New under-19 restriction will hit Mumbai hard

The Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) Working Committee decision to restrict the participation of under-19 players to two years in the Cooch Behar Trophy will hit Mumbai hard.

Armaan Jaffer
Armaan Jaffer

The Mumbai team, who were runners-up last season, will be without their top six players due to this recent rule.

The Board made this decision at the June 24 Working Committee meeting in Dharamsala in an effort to prevent age-fudging.

India U-19 star Armaan Jaffer along with Khizar Dafedar, Hardik Tamore, Sidak Singh, Adeeb Usmani and Ashay Sardesai have represented Mumbai U-19 for two years. Armaan, Siddak and Khizar made the u-19 side when they were 16. Mumbai lost to Uttar Pradesh by three wickets in last season's final.

'We'll lose half our side'
"If this rule is implemented, we will lose half our side. We feel that players should be permitted to play at the u-19 level for three years. I will discuss this matter with the MCA office bearers and Cricket Improvement Committee (CIC) chairman Dilip Vengsarkar and will request BCCI to reconsider," Mumbai Cricket Association Jt Honorary Secretary Dr PV Shetty told mid-day.    
This issue will come up for discussion at MCA's next CIC meeting.

"You (BCCI) are allowing under-16 players to play at the under-19 level. Normally, most U-19 state teams have two to three good under-16 players. The following year they play u-19 cricket at the age of 17 and then, there are no matches for them till the under-23 age group," said Shetty.

However, Shetty supported BCCI's decision that restricted an U-19 cricketer to represent India only once in the ICC
U-19 World Cup. Due to this decision, Armaan, who represented India in U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh earlier  this year, will not play the next edition of the event.

"Rahul Dravid was coach of the Indian team during the last u-19 World Cup and he must have seen what is going on, so I think BCCI's decision is a right one," Shetty added.

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