Rizvi Springfield coach Raju Pathak yesterday lashed out at the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) for targeting their school. Pathak also pointed to double standards on the part of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) and the school sports body in the ongoing overage issue.
Rizvi coach Raju Pathak and MCA secretary PV Shetty
MSSA's cricket disciplinary committee banned eight Harris Shield players (four from Rizvi and four from Swami Vivekanand International School, Borivli) from taking part in its U-16 tournament for two seasons after they were found overage following a bone test.
Change in stance
Pathak said both MSSA and MCA change their stand as per their convenience. "Rizvi is targeted since we keep winning titles. Even last year our player, Satyalaksh Jain was declared overage by MSSA since he had two birth certificates, but his bone test conducted by MCA showed he was underage. Satyalaksh is the vice-captain of the Mumbai U-16 side. How come he is eligible to play for Mumbai and not for his school team," Pathak said.
"Even Vaibhav (Kalamkar) led the Mumbai U-14 side last February. Then, he was U-14 and within seven months, his bone tests suggest he is overage (for Harris Shield) now. When these players represent Mumbai (in age group tournaments), they are not considered overage, but for Rizvi, they become overage. Why such double standards," asked Pathak, who said that MSSA should not change their rules after the tournament starts.
Be it MSSA or MCA, they should have clear rules. When the MCA bone test results were out, MCA's Joint Secretary DR PV Shetty called the parents and players and told them that they could continue to represent their school, but not play in Mumbai's selection matches. Later, MCA changed their stand. Last year, MSSA banned a player, who had passed the bone test, but had a faulty birth certificate. This time, they want to ban players, who have genuine certificates, but failed the bone test. It's unfair," added Pathak.
Meanwhile, Shetty rubbished Pathak's claims. "These allegations about MCA's bone test being taken into consideration to ban players are false. The MSSA conducted a bone test only after we insisted on it. Also, we have never told players to play for their schools and don't play in Mumbai selection matches," said Shetty.