Fudging of players’ age: Role of OCA under scanner

Cuttack: With cases of age fudging of age of cricketers coming to the fore with every passing day, questions are being raised over the role of the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) in the whole murky affair.

Odisha’s U-19 fast bowler Ashutosh Das is the latest player to get entangled in the age fudging scam. After OCA CEO Bidyut Nayak’s son Shubham, Ashutosh Das, nephew of an OCA council member and women’s cricket team selector Santosh Das, is the second relative of an office-bearer of the sports body to get involved in the manipulation of age.

However, OCA secretary Asirbad Behera clarified it is impossible to verify the age of all the players. But he did not bother explaining how OCA failed to verity the age of players who are some way or the other connected to its own office bearers.

“How can verification be done properly? Till now we were following a tradition. As things have come to the fore, we will tighten the verification rules,” Behera said.

Commenting on the matter, Biswanath Mukherjee, a former treasurer, of OCA, said, “The sports body is a hub of age fudging.”

“Ask Asirbad when he became Secretary of the OCA in 2000, one Dilip Swain was the vice president of the sports body, During that period, verification was done on his son while literally chasing him out of the team. How can he forget the past?” Mukherjee taunted Behera.

Meanwhile, OCA chief coordinator Daniel Rout was quizzed by the CBI team for three hours regarding the age fudging case. Some incriminating documents were also reported to have been collected by the sleuths from Rout.

After the questioning, Rout said, “My work is different and no one had called me here,” before rushing out of the reach of TV crews waiting for a byte. He was also a coach of the junior cricket team.