BCCI secretary Jay Shah was unanimously elected as the president of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday, a development hailed by his colleagues in India.
The 32-year-old replaces Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) chief Najmul Hasan Papon.
While addressing the AGM, Shah said: “Formed with a view to organise, develop and promote the sport in the region, the ACC has steadily grown in stature.”
“The ACC continues to foster healthy rivalry among some of the biggest cricket playing nations while it also takes the sport deeper into the smaller pockets. We must remain committed to this cause and ensure there is an all-round development in the region,” he added.
Shah said the challenge facing the cricket boards at the moment is the resumption of women’s and age-group cricket.
“The pandemic has posed enormous challenges but history has shown that innovation often arises in periods of adversity and we must adapt and innovate to stay ahead,” Shah said.
“While I have noticed that most Boards have again started their cricketing operations with their senior team, the challenge still remains with women’s cricket and age-group cricket.
“The ACC has done pioneering work in both women’s cricket and age-group with the multiple tournaments it conducts across the year and we must build on this,” he added.
The AGM was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, vice-president Rajeev Shukla and treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal congratulated Shah and wished him success.
“We have worked closely, and I am well aware of his plans and vision to develop the game of cricket,” Ganguly said in a BCCI release.
“I have personally experienced the zeal with which he worked to bring a turnaround in Chandigarh, Uttarakhand and North-eastern states in setting up the cricketing infrastructure and setting up the ecosystem.
“It is definitely a challenging phase, but I am confident he will successfully navigate the challenges posed by the virus. The BCCI will extend every help and will play a big role in rebuilding and restructuring of the cricketing activities in Asia,” Ganguly added.
ACC is responsible for organising the Asia Cup tournaments. The 2020 edition of the Asia Cup was postponed to June this year because of the pandemic. Pakistan was to originally host the tournament but it is now expected to be held in either Sri Lanka or Bangladesh.
“Young administrators have new ideas and fresh vision and the ACC is in safe hands under Mr Jay Shah’s leadership. I admire Jay’s work ethics. He is someone who puts attention to detail and takes great interest in developmental activities,” Shukla said.
“The ACC currently needs strong leadership to overcome the hardships faced by everyone in 2020 and Jay and BCCI will play a mentoring role,” he added.
Treasurer Dhumal also lauded Shah’s election to the top post of the continental body.
“Being the youngest president of the ACC speaks volumes of his passion. The ACC is in need of a strong leadership and he is definitely the right person to take charge.
“The BCCI in the past has always stood by Member Boards and will continue to play an important role,” Dhumal said.