Now, bone tests in school cricket too!
MUMBAI: For years, rampant allegations of age fudging have marred the top two inter-school tournaments of the city - the Giles Shield and the Harris Shield. All that could end from this season.
In a laudable initiative, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has decided to introduce bone tests at the interschool level to determine the right age of a player. This technique is used currently by the BCCI for age verification for all its age group tournaments, but it is the first time that it would be used at the inter-school level anywhere in India, and perhaps the world.
In a letter written on October 17 (TOI has a copy) to the Mumbai School Sports Association (MSSA), MCA secretary Sanjay Naik and Shahalam Shaikh have written that: "This is to inform you that the current players of the top eight teams of the (under-16) Harris Shield and (under-14) Giles Shield for the 2018-19 season, are required to undergo a bone test. As per the MCA, the players of these eight schools will not be allowed to participate in these tournaments until their bone tests are done."
The under-16 boys will undergo the bone tests as per the TW3 method and the under-14 boys will undergo the tests as per the TW2 method. "Only those players who are declared eligible as per their (bone test) report will be allowed to participate in their respective age group (tournaments) for the 2019-20 season. As per the player list submitted by the schools to MSSA, all the 18 players should undergo bone a test, unless they have undergone a bone test conducted by the MCA. These tests should be completed one week before the start of the tournament. The cost of these tests will be borne by the respective schools," concludes the letter.
These tests cost Rs 550 at the under-14 level, and Rs 1450 at the under-16 level.
"We've received a very positive feedback about this move from a lot of parents. This was needed to be done, because if an overage player performs better than other players, it is injustice to the latter. We want to make interschool cricket in Mumbai free of allegations," MCA jt secretary Sanjay Naik told TOI on Saturday.