HKCA protests to ACC about Under-15 disqualification
Hong Kong Cricket Association Media release
Hong Kong Cricket Association (HKCA) has protested against Asian Cricket Council's decision to disqualify Hong Kong from the tournament for "allegedly" having three over-age players according to the Age Verification test (Bone Test) conducted by ACC Sports Medicine Officer.
HKCA is of the view that the Hong Kong team selected was eligible at all times to participate in this tournament and has been unjustifiably and wrongly disqualified.
Of the three players considered over-age by ACC,
1) one boy is a 14 year old boy born in the United States of America and has his birth certificate from a reputable Hospital in San Francisco certified by the relevant Department of Health. He also holds and uses a United States passport evidencing his date of birth.
2) The second boy is another 14 year old whose parents are now in Nepal supporting Hong Kong and the mother was made available to ACC officials at the tournament Hotel to testify as to his correct date of birth which was the date stated in the Hong Kong Squad registration form supplied by the HKCA to the ACC.
3) The third boy, who turns 15 later this month, played for HK in the ACC U15 Tournament in 2006 in Malaysia, and he was also X rayed there and the results included in the ACC player database at that time. Prior to the tournament ACC supplied HKCA with a list of HK players whose eligibility was questionable. They were not selected. This boy was NOT on that list.
The evidence in respect of the first two players is incontrovertible and HK remained eligible to advance to and compete in the semi -finals. The evidence also unhelpfully undermines the accuracy of the Age Verification Test, a process which the HKCA has supported and will continue to support. The results in Nepal were handed to HK officials on a single sheet of paper. No X rays were supplied, and the medical consultants involved in the process remain unidentified.
ACC officials have claimed that bone maturation results, were now the sole criterion for continued participation in this age group tournament and that evidence from a mother of a player or reliable documents from a reputable source, such as the United States now carried no weight with them. HKCA feels age verification testing should be a secondary level of proof where justifiable suspicions exist as to age.
In addition the Playing Conditions at the tournament mentioned no such condition and mid tournament ACC issued a document dated 1st December 2007 headed a "Level Playing Field" stating that there would be no right of appeal or challenge during the tournament against his decisions re bone testing once the results were released.
ACC have set an age cut off date for the tournament and HK Team Management have carried all documentary proof to ensure all players in HK Team are eligible.
HKCA has requested ACC to re -examine the age testing process it employs and its application which has caused two 14 year old HK boys to be disqualified from a U15 tournament and a team which had enjoyed success at the tournament denied its right to advance further in the competition.