BCCI has taken a major step by allowing over-age players in the Under 16 Vijay Merchant Trophy. Many reasons are being speculated right now, but the most probable cause is due to covid induced problems. The board has identified 60 players who were found to be above the age restriction of 16.5 years in the bone test across all BCCI-affiliated organisations. The list is in their hands, but they have chosen not to publish it since it is not their ‘fault.’

As he puts it, “As you are aware, the U16 Vijay Merchant Tournament will be held this season beginning January 9, 2022. Every year, in the month of September, this competition is held. We also use the TW3 (Tanner, Healy, et al) bone test to assess if U16 participants are eligible to compete in the event. These bone examinations take place two months before the competition, generally in July of each year. This year’s competition is being held after a one-year COVID-induced hiatus, and it is also four months later than normal. As a result, the bone tests were also postponed by 3-4 months, beginning in the final week of November and continuing through the 20th of December.”

“In the bone test, several athletes were discovered to be older than 16.5 years. Due to the four-month delay in conducting the bone test and tournament, a few associations requested that we review all borderline (16.5) cases so that players do not lose out due to no fault of their own “Dhiraj Malhotra, GM — Game Development, BCCI, wrote a letter to all state associations on Wednesday (December 29).