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"We Don't Know Much About Cricket": Supreme Court Rejects Plea To Change BCCI Cut-Off Date For Domestic Tournaments

Srishti Ojha
24 May 2022 6:48 AM GMT
We Dont Know Much About Cricket: Supreme Court Rejects Plea To Change BCCI Cut-Off Date For Domestic Tournaments

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a petition filed seeking directions to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to fix the cut-off date for eligibility in the 'domestic tournaments', as 1st April/May of every year, instead of 1st September.

A bench comprising Justice Abdul Nazeer and Justice PS Narasimha however granted liberty to the petitioner to withdraw and approach the competent authority.
"How can we entertain this petition? It is not in our hands all this. No, you withdraw with liberty to approach the High Court. We don't know much about cricket also. Please withdraw, we can't go into all this. What is cut off age for cricketers and all, we can't do all this." Justice Nazeer said.
Advocate Aditya Dhawan appeared for the petitioner before the court.
The present writ petition further sought directions to BCCI to make eligibility, in Under-19 tournaments and other age group tournaments, vis- à-vis a player, who has already participated in the under-16 tournaments, on the basis of bone age as determined with the TW3 bone age test.
According to the petition, the petitioner would become eligible to play Under-19, tournaments for 2022-23 season, if the cut-off date, kept by BCCI, only as a matter of routine practice is changed from 1st September of the particular year to 1st April/May.
The petition filed through Advocate Bhuwan Raj has stated that BCCI should make eligibility, in Under-19 tournaments, vis-à-vis a player, who has already participated in the under-16 tournaments, on the basis of his" bone-age", as determined with TW3 bone age test.
Further, the petitioner, would eligible to play under-19 cricket for two more years if his bone age, as determined with the TW3 test, is taken in to consideration.
Further, it has been submitted that, this can in alternative, be a onetime measure due to the loss of cricketing season, on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The petition has stated that the petitioner along-with many other similarly situated players across the country, has been harshly impacted, as one full cricket U-19 season of 2020 and more than half of the 2021 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic was washed out.
It has been submitted that since 2012, the BCCI, for the purpose of under-16 age group tournaments adopted a scientific method for age determination which is the TW3 bone age test.
However through communication dated 22.07.2015 and the BCCI Age Verification Programme 2015-16, for the under-19 age group tournament(s), the chronological-age at the time of selection of a player, became the sole basis of 'eligibility' and not the age as already determined by the TW3 bone age; at the under 16 level.
For the 2022-23 season, the petitioner, is not eligible to participate in the under-19 Domestic- tournaments, even though he is currently under 19 years of age; and his age with TW3 bone age test, as in September, 2022; will be only 18 years.
The petition has submitted that the cut-off date for the 'domestic tournaments', as a matter of routine practice by BCCI in the under- 16, under-19 and under-25 category is taken 1st September of the particular year.
However, while organising Indian Premier League tournament, BCCI has kept the cut-off date of 1st April for being eligible for the best young player award.

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