on to develop the game.
However, Hu, also a member of the Chinese Olympic Committee, said all Chinese sporting bodies were currently concentrating fully on the 2008 Beijing Olympics.