BCCI prohibits Indian players from playing multiple U-19 World Cups
The Board of Control for Cricket in India has made a radical change to the playing conditions for Under-19 players. In the conclave held at Dharamsala, the board decided that players who have played in one Under-19 World Cup will not be able to participate in subsequent tournaments even of they are well below the age criteria. This decision was ratified today in the junior committee meet of the BCCI working committee.
Apart from this, the working committee also passed a rule that players can only play a maximum of two season of Under-19 cricket. This is one of the many ways the board is looking to curb the menace of age fudging, an issue which has been in and around Indian cricket for a very long time.
Rahul Dravid, the current U-19 coach did speak about this raging issue during his MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture last December.
"Like the issue of bowling actions, it is a similar emphasis on short-term results that has led to the scourge of overage players in junior matches. That entire exercise begins when a coach alters a player’s date of birth so that he can take part in a local tournament. The parents are happy to accept the value of an extra year or two, particularly in junior cricket and, academically at middle school.
“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. 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 said during the lecture.
Over the years several Indian players have represented the country in more than one World Cup. Even during the 2016 Under-19 World Cup, players like Avesh Khan, Sarfaraz Khan and Ricky Bhui were playing in their second tournament after they had turned up in the 2014 edition. Ravindra Jadeja too has played in two editions, as he turned up in the 2006 and 2008-edition.