Why he matters: For the BCCI Secretary, cricket is indeed a religion. Credited with taking India to new heights in the sport, he was lauded globally for introducing the Women’s Premier League and bringing in pay parity for India’s female squad.
“We understand the apprehensions that may arise for many cricket boards at this juncture, and the BCCI will do its best to support the fraternity. India will lead the way in charting out the future course of action.”
With this one underlining statement in 2020, Jay Shah, the Honorary Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), told the world that hereon, India would be at the forefront of all things cricket. Identified as the “crisis man” of the BCCI who is redefining the sport globally, Shah’s most notable contribution so far has been to eke out a two-and-a-half-month window for the Indian Premier League — the world’s most lucrative T20 tournament (the valuation of each match soared 136 percent to Rs 118 crore this year!) — in addition to introducing the first Women’s Premier League earlier in 2023.
“WPL was the need of the hour, with the potential to transform women’s cricket at all levels” Shah told HELLO! after winning our Hall of Fame Award for Game-Changer of the Year. “The goal was to develop an ecosystem around women’s cricket and make it self-sustainable. The tournament will continue to thrive in the years to come.”
Always enthusiastic about the game, Shah wished to contribute towards cricket in whichever capacity he could in his early years. During his time at the Gujarat Cricket Association, he was in direct touch with cricketers and officials, addressing their concerns to improve infrastructure within the state.
“And I had the same vision when I took over at the BCCI in 2019,” added Shah, who joined the Board in 2015 as a member of the finance and marketing committee and rose up the ranks to become Secretary in 2019.
“Today, the BCCI is in a position to contribute financially to other sports and assist other athletes in achieving their goals and bringing glory to the country. The Board understands its roles and responsibilities and is always at the forefront of the nation’s challenges and crises.”
True to his word, Shah, the son of Home Minister Amit Shah, has been instrumental in uplifting domestic tournaments and several other areas of Indian cricket under his tenure. He was also one of the key figures who supervised the establishment of the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Even more monumental though was his revision of match fees across all age groups of domestic cricket and the introduction of pay parity for the women’s cricket team of India!
“We’re looking into fan engagement and doing a lot of work in this area, as well. I’m confident that Indian cricket will continue to thrive!”
To see who else is on the list, grab the copy of HELLO! India’s August 2023 issue right here!