Vanshaj Sharma, an Indian cricketer who plays for Jammu and Kashmir in domestic cricket, has been banned by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for allegedly keeping multiple date of birth certificates. The cricketer faces a two-year ban for the offence.
“Vansajh Sharma, player ID 17026, submitted multiple birth certificates to BCCI and hence is banned from participating in all BCCI tournamens for a period of 2 years w.e.f October 27,2023,” the Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association said in a release.
Brig Anil Gupta, an administrator with JKCA, said that the ban will be for two years and even after it is over, the tainted cricketer won’t be able to participate in all tournaments held under BCCI’s banner.
Vanshaj owned multiple birth certificates with different dates. BCCI has a strict policy on age fudging and hence the cricketer has been served a ban.
“In the instant case, Vanshaj Sharma migrated to another state and applied from there as a member of U-23 Men’s team of Bihar, the JKCA official further said.
Brig Gupta said that Vanshaj was first registered by the JKCA in 2021-22. His data was already available with the BCCI and while chaging the Association, he submitted multiple birth certificates.
“As a consequence of which he has been banned from participating in any tournament for two years and from participating in age group tournaments for the entire life,” the handout added.
As per BCCI’s protocols, the board motivates those players who are already registered with them and have manipulated the birth date to come out with the correct date of birth certificate. If they do so, they will not face any ban and will be allowed to play age group cricket. This is called Voluntary Discloser Scheme. However, if the cricketer has done the fraud and continued to hide it will be banned when caught.
In 2020, under the chairmanship of Sourav Ganguly, BCCI released new protocol under which “any player submitting fake/tampered birth certificate will be banned for 2 years from all cricket matches under the aegis of BCCI & State Units.”
The same punishment is on paper for domicile fraud.
Mr Jay Shah, Honorary Secretary, BCCI had said, “BCCI has a zero-tolerance approach towards age fraud in cricket. Not only have we dedicated a 24/7 helpline to counter this menace, but the Board also has a system in place that thoroughly examines, and cross-verifies documents submitted by its registered players. The Voluntary Disclosure Scheme will provide those who have committed the fraud a chance to come forward and admit their offence.”