In a move guaranteed to establish in the fairest and most clinically precise way possible the integrity of age-group competition, the ACC recently ran a thorough Age Determination Programme at the recent U-15 ACC Cup.
Competitors from all competing nations were screened according to physiology, bone density and dental age in order to determine the most accurate classification of a player's age. ""It is believed that age manipulation leads to undue performance for the older players and injury risk for the younger players. Just by visual observation it is apparent that an Afghan boy has a different build to a Thai boy of the same age - that is an inherent genetic characteristic", says Dr. Vece Paes, the ACC Sports Medicine Consultant who conducted the tests. "Yet it is imperative that we take the lead in establishing protocols which will allow for better and more practical determinants of age than just paper documentation." With the best will in the world, it is fair to say that in some areas of Asia, record-keeping has been a little lax in years gone by!
The Age Determination Protocol is to be used by the ACC for all future U-19, U-17 and U-15 tournaments under its administration. Syed Ashraful Huq, the ACC Chief Executive emphatically affirms: "On a basic level, it is my paramount concern that a young cricketer plays in an environment of utmost integrity and that no team or competitor gains an unfair advantage over the other. We at the ACC will be doing our utmost to ensure that our youth have every opportunity to advance their skills and performance levels. This cannot be done where you have boys of advanced years competing against younger ones."
Filed April 28 2005