New Delhi : The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has adopted new measures to counter the menace of age and domicile fraud in cricket in the country.
The additional measures, adopted by the sport's governing body in India, will be applicable to all cricketers participating in the BCCI age-group tournaments, from season 2020-21 onwards. They are:
1. Voluntary Disclosure Scheme for players who are already registered
Under this scheme, players who voluntarily declare that they have manipulated their date of birth by submitting fake/tampered documents in the past will not be suspended and allowed to participate in the appropriate age group level if they disclose their actual date of birth (DOB).
Players have to submit a signed letter/email along with supporting documents to BCCI Age Verification Dept. revealing their actual DOB before September 15.
However, if registered players do not disclose the facts and are found to have submitted fake/tampered DOB proof documents by BCCI, then they will be banned for two years, and after completion of two-year suspension, they will not be allowed to participate in age group tournaments of BCCI, as well as, age group tournaments organised by the state units.
2. Season 2020-21 onwards, any player submitting fake/tampered birth certificate will be banned for two years from all cricket matches under the aegis of BCCI & state units.
After completion of two-year suspension, such players will not be allowed to participate in age group tournaments of BCCI, as well as, age group tournaments organised by state units.
3. All cricketers committing domicile fraud, including senior men & women, will be banned for two years. Voluntary Disclosure Scheme does not apply for cricketers who have committed domicile fraud.
4. For the BCCI Under-16 age group tournament, only players who are between 14-16 years old will be permitted to register.
5. In the Under-19 age group, if a player's birth is found to be registered more than two years after birth, as mentioned in the birth certificate, then there will be restrictions on the number of years allowed to participate in the BCCI Under-19 tournaments.
The board further said that in order to report age fraud, a dedicated 24X7 helpline (9820556566/9136694499) has been put in place.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said: "We are committed to providing a level-playing field across all age groups. The BCCI has been taking steps to counter age fraud and are now introducing even stricter measures from the upcoming domestic season. Those who do not voluntarily disclose their misdemeanour will be punished heavily and will be banned for two years."
BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said: "BCCI has a zero-tolerance approach towards age fraud in cricket. Not only have we dedicated a 24/7 helpline to counter this menace, but the board also has a system in place that thoroughly examines, and cross-verifies documents submitted by its registered players. The Voluntary Disclosure Scheme will provide those who have committed the fraud a chance to come forward and admit their offence."
Arun Singh Dhumal, BCCI Treasurer said: "It has been BCCI's constant endeavour to take stringent measures to eradicate age fraud. We believe these additional methods taken by the BCCI will help in tackling the issue of age and domicile fraud."
Rahul Dravid, Head Cricket, NCA: "Age fraud is a serious matter and 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."