Mumbai: Out of the 15 teenaged cricketers who were selected to represent India in the Youth Asia Cup in Colombo, in December, seven of them have been dropped due to eligibility issues. The cricketers were informed about the changes one day before they were to join the preparatory camp for the tournament in Bengaluru on Friday.
All this trouble was caused as BCCI got the cut-off year for eligibility wrong. The original eligibility given by the Asian Cricket Council was 1-9-1998 and the board told its selectors and joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary that the cut-off year was 1997.
To announce the new team, the BCCI didn’t issue any press release, but changed the name of the players on the official website.
A BCCI official told The Indian Express that, “It was a major goof-up. Luckily, it came to our notice now. Things could have been worse if we would have come to know about this after the team had landed in Sri Lanka. The selectors were informed and they quickly replaced those seven names.”
The players who were dropped out at the last minute were: Digvijay Rangi, opening batsman (Himachal Pradesh); Chandan Sahini, middle-order batsman (Hyderabad); Daryl S Ferrario, batsman and off-spinner (Kerala), Sandeep Tomar, wicket-keeper and batsman (UP); Rishabh Bhagat, medium-pacer (Punjab); Simarjit Singh, medium-pacer (Delhi); and, Izan Sayed medium-pacer (Maharashtra).
The news came as a shock to the young players. Sandeep Tomar said, “It was a matter of great joy but now I am feeling equally sad. My visa was done, and passport submitted. I was to go Bengaluru tomorrow and join the camp. My mother said, ‘Don’t worry, if you are lucky, you will get another chance in the future’. But I missed an India cap by just eight days,”
Rishabh Bhagat says, "I am heartbroken after realising that I won’t get to play under coach Rahul Dravid. I got a call from the BCCI… It has happened, now what can I say? I was so happy but now am heartbroken.”
The seven players who have been named as replacement are: Himanshu Rana, Salman Khan, Harvik Desai, Yash Thakur, Heramb Parab, Vivekanand Tiwary, Het Patel (wicket-keeper)....