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HC refuses to interfere with BCCI’s age testing method

Delhi high court

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has refused to interfere with the BCCI’s policy for determining the age of players for under-16 tournaments saying it “stands to the test of reasonableness”.

A division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath said the Tanner Whitehouse 3(TW3) bone age test method adopted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for determining players’ age helped avoid discrimination.

“The policy decision taken by BCCI for adopting TW3 method for age determination of participants in Under-16 Tournaments cannot be held to be based on either irrational or extraneous criterion. The decision of BCCI, according to us, stands to the test of reasonableness and under no circumstances can be held to be against public interest,” the bench said in its order.

“Evidently, the bone age test adopted by BCCI is to avoid discrimination between the players and to ensure a level playing field in age group tournaments,” the court said.

The court’s verdict came in favour of BCCI on the appeals filed by it against a single judge order which had directed the board to determine age of players by relying on the birth certificates and documents.

The single judge had passed the order in December 2013 on the petitions of two cricketers– Yash and Aryan Sehrawat– who were held ineligible to play in Under-16 tournament by the board after they were found “over-age” in the TW3 bone age determination test.

The division bench also said, “BCCI cannot be expected to have method of verification of genuineness of documents which are given as proof of age by players from across the country.”

BCCI adopted the TW3 method in September 2012 replacing the GP (Greulich-Pyle) method as its accuracy rate was plus/ minus 6 months while the GP method’s accuracy rate was plus/ minus 2 years, it noted.

“We hold that the interference by this Court is not warranted and no mandamus can be issued compelling BCCI to adopt a different method for age determination of the writ petitioners. Accordingly, the order under appeal is set aside and the writ petitions shall stand dismissed,” the court said.

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