Muscat: In a ceremony held at the Taj Samudra Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 19th March 2022, Pankaj Khimji, Chairman of Oman Cricket, was officially appointed as the Vice-President of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) from 2022-23.
Founded in 1983, the Asian Cricket Council has aimed to develop and promote the game of cricket in Asia. Over the years, it has taken cricket into new territories, to expand and truly globalise the gentlemen’s game.
Pankaj Khimji served as Chairman of the organisation’s Development Committee before moving into his current role.
Speaking on the occasion, he said, “I’m truly honoured and humbled to have been appointed the Vice-President of the ACC for 2022-23. It is a great privilege and also an honor for Oman Cricket and Oman as a country to have been given this recognition for all our achievements and all the infrastructure developments that have happened in the country over the years.
“It is a testimony as well to the Oman Cricket team who have been true flag bearers and I think this has been a joint effort on behalf of everyone involved. My appreciation and gratefulness also go out to His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik whose support has always extended to Oman Cricket and its members for all these years. We have an exciting 18 months to 2 years ahead, to come up with lots of plans for the development and growth of Asian Cricket. Hopefully, in the next few months we will try to re-energize and reinvigorate it. I look forward to working with Jay Shah and the administration team to help make Asian Cricket into a global force in the game”.
In an interview last year, Pankaj Khimji shared one such plan to further promote the game in the world’s largest continent. He said, “The Asia Cup is massive for cricket in Asia. It provides a lot of funding which then trickles down to the associates that helps us in all the developments that we want to do. We need to find - in the very busy calendar of the big 5 (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan) - some space to get them to play in the Asia Cup and find a way to involve more associate nations to give them encouragement and exposure at that level.
“Thankfully, whenever these big nations play there is never going to be a dearth of television coverage and incredibly today, their second teams can almost go ahead and play in these events, such is their strength in depth. If we can provide more access to high-level cricket via methods like these to all the teams in Asia, it will definitely aid the development of the game in the region”.
With such foresight and planning, there is no doubt that this appointment will be beneficial to all parties involved. Further, it is another marker in the upward journey of cricket in the Sultanate, as it continues to go from strength to strength in all domains.