Parents of seven Delhi junior cricketers, including those of one who was part of India’s Under-19 World Cup winning team which won the title last year, and the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) secretary Vinod Tihara have been charge-sheeted by the Delhi police in a four year old age-fraud case.
The alleged fudging of birth dates allowed these cricketers to represent Delhi in the Under-16 and Under-19 category despite being over-aged. Since seven of the eight cricketers under the scanner were still juvenile in 2014-15, the season the alleged age-fraud took place, their parents have been named in the chargesheet filed in the court of the chief metropolitan magistrate. A top Delhi Police officer confirmed the filing of charge-sheets and also acknowledged the presence of a cricketer in it.
According to investigators, it was the parents who got the age of their children changed in municipal records and then got them admitted to Vidya Jain Public School. Tihara was part of the management of the school and helped the cricketers, who had allegedly fudged their age to break into the Under-16 and Under-19 teams, according to investigators.
“Tihara provided the platform for these cricketers who had fudged their age to first get admission at the school and then play for Delhi teams,” an officer part of the investigation said.
When contacted Tihara said: “My name maybe in the FIR but I have not encouraged nor am I aware of age-manipulation in anyway. Parents have submitted age-proofs from valid authorities and I can’t be responsible to check its authenticity. Let the law takes its own course and let the courts decide. This is being done by some DDCA officials who have fallen out with me,” Tihara said.
In October 2015, the Board of Control for Cricket in India had barred 22 players from Delhi participating in age-group competitions because of allegations of age fraud.