Former India skipper and current National Cricket Academy (NCA) director Rahul Dravid pointed out to the menace of age fraud which leads to an "erosion of culture" and also called for anyone who is involved in the sport to take active part in stopping the problem.
“Age fraud leads to an erosion of culture. It leads to a scenario where a lot of talented boys don’t get to play when they should actually be playing,” Dravid said at the prize distribution ceremony of the Times Cricket Shield, "It is up to the maidan secretaries, the owners of the office teams, the club teams to ensure that this does not happen,” he added.
In recent times, names of Rasikh Salam and Manjot Kalra have cropped up in age-fraud related issues. Salam from Jammu and Kashmir, who made his IPL debut for the Mumbai Indians was found guilty of age-fudging, while Kalra, who smashed a match-winning century in the final of Under-19 World Cup in 2018, too was embroiled in the same issue.
Salam was handed a two-year ban by the BCCI. Whereas Kalra in 2017 was cleared by the Indian board. However, according to Delhi Police's chargesheet, Manjot's parents had provided false information regarding his age.
These are just two of the recent age-fudging related cases in Indian cricket.
Dravid also added that state teams that look to break the rules with regards to fielding overage players often don't end up experiencing much success at the senior level.
Ensuring fair representation for young cricketers is an issue Dravid has championed in the past. It was under his time as India's U-19 coach that the rule of players eligible to play in single ICC U-19 World Cup implemented.
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