Case filed against West Bengal cricketer for alleged age fraud

The player supposedly forged documents like the Permanent Resident of Tripura Certificate (PRTC) and the Ration Card to get into the Tripura junior team.

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Indian domestic cricket again came under the scanner with a recent age-fraud case that has taken place in the Tripura U-19 team. Age-fraud allegations are nothing new in domestic cricket but raise questions over the system which has strict rules regarding this. Now the case is filed against a West Bengal cricketer who had forged documents to enter the Tripura U-19 team.

It is believed that the accused player is from Barrackpore of West Bengal and has played for the Paikpara Sporting Club in Kolkata. He is accused of forging documents like the Permanent Resident of Tripura Certificate (PRTC) and the Ration Card to get into the Tripura junior team. The report also suggests that the player was recommended by the Bishalgarh Cricket Association of Sepahijala district to have trials for the Tripura U-19 team.

“We are probing the matter, and also trying to identify the people who helped him in getting the forged documents,” said West Agartala police station officer-in-charge Subrata Chakraborty.

Age-fraud incidents are not new in Indian cricket

Most recently, Indian U-19 pacer Rajvardhan Hangargekar was also accused of age fraud. Maharashtra’s Commissioner of Sports and Youth Services Omprakash Bakoria provided documents regarding the player’s real birth date and asked authorities to take appropriate action. Manjot Karla, who smashed a match-winning century in the U-19 World Cup in 2018, was also found guilty of age fraud and was later banned for two years.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has strict rules regarding age-fraud issues. But several players, especially youngsters, have been fabricating the documents to enter junior tournaments to reach the senior level competitions. But it is also fair to blame the current system as well, which is not able to stop these incidents. In August 2020, the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly warned the players with stricter measures if anyone was found guilty.

“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 misdemeanor will be punished heavily and will be banned for two years,” said Sourav Ganguly at the time.