Mirpur: The International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday confirmed that Nepal captain Raju Rijal is eligible to play in the ICC U-19 World Cup.
The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) officials and a former Ranji Trophy player Kaustubh Pawar had alleged that Raju Rijal is a man called Raju Sharma, who had captained Mumbai U-15 back in 2000 and should be aged around 25-26 years. However ICC is set to allow Rijal to continue playing in the tournament.
According to a press release on its website, "The ICC has spoken with the Chief Executive of the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN), concerned player and the Nepal Team Manager, and has again reviewed the documents which were submitted by the CAN before the start of the competition. These documents include copies of his passport and birth certificate, which were issued by the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, as well as a signed age determination declaration.
"According to the official documents, Raju Rijal is born on 26 September 1996. Players born on or after 1 September 1996, are eligible to participate in the ICC U-19 World Cup."
As such, the ICC has no evidence to suggest that the passport and birth certificate, issued by the Nepalese government/authorities, are not genuine or that the statement provided by the player is false. Unless any new information comes to light, the ICC considers this matter closed.