Melbourne – The International Cricket Association (ICC) has responded with a statement “no evidence” regarding the age controversy of Nepal Under 19’s Skipper Raju Rijal.
Following a debate and controversy in social media & especially in Indian media, ICC published a statement saying they are “satisfied” and the player is eligible to play in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2016. More than ICC, Indian media were in hurry to highlight the issue about the age of Raju Rijal and they even ranked this story to be major controversy.
“Indian Media news”
ABP News – AGE FRAUD: Is Nepal U-19 captain Rijal a 25-year-old Indian Raju Sharma?
Wisden India – Nepal skipper Raju in age controversy
DNA India – Nepal U-19 captain Rijal accused of age discrepancy by Mumbai Ranji player
All these news were based on Mumbai Ranji player Kaustub Pawar’s statement on facebook.
The ICC looked into the matter and reviewed Rijal’s document which was submitted by Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN), the governing body of cricket in Nepal, before the tournament and concluded there was no evidence to suggest that his date of birth was incorrect. After the controversy, ICC also spoke to Bhawana Ghimire, CEO of CAN and the team manager, Sudeep Sharma and reviewed his passport and birth certificate which were issued by the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, and a signed age-determination declaration.
According to the passport, Rijal is born on September 26, 1996 and players born on or after September 1, 1996 are eligible to participate in the ongoing ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2016.
“Unless any new information comes to light, the ICC considers this matter closed”, the ICC’s statement said.