ACA stops under-13 tourney

Guwahati, Dec. 20: The Assam Cricket Association (ACA) today suspended the introductory edition of Umananda Bora Trophy inter-district under-13 cricket tournament temporarily in view of alleged age-fudging by players in different district teams.

The inaugural match of the tournament between Sivasagar and Hailakandi, which was scheduled to be held at Barsapara stadium here this morning, was reduced to an unofficial exhibition match after a section of players in both teams were detected to be overage in medical examinations held last evening.

"We are compelled to suspend the tournament because many players in the four district teams, on whom medical examinations were conducted since yesterday, were detected as overage. The medical panel have found five players from Hailakandi and six from Sivasagar overage. The tests on teams from Nalbari and Lakhimpur for tomorrow's match has also indicated similar results," said ACA secretary Bikash Baruah.

"We have convened an emergent governing body meeting on December 25 to review the situation and till then the tournament will remain suspended. There is a suggestion by medical experts to increase the age level to 14 years because it is difficult to detect the exact age at 13, which will be discussed," he added.

"Some of players were detected to be not less than 15 years. If the districts do not help by checking the ages properly, our purpose itself will not be served," the ACA secretary said. The age verification in the under-13 stage is done on the basis of growth of teeth and in U-14 stage, it can be detected on the basis of bone growth.

The tournament was introduced as a mark of respect to former ACA joint secretary and first-class cricketer Umananda Bora, who passed away last year, to scout young talents and groom them at the Assam Cricket Academy.

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