Guwahati, Jan. 21: The Assam Cricket Association (ACA) is going to introduce medical tests for age verification in the Amarjit Sarmah Trophy inter-district (under-15) cricket tournament, too, after the success of this procedure in the Umananda Bora Trophy under-13 tournament that concluded yesterday.
A resolution to this effect was taken in a meeting of the ACA with secretaries of its affiliated district units here late last evening.
On the proposed move, ACA secretary Bikash Baruah today said, “The age verification system in the under-13 inter-district tournament proved helpful in finding talented youngsters. The district associations have mandated similar age verification in the under-15 tournament as well, so that age fudging can be eliminated at the grassroots level. In the under-15 age group, we will be able to apply radiological tests, which make it even more foolproof than the method of teeth-growth test that the medical team had to apply in the under-13 age group.”
He said the ACA was now going to shortlist nearly 25 talented players from the under-13 tournament to be groomed at the Assam Cricket Academy.
“Every boy will, however, be subjected to further age verification so that the deserving ones are not deprived because of any overaged player,” he added.
“The districts have welcomed the proposed introduction of the under-14 inter-coaching centre/academy cricket tournament. We will pick up talented players from that tournament, too, and groom them in the academy,” Baruah said. The introductory edition of the inter-coaching centre/academy tournament is scheduled tentatively for March.
Meanwhile, the ACA has banned probables for different state teams from representing any team, including their respective districts, in any match/tournament during the selection trials.
“It has been necessitated as players often seek exemption from selection camps on the pretext of playing for their employers, districts and clubs in various tournaments, some of which are not even recognised by the ACA or the BCCI. This practice sometimes reduces the selection trials into a farce. Besides, if the prevailing system of the same handful players playing in all tournaments continue, new players cannot be produced, leading to a poor bench strength,” the ACA secretary said.
The stricture assumes significance against the backdrop of several key players still not reporting for the ongoing selection trials for the Vijay Hazare Trophy limited-over tournament. The camp has been under way at Nehru Stadium here since Friday and players like Dheeraj Jadhav and Syed Mohammad were yet to join the camp. While Jadhav is expected to report within a day or two, Mohammad has sought exemption till January 31 as he is representing his employers in the BCCI Corporate Cup tournament.
The ACA’s restriction on participation in local invitation tournaments had its impact on Bud Cricket Club who lost the Ramesh Barooah Trophy invitation tournament final to Navajyoti Club because of the absence of nine regulars who are attending the ongoing trials.