BCCI secretary Jay Shah, who also heads the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), is keen on reviving the ’Afro-Asian’ project to develop the game in the African continent. The project was first mooted in 2005 by the late Jagmohan Dalmiya but ended prematurely in 2009.
Taking forward his vision for the growth and development of the game, Shah has initiated an ambitious plan aimed at taking the game global by opening up new avenues, including Africa.
With Asia now being the game’s biggest market, Shah wants to use its popularity in the region, its structure, its technical expertise to reach out to African nations and help them strengthen their grassroots and age-group system.
Both Asia and Africa now constitute 47 countries and with the African Cricket Association’s (AFC) member nations having a strong cricket following population of over 570 million, Shah’s proposed project will ensure both ACC and AFC benefit from this unique partnership.
Shah has proposed a model that is commercially viable, financially feasible and technically sustainable, according to a statement.
The project will ensure that there is a real transformation at the grassroots level with age-group cricketers being the focus. The plan is formulated to give more opportunities to cricketers at U-16, U-19 and U-23 levels by having qualified coaches nurture and mentor them, and by having a strong competition layout where they have more game-time, and more importantly, get to test their skills against up-and-coming players from across the continent.