BCCI: On a Mission to End Age Fraud
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"BCCI AVP department collates them in a proper format and sends it to two (2) independent radiologists on the BCCI panel for interpretation of bone age. Reporting also takes time since we have about 4 radiologists doing ratings of 38 associations and every radiologist does an interpretation of about 8-9 associations. It can take any time between one day to three-four days to get the reporting of associations from the consultants depending upon the workload on them and the number of players. The entire process takes around two (2) months to be completed," stated the report.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) intends to identify age fraud using modern technologies. However, the technology will be tested in order to save up to 80% on expenditures. The Indian board will adopt this approach in addition to the existing TW3 system.
For age determination, the world's richest cricket board now uses the TW3 technique (based on X-rays of the left hand and wrist). It's worth noting that the BCCI has a zero-tolerance policy for age fraud.
The present procedure produces findings in 3-4 days and costs INR 2400 for each bone test. The new programme, called BoneXpert Software, is said to produce instant results and costs only INR 288.
"The X-rays are taken at the various home centres of state associations at the X-ray centre in the presence of an impartial BCCI observer and transmitted to the BCCI AVP Department," a BCCI letter explained.
The BCCI AVP department compiles them in a suitable manner and sends them to two (2) impartial radiologists on the BCCI panel for bone age evaluation. Reporting takes time as well since we have roughly 4 radiologists grading 38 relationships and each radiologist interprets about 8-9 associations.
"It can take any time between one day to three-four days to get the reporting of associations from the consultants depending upon the workload on them and number of players. The entire process takes around two (2) months to be completed.”
The board is anticipated to collaborate with the state associations on the new software trial.
Although BCCI said they are satisfied with the test outcomes based on the limited number of X-rays in our databank, we still want to perform a trial with a big number of X-rays (about 3800) across all associations to be completely satisfied with the software's operation.
Age fraud is quite frequent in Indian cricket at all levels. One of the recent examples of the same is Rasikh Salam, a fast bowler from Jammu and Kashmir who was suspended for two years in 2019 after being found guilty of providing a false birth certificate.
Present Indian head coach Rahul Dravid described age fraud as a "severe concern" that is "detrimental to the health of the sport.”
“Many youngsters who are supposed to be playing in a particular age group fail to make it owing to age fraud. With the BCCI taking stern actions to curb this, it is only advisable for the players to come forward and abide by the directives issued by the board,” Dravid had said as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
Here are some known Indian cricketers who were found guilty of age-fudging by the BCCI and were banned;
1. Prince Ram Niwas Yadav
Prince Ram Niwas Yadav a cricketer from Delhi was banned in 2019 after the BCCI discovered that he had lied about his age to play age-group cricket. According to media sources, Yadav enrolled for age-group cricket using a false birth date of December 21, 2001, however, the BCCI discovered during their inquiry that he had completed Class X in 2012 and his true birth date is June 10, 1996.
2. Ankeet Bawne
Ankit Bawne was set to head the Indian cricket team at the 2012 Under-19 World Cup; however, he was dropped due to an age difference. Bawne was selected India U-19 captain for a quadrangular series just before the major event, however, he was barred at the last minute. His real birthday was September 1, 1992, but his BCCI birthday was December 17, 1992.
3. Manjot Kalra
Manjot Kalra's heroics at the 2018 Under-19 World Cup earned him a household name. His most memorable moment was against Australia when he struck the game-winning century. Kalra was selected by the former Delhi Daredevils in 2018 due to his outstanding performance in the age-group competition, however, he did not appear in a single match. Later, in December 2019, he was barred from hiding his true age.
4. Nitesh Rana
The KKR star was barred from age-group cricket in 2015. Unlike the other cricketers on the list, Rana has established himself and even represented India. He is a key member of the Kolkata Knight Riders, the two-time IPL champions. He gave one of the star performances for the KKR, but he was not selected for the Indian squad, and he was chastised on Twitter for criticizing the national selection team.
Athletes in any sport utilize age-group tournaments as a stepping stone to the next stage in their career. These events are packed with talented athletes who have the potential to become the next big thing in their respective sports. However, one of the most serious threats we see in age-group contests, particularly in the subcontinent, is that young cricketers frequently misrepresent their true age by submitting fraudulent documents.
It's hard to distinguish the actual cause of this widespread misconduct in this portion of the world. However, in most circumstances, this threat is utilized to allow youngsters to continue playing at the youth level for a longer period of time.