Rahul Dravid says the practice of age fraud tends to have a long-term effect and not only it erodes the cricketing culture, associations indulging in such acts end up paying the price later on by not achieving success at the senior level.
“Age fraud leads to an erosion of culture,” Dravid told The Times of India. “It leads to a scenario where a lot of talented boys don’t get to play, when they should actually be playing.”
Dravid, who is currently heading the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, has laid the onus of dealing with the menace of age-fraud on the officials managing teams and clubs. “It is up to the maidan secretaries, the owners of the office teams, the club teams to ensure that this does not happen,” he said.
The menace of age-fraud has again taken the centre-stage in recent times with the likes of U-19 World Cup winnner Manjot Kalra, Delhi batsman and IPL star Nitish Rana and Mumbai Indians’ rookie fast bowler Rasikh Salam being accused of fudging their respective ages. Salam has already been banned for two years by the BCCI.
This is not the first time Dravid has touched upon the issue. During the MAK Pataudi lecture in 2016 he had said the incidents can have a negative impact on honest players who might become disillusioned.
“The truth is that the player who has faked his age might make it at the junior level not necessarily because he is better or more talented, but because he is stronger and bigger. We all know how much of a difference a couple of years can make at that age. That incident will have another ripple effect: an honest player deprived of his place by an overage player, is disillusioned. We run the risk of losing him forever,” Dravid had said.