Ahead of Sunday's BCCI Apex Council meeting, two promising cricketers have shamed Bihar after their multiple age certificates have surfaced. (More Cricket News)
The cricketers - Sachin Kumar Singh and Amod Yadav - are part of Bihar's Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy squad and are currently in Chennai.
While Sachin Singh has just been removed from the squad, Bihar Cricket Association president Rakesh Tiwari said he was waiting for a confirmation from the Anti-Corruption Unit before taking action on Yadav, who played the last match against Meghalaya on January 15.
Interestingly, Tiwari and the two cricketers belong to the Gopalganj district of Bihar. Tiwari denies there is a 'nexus'.
The administration of Bihar cricket has been a vexed issue ever since the state returned to mainstream cricket on an order from Supreme Court in May 2018.
Power struggle has been the BCA's biggest problem and neither the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators nor the Sourav Ganguly-led BCCI did anything constructive to settle the issue.
Bihar's cricket crisis figures in BCCI's Apex Council meeting on Sunday. Despite an earlier recommendation from the council that an adhoc committee be formed to run BCA, BCCI office-bearers have been cold.
The birth certificate scandal has put current BCA president Tiwari on a sticky wicket. Sources say Tiwari enjoys the blessing of a top BCCI official because of his links with BJP.
It is learnt that Tiwari signed off on the 'official' Bihar team for the Mushtaq Ali T20 championship after two teams were named. The second team was announced by Sanjay Kumar, the elected BCA secretary who is no longer recognised by Tiwari's group.
According to the District Magistrate of Gopalganj, Dr Nawal Kishor Choudhary's office, Sachin Kumar Singh's registered birth date as per records is 25.12.1994. He had got a voter's ID card made with the same date when he played in the Cricket Association of Bengal league for Calcutta Port Trust.
Sachin's date of birth as per BCCI records is 25.12. 1997. On the basis of this, he was made captain of the Bihar Under-23 team last year. Sachin, a talented left-arm spinner, has a third age certificate where his birthday is 25.12. 1993!
"We have dropped him from the squad. Our committee will ask all Bihar cricketers to come clean on their age or face a criminal case. Bihar's image has suffered," Tiwari said.
The case of fast bowling all-rounder Amod Yadav is even more interesting. The Gopalganj district authorities do not have any record of his birth date.
It is learnt that Yadav had registered his age - 10.12. 2001 - with BCCI on an alleged forged certificate from the Gopalganj district. He also has a second certificate with birth date as 10.12. 1997.
Tiwari said that it was for the BCCI to take action on the cricketers. "Let BCCI ban them. I will welcome this action," he said.
"Why should BCA face any punishment? We are trying our best to run the game. We don't need any ad-hoc committee. At least I am not aware of any recommendation from the Apex Council," said Tiwari, whose election as BCA president also came under controversial circumstances.
Clearly, Sachin Singh and Amod Yadav have left Tiwari and his team in a big spot of bother.
With BCCI planning to start Ranji Trophy, it is high time that Bihar's cricket mess is sorted and cricketers' rights and welfare given priority.
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