BCCI chief medical officer resignation puts cloud over age-verification for Vijay Merchant Trophy

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Dr Abhijit Salvi was in-charge of verifying gamers’ age for Under-16 event that begins on January 9

Age fudging may probably rear its ugly head throughout the forthcoming Vijay Merchant Trophy with the BCCI’s medical skilled, who verifies gamers’ age eligibility, stepping down practically a month earlier than the event.

ESPNcricinfo has realized that Dr. Abhijit Salvi, BCCI’s chief medical officer, has resigned. Salvi moved out after the New Zealand Test sequence which completed on December 7 in Mumbai. He is believed to have stepped down for private causes. The BCCI is but to make Salvi’s exit public. The board has additionally not given any indication if it intends to promote for his substitute.

The timing of Salvi’s departure is critical, contemplating the BCCI is scheduled to conduct the Under-16 nationwide championships, in any other case often called the Vijay Merchant Trophy, from January 9, 2022. There are 36 groups with matches unfold throughout the nation. What has this received to do with Salvi? He was accountable for the age verification course of, put in place by BCCI to uproot age-fraud, a malaise that former Indian captain and present males’s head coach Rahul Dravid mentioned was “toxic” and equivalent to “fixing”.

Normally, Salvi would have been busy now conducting the bone density take a look at, in any other case often called the Tanner Whitehouse 3 technique, used to find out the age of the participant based mostly on the expansion of the bones within the wrist. The TW3 technique is used solely at Under-16 degree by BCCI. The board’s age-verification group’s foremost duty is to tally the TW3 ranking together with date of start proof paperwork earlier than submitting the ultimate eligibility report for every participant. As CMO, Salvi was the authorising head for the eligibility report.

One key potential hazard of there being no medical skilled decoding and validating the eligibility course of is real gamers may get disqualified for the Under-16 event, which may additional endanger their participation in BCCI’s Under-19 tournaments sooner or later.

Salvi, who joined the BCCI in 2012, was the one-person medical arm of the board – main the medical and anti-doping wings. Recently, Salvi was additionally the CMO on the males’s T20 World Cup within the UAE and Oman.

The improvement, although, won’t have an effect on the India’s tour of South Africa. While he travelled because the group physician on India’s journeys to Australia in 2020-21 after which to Sri Lanka, Salvi was by no means meant to journey to South Africa. It is realized that the BCCI has appointed Charles Minz because the group physician for the South Africa journey.

During the pandemic, Salvi’s obligations stacked up massively as he needed to put together the biosafety norms for all cricket performed in India, together with the final two editions of the IPL. His greatest problem got here throughout the first half of IPL 2021, which needed to be halted on the midway stage after Covid-19 instances within the event bubble grew rapidly.

When it got here to anti-doping, the BCCI had a 24X7 helpline, which primarily was Salvi. The BCCI adopted the WADA code solely in 2009 and testing in home cricket began in 2012 when Salvi teamed up with Vece Paes, father of the previous Indian tennis participant Leander. Vece Paes was then the BCCI’s medical head and anti-doping supervisor. The pair labored arduous to create an anti-doping training programme and carried out workshops within the low season, visiting totally different states. It was Salvi who travelled throughout the nation to each educate gamers, and emphasise on the significance of anti-doping.

Nagraj Gollapudi is information editor at ESPNcricinfo

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