New Delhi: In another embarrassing incident, the BCCI on Thursday barred 22 cricketers of Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) from taking part in the age-group cricket tournaments as there are allegations of age-fudging against them.
What is more embarrassing is the fact that the names include Nitish Rana and Pratyush Singh -- two players who have already played for senior Delhi team in limited overs and Rana, in fact, is also a part of the current Delhi Ranji team, which is in Jaipur for the opening game against Rajasthan.
The DDCA today received an e-mail from Professor Ratnakar Shetty, who is the Game Development Manager of BCCI, that 22 of its players are barred from taking part in the BCCI's age-group tournaments on allegations of age-fudging.
It has been learnt that an FIR was lodged by a former India cricketer and a Delhi stalwart Kirti Azad last year.
While Prof Shetty's terse answer to an enquiry was "Go and ask DDCA", the state association president Sneh Prakash Bansal admitted that BCCI has indeed told them not to select the boys with disputed age certificates in age-group teams.
"Yes, we have received an intimation from the BCCI that we cannot select these 22 boys in the state age-group teams as there was an FIR lodged against these cricketers for disputed birth certificates. Accordingly, the BCCI has instructed to select new boys in their places," Bansal told PTI today.
However, Bansal said that Rana, while being barred from age-group cricket, there is no problem with him playing the Ranji Trophy.
"Obviously, there is no bar on him playing Ranji Trophy as the ban is only applicable for age-group cricket," he added.
Kirti Azad, on his part, said that his stand is vindicated.
"I had filed FIRs against 12 cricketers. In fact, I got their original birth certificates from MCD and had sent it to BCCI. We all know that DDCA is a den of legalised corruption," the former Delhi captain told PTI today.
It was learnt that DDCA had today called back two of its U-19 cricketers Harsh Tyagi and Manjyot Kalra, who had gone to play Cooch Behar Trophy match. Another U-19 cricketer in the stand-bye Samar Seth also was removed.
Rana has already played three List A and six T20 domestic level matches (Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy) for the Delhi senior team. Pratyush Singh has played six T20 matches for senior team last season.
Some of the other prominent age-group cricketers banned are Prateek Kaushik, Prashant Bhandari, Upen Dalal, Dipak Khaatri, Ayush Parab, Shakib Alam, Kunj Sharma to name a few.