|U19 cricket: PCB turning blind eye to overage players|
20 October 2012
KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has developed a nonchalant attitude when it comes to allowing overage players in local U19 events.
Despite having first-hand knowledge, the board has turned a blind eye to the matter and effectively allowed several overage players to take part in the U19 tournament currently underway at various entres. The Express Tribune has learnt that these players, belonging to various regional and departments, were found overage in medical tests conducted by the board itself but a majority were allowed to appear in the event.
When team officials were asked, they acknowledged the fact, stating they were afraid that nearly 40 per cent of their best players will not be able to feature if the PCB did not grant them permission.
“We thought that we’d be required to play reserves because quite a few players were overage,” one of the PCB-paid coaches told The Express Tribune. “But they were given a green signal by the PCB. Everybody is aware that mostly junior cricketers have fake documents with their ages being lowered from three to five years as they feel it would help them play U19 cricket at the regional and national level.”
When the concerned PCB officials were asked, one of them agreed to explain the process, stressing that the board is focusing on curbing the menace at the U16 level instead.
“It’s tricky to judge U19 players because we don’t have the perfect tool to gauge their ages,” said the PCB official. “The board was going to adopt a strict stance but departmental teams wouldn’t have been able to take part because a high percentage of their players were overage. There was a lot of pressure on us so we gave them some relaxation.”
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