Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s son Jay has been at the receiving end of nepotism allegations ever since he took over the BCCI secretary last month after the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators handed over the reign of the cricket board to the elected representatives.

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, however, has played down this criticism and insisted that Shah was part of the cricket board’s apex council in his individual capacity and not as the son of an important politician.

“You know we have this huge thing in India that if you’re a son or a daughter of a very powerful person, you cannot remain involved. The other day if you see Sachin, he was actually telling the people that treat my son as a cricketer... Forget about his surname and see whether he is good or bad,” the former India captain said at the India Today Conclave 2019 on Saturday.

“I want to say the same thing for Jay Shah. So what if he is Amit Shah’s son? He has won an election. He has been involved in the Gujarat cricket association for the last 6-7 years. He should be allowed to be on his own. His father is a politician. He is not. I think he should be judged independently,” Ganguly added.

Answering a query about the criticism around the elevation of Shah, Ganguly said, “Why should Tendulkar’s son be stopped from playing because he is Tendulkar’s son. It doesn’t happen in Australia, doesn’t happen in England. Mark Waugh, Steve Waugh played in Australia. They were brothers and both went on to play 100 Tests. Tom Curran and Sam Curran are playing for England.

“I see this as an issue. Everybody has to be judged as individuals,” he added.

The newly elected BCCI president also brushed aside the criticism around the involvement of politicians in cricket administration saying, it has been the case for the past 30-40 years and there was nothing wrong with influential people holding posts in the cricket board.

“Even with Mr. (Jagmohan) Dalmiya, when he was the president of the board, Mr. Arun Jaitley was involved in the running of the game, Mr. Sharad Pawar was there. Madhavrao Scindia was involved in the running of the game. I am sure there will be others as well in the future.”

“I don’t think it’s the first time and it’s the last time influential people will be running the game. Because cricket is so huge in this country. Nothing beats cricket in this part of the world. From that point of view, you will attract influential people. Some of them love the game, not because they are powerful,” the 47-year-old added.