Age fraud returns to haunt Cricket Association of Bengal
There was embarrassment for Bengal cricket after the issue of age fraud came back to haunt the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) once again.
Three players who were selected in the Bengal U-19 squad for the Vinoo Mankad Trophy — Balkesh Yadav, Rahul Singh and Sk. Ajharuddin — were marked ineligible by the BCCI for producing “incorrect documents”.
The CAB’s junior selection committee came to know late on Monday evening that Balkesh and Rahul were disqualified, a few hours after the squad was officially announced.
With two players disallowed from participating, the CAB trimmed the 16-member squad down to 15 with Ajharuddin named as the only replacement. But there was further embarrassment as Ajharuddin too was marked disqualified by the BCCI and told to return home on Tuesday.
Bengal will now have to do with only 14 players. They begin their Vinoo Mankad Trophy campaign on Friday against Punjab in Surat.
Apart from the trio who were disqualified, Harshwardhan Singh and Shekhar Singh Chauhan, who were both in the probables’ list, have been handed a two-year suspension by the Board.
These players too, it was learnt, had produced fake birth certificates.
According to sources, the CAB is contemplating pulling up its junior selection committee chairman Madan Ghosh for “not doing enough homework on the players and their whereabouts.”
“The CAB will deal with the matter very seriously. Age fraud is a big crime in sports and especially in cricket, and no one would be spared if caught doing any mischief.
“We would also approach the government to work out a mechanism through which we can verify the authenticity of the documents provided by the cricketers so that in future such incidents may be curbed,” CAB secretary Avishek Dalmiya told The Telegraph.
The incident came to light on a day when the BCCI announced it would strengthen its stand on zero-tolerance for age fraud in cricket. “In an effort to strengthen its stand on zero-tolerance for age fraud in cricket, BCCI has provided helpline numbers to all cricketers, team support staff and administrators of all state cricket associations.”