In an embarrassing development, India Under-19 cricketer Manjot Kalra has been instructed to undergo another round of age-verification tests by the Delhi and District Cricket Association despite being cleared by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, reported PTI.
The DDCA’s Cricket Advisory Committee led by former India player Madan Lal was also left embarrassed as the state’s Under-19 team for the Cooch Behar Trophy, which was selected on Friday with Kalra as the captain, was first uploaded on the association’s website and then pulled down after multiple complaints of age-fudging.
DDCA administrator Justice Vikramajeet Sen has ordered all eligible U-19 cricketers to undergo medical tests for age-verification again, the report said.
Kalra, a batsman who recently scored a hundred against England Under-19 in a youth Test in England, is considered to be a certainty for the junior World Cup in New Zealand in 2018. Along with Shubhman Gill and Prithvi Shaw, Kalra is considered to be among the best from the current Under-19 crop of players training under Rahul Dravid.
In a three-page letter, Justice Sen mentioned that even the BCCI cleared Kalra’s recorded date of birth of January 15, 1999. The cricketer had also provided his CBSE class X certificate, copy of passport, and PAN card, which corroborate the same.
In his notification, Sen has also clearly stated, “BCCI has informed the undersigned that they have accepted the age of Manjot Kalra as 15-1-1999 after verification done by them.” However, a few disgruntled parents of budding cricketers have provided separate documents which state Kalra’s date of birth as 15-1-1998.
In 2015, the Delhi Police had registered a First Information Report after a complaint by former Delhi captain Kirti Azad.
Sen in his parting note wrote: “It can’t be presumed at this stage that the documents submitted by Mr Kalra are incorrect. It is indeed a matter of regret that FIR No 312/2015 regarding age verification complaint is still pending. It does not advance the cause of sport in general and cricket in particular. Since FIR has been pending for sometime, DDCA has been left with no alternative but to conduct their own investigation. It is deemed appropriate, that Mr Manjot Kalra will be asked to undergo a medical test.”