Mass disqualifications in ACC Under-15 Cup
In what can only be one of the biggest mass disqualifications in sporting history, not just cricket history, all but two of the ten teams in the ongoing ACC Under-15 Elite Cup in Nepal have been disqualified after failing to meet satisfactory age verification checks.
As record keeping in parts of Asia is not up to standards in other parts of the world, many associations and players are unaware of their actual dates of birth, hence a medical evaluation procedure is put in place to determine a players age using the Assessment of Skeletal Maturity-TW3 method.
Radiological exams have taken place on all 140 players involved in the tournament, which showed that every single team had picked over-age players, some picking as many as nine players born before the cut-off date of 1st July 1992. All over-age players have been disqualified, leaving only Kuwait and Singapore able to field eleven players and a twelfth man.
Kuwait and Singapore will thus compete in the final, which has been brought forward by a day to Monday. Kuwait had not won a game in the group stage.
ACC Chief Executive Syed Ashraful Huq said in a statement posted on the ACC website, "Our Age-Verification protocols have been tested and proven to work. We stand by the results found and take heart that the integrity of our tournaments is assured. In the long-run cricket in Asia will benefit. Results such as this should act as an eye-opener to all our members. Our principles will always remain true to the secure development of cricket."
One must congratulate the ACC on being so open about this, though it is a big black mark on all the countries involved, who will have to endeavour to carry out their own checks in future. The Under-15 Challenge Cup starts next Saturday, and the six teams involved in that would do well to ensure that this situation does not occur again.