Jay Shah 20191014
Jay Shah (right) took over as the youngest President of Asian Cricket Council (ACC) in their virtual AGM on Saturday. Image Credit: GN Archive

Kolkata: The fate of the Asia Cup, one of the premier multi-nation white ball cricket events postponed last year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, will be the first major challenge for Jay Shah - the newly appointed President of the Asian Cricket Council. Shah, secretary of the Indian cricket board, became the youngest head of the Asian body at 32 when he was Saturday elected following a virtual AGM.

The Asia Cup, hosted rotationally by the full members of the continental body, is due to be hosted by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) next and it’s original date was September last year. With India still not game on touring Pakistan, PCB had initiated talks with Sri Lanka Cricket to host it in the island nation till the pandemic forced a postponement of the event. The last edition of Asia Cup was held as a 50-overs affair in the UAE in 2018, when India emerged as the champions.

“I accept this honour and I thank my esteemed colleagues at the BCCI for nominating me and considering me worthy of this prestigious position. Formed with a view to organize, 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,” Shah said in the meeting.

“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. 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,” Shah said.

In a statement, Sourav Ganguly, the indisposed President of BCCI, said: “I congratulate Jay Shah for being appointed the new ACC President. We have worked closely, and I am well aware of his plans and vision to develop the game of cricket. 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.’’

Shah will take over the reins from Nazmul Hassan, President of Bangladesh Cricket Board, who had completed his term last year itself.