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bombay high court

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Matter of policy: BCCI’s bone density test for age deemed admissible by Bombay High Court


Your real age is what your bone density test says you are.

The above is the edict of the Bombay High Court dismissing a petition from young cricketer Sagar Chhabria challenging his declared ineligibility for an Under-16 tournament.

The Tanner-Whitehouse Test (TW3) determined that Sagar was in fact 16-and-a-half and thus overage.

Honourable judges, SC Dharmadhikari and Justice BP Colabawalla,  declared that chronological age such as birth certificates and passport are insufficient—specifically for sporting activities.

Wikipedia states:

“Bone age is the degree of maturation of a child’s bones. As a person grows from fetal life through childhood, puberty, and finishes growth as a young adult, the bones of the skeleton change in size and shape. These changes can be seen by x-ray. The ‘bone age’ of a child is the average age at which children reach this stage of bone maturation. A child’s current height and bone age can be used to predict adult height. For most people, their bone age is the same as their biological age but for some individuals, their bone age is a couple years older or younger. Those with advanced bone ages typically hit a growth spurt early on but stop growing early sooner while those with delayed bone ages hit their growth spurt later than normal. Kids who are below average height do not necessarily have a delayed bone age; in fact their bone age could actually be advanced which if left untreated, will stunt their growth.”

Bone age is determined by comparing hand x-rays against an atlas of bone x-rays.

The Tanner-Whitehouse Test (TW3) has a 96% success rate in males and 98% in females. The classification process was tested with 50 left-hand wrist images. Details can be found in the research paper  Estimation of Skeletal Maturity by Tanner and Whitehouse Method by V.Karthikeyan, V.J.Vijayalakshmi and P.Jeyakumar.

The esteemed judges said:

“Chronological of birth through public documents cannot provide absolute right for selection in a sports activity, when the petitioner completely knew about the medical test laid down by the BCCI in regards to selection process for which he had signed up.”

(FIFA introduced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans for the Under-17 World Cup in 2009. MRI scans are believed to be 99% accurate for 17 years and below.)

Chhabria did not challenge the methods of the test or the experts employed by the BCCI to make the correct deduction.

The cricketer was opposed to an ‘excessive’ policy which also meant that the BCCI enjoyed a monopoly while determining whether Chhabria should be allowed to participate in sports tournaments or not.

The BCCI defended itself claiming that the test was in use across different states and was not particular to the Mumbai Cricket Association. Moreover, the test had an in-built corrective mechanism wherein a third expert could be called in to if the first two experts differed in their opinion.

The judges added that the challenge could only be entertained if there was no prior rule or policy.

“However once participation is dependent on policy, then parties like the petitioner cannot bypass the same or call upon the court to do so.”

Sagar Chhabria is a Bandra resident. The petition was filed through his father.

The BCCI’s advocates said that Chhabria was , however, eligible to take part in Under-19 tournaments.

The BCCI does not employ the TW3 test at the Under-19 level.

According to an article in the Mumbai Mirror, “the so-called ‘fool-proof testing’ has not apparently worked well at the under-19 stage.”

The BCCI had over 2000 litigations from Under-19 players with regards to age testing using the said method.

A BCCI official said:

“The protocol for the under 19 players is valid certification — valid school leaving and birth certificates. The point is testing at under 19 level is a futile exercise and the accuracy of the results are questioned by the players who are resorting to legal recourse, if found overaged.”

The testing was undertaken at both levels following a directive from the ministry of sports.

The official added:

“The ministry of sports has sent us a directive to verify height, weight, dental age, physical and physiological state of the players and do X-rays and MRI scans. It would cost a lot and there is no guarantee over its accuracy, particularly at under 19 level. The board wants U-16 to be the entry point but the point is if someone flunks age-test at the under 16 level, one can always make himself available three years later at under 19 level with fake birth certificates.”

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Weekend Cricket Diary: Chanderpaul,Pataudi and the IPL


Flag of the West Indies Cricket Board

29th April, 2011:

WICB chief Ernest Hilaire’s comments about the West Indian team hit a raw nerve—Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s.

When he termed the West Indian cricketers of the past 15 years as lacking application and discipline, he overlooked the chip on Chanderpaul’s shoulder.

The Guyanese bat of Indian origin who uncomplainingly carried Windies hopes, oft receiving less than his share of glory—overshadowed first by Brian Lara and later Chris Gayle—, came out strongly in a letter addressed to Hilaire .

Questioning the use of ‘we’ in his interview, the Guyanese asked him, “Are you speaking for yourself, albeit as CEO of the West Indies Cricket Board or are you speaking for and on behalf of the West Indies Cricket Board itself?”

Chanderpaul threatened to take whatever action necessary to safeguard his reputation.

The boot is truly on the other foot.

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IPL Round-up: Kochi on verge of going belly up, Kings XI ‘courts’ BCCI


Shashi Tharoor at the MEDEF Université d'été

Image via Wikipedia

Is it the end of the road for the Kochi consortium? A Daily News & Analysis (DNA) report would have us believe so.

Vijay Tagore reports that at a meeting held on Friday, the 12th of November, 2010, the franchisee owners agreed to write to the Board Of Control For Cricket in India (BCCI) to cancel the team.The letter is to be submitted this Monday or Tuesday. This is a good two weeks before the deadline extended by the BCCI.

(Well, if there’s bad news to be had , you might as well receive it early.)

The irreconcilable differences in the cobbled-together-unit could not stand the scrutiny of day. The members’ sole concern is to recover the money and bank guarantee submitted to the Board.The agreement fee was $10 million (Rs. 45 crore) and the bank guarantee Rs. 153 crore , 10 per cent of the team’s worth.

In this case, it does seem a case of a terrible beginning making for an equally tragic ending.

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IPL: A Sea Of Storms For Kochi, Kings XI and Rajasthan Royals


Elephants10-028-copy

Image by kdewhunter via Flickr

The route to IPL4 has never seemed as foggy as it is today.

And there seems to be no one sounding the fog horn either!

The three vessels SS Kings XI Punjab, SS Rajasthan Royals and SS Kochi are stranded in the  stormy seas seeking a lighthouse to guide them to safety.

But their distress signals , their SOSs, have received little response from the current keepers of the beacon.

The IPL seas are still uncharted waters and the reefs are mapped as they are traversed.

Three voyages in three seasons and it was Heigh Ho! Life’s a bottle of rum!

Life’s not so rummy any more for the voyagers.

Nor quite so profitable!

The treasure hunt continues!

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