A week before the domestic cricket season gets underway, the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) has initiated an age-verification process of players in all categories. The move comes after questions were raised over the eligibility of Under-19 skipper Manjot Kalra. Kalra was appointed captain for the upcoming Vinoo Mankad Trophy on Thursday but the 15-member squad list was taken off the association’s official website within hours. The youngster was absent from the team’s first training session at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi on Friday. It is learnt that a verification process was conducted by DDCA officials where Kalra was asked to produce all age-proof related documents in original.
In a statement published on the website, Justice Sen said it “can’t be presumed at this stage that the documents submitted by Mr Kalra are incorrect”. He further added that the state’s cricketing body is left with no option but to initiate their own investigation as FIR filed by former India cricketer Kirti Azad, is still pending. “It is deemed appropriate that Mr Manjot Kalra will be asked to undergo a medical test.”
The junior selectors are yet to receive any instruction with regard to the status of the team. “See we haven’t received any information yet. I got to know about Manjot’s case only when I reached the ground for meeting the squad. We picked the squad only a day before and I wanted to convey my wishes to them for the new season. As things stand, he is very much the part of the team and very much Delhi U-19 captain,” Sukhvinder Singh, chairman of junior selection committee said.
Kalra has regularly played for Delhi in the junior age-groups and has also represented India U-19 during their recent tour to England.
Former India cricketer Madan Lal, who is heading DDCA’s Cricket Affairs Committee, was aware about the verification process and said it was done to ensure that everyone in the squad has valid documents and age proofs.
“I don’t think it’s Manjot in particular. It will be done for everyone as we want to ensure that everything is in order. Whoever is found without necessary documents and proofs, won’t be considered,” says Lal.