Guwahati, Dec. 26: The Assam Cricket Association (ACA) has decided to retain the newly-introduced Umananda Bora Trophy inter-district cricket tournament, an under-13 age group affair with the affiliated district units assuring that age fudging would be prevented at the grassroots level.
In an emergent governing body meeting of the apex cricket body of the state last evening, all the district units felt it necessary to keep the tournament an under-13 one.
This was decided keeping in view the existing under-15 inter-district school and the under-16 inter-district tournaments for which the districts could identify talented players to be groomed.“The district associations have taken the responsibility of verifying the age at their level before sending the teams to play here. Our medical panel will furnish a form and the districts concerned will have to get them filled up against every player by a competent medical officer who can certify the player’s age. If any doubts are raised, our medical panel will do the necessary examinations on the player to ascertain his age,” Bikash Baruah, ACA secretary said today.
“The district units cannot be blamed for the age fudging menace. The guardians of the players are primarily responsible because they sometimes become unethical to get their sons certified in the desired age groups by the school authorities and the health department authorities. I would like to appeal to the school authorities and the health department not to issue age proofs without proper verification of the players concerned for the sake of the development of the sport,” Baruah added. The meeting further resolved that a team would be disqualified from the tournament if three or more players are detected over-aged in medical tests. The first edition of the tournament, in honour of former first class player and joint secretary Bora, was inaugurated at Barsapara Stadium here on December 20.
However, it had to be suspended without a single match being played after some of the players of the inaugural match between Hailakandi and Sivasagar were detected over-aged. The meet will now resume on January 3.
There was a proposal on the basis of the medical panel’s suggestion to increase the age bar for the tournament to 14 years. However, the governing body, which had earlier decided to introduce the tournament, opted against it. The medical experts had mooted the 14-year slab so that the age could be verified with more accuracy by conducting medical examinations on bone growth. In U-13 level, age is verified by the growth of teeth.