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Cricketers Face Two-year Ban & Criminal Charge for Age Fraud

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: July 19, 2018, 8:30 PM IST
Cricketers Face Two-year Ban & Criminal Charge for Age Fraud

Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji. (PTI Image)

Players found guilty of age-fudging will now face a two-year ban from taking part in any domestic competition and the possibility of a criminal charge from the BCCI. The decision to double the penalty for such a fraud from the existing one-year period was taken by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) at a meeting in Delhi in May.

This malpractice is rampant in domestic age-group cricket where coaches and parents have been found to encourage their wards to fudge their age, despite the risks involved. CoA hopes that the fear of losing two years of cricket and a criminal charge would act as a strong deterrent against such practices.

"Players who are found [after a proper enquiry] to have submitted false/tampered birth certificates will be banned from all BCCI tournaments for two seasons," the CoA said as per the minutes of the May 18 meeting. "BCCI may also initiate criminal action against the concerned player and/or any other person responsible for submitting false/tampered birth certificates."

The decision comes almost three years after U-19 coach Rahul Dravid urged to stop the “scourge of overage players” during his MAK Pataudi Lecture, adding that age-fudging is just as bad as fixing.

"The truth is that the player who has faked his age might make it at the junior level not necessarily because he is better or more talented, but because he is stronger and bigger,” Dravid had said at the lecture. “We all know how much of a difference a couple of years can make at that age. That incident will have another ripple effect: an honest player, deprived of his place by an overage player, is disillusioned. We run the risk of losing him forever."

Dravid had also suggested that a centralized database of birth certificates would help tackle the issue.

First Published: July 19, 2018, 8:15 PM IST

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