'TW3 is the only option now'

Not the end of the road for those who failed the age test: Kumble

A few months ago, there was a lot of confusion among players and anger among parents when six U-16 cricketers from Karnataka were found overage after they underwent a BCCI-sanctioned TW3 age verification test.

When the test results were disclosed, one of those boys was with the State team in Visakhapatnam and he was immediately asked to leave the squad. The development left some of the parents shocked as many of those boys had genuine medical reports and documents like passport to prove that the boys were not overage as revealed by the tests.

KSCA President Anil Kumble, who is also the chairman of the Board’s Technical Committee, clarified the issue. “When a boy fails the TW3 test, it doesn’t mean that we are challenging the fact that he is not under the prescribed age of 16,” he pointed out.

“It’s only that one who fails the test is ineligible to play at the U-16 level. There is confusion over this because parents think we are questioning the veracity of their claim which is not the case. TW3 is the best age verification process available at the moment and widely used across South Asian countries.

As per the TW3 (Tanner- Whitehouse 3) method, an x-ray on the lower end of the forearm of teenagers up to 16-and-a-half years will determine their exact age. “At the moment there is no other option than to follow the best method in our hands.

It’s true that there might be genuine cases that are proved wrong in the tests. I have discussed this issue at the technical committee,” explained Kumble, indicating that he may take up the matter in the next sitting.

What it essentially means is that a player may well be within the prescribed age limit but he may have overgrown compared to his other age mates, putting him in an advantageous position over others.

“One of the boys who failed the test has grown up in front of me and I know his family well. I know that their claims are right but nothing can be done as such. Some boys grow up fast and their physique belies their age. TW3 can be used only to determine whether the boy is plus or minus 16.

It can’t ascertain age at any other time. So for those who failed the test, it’s important to think positively and be optimistic about the opportunity waiting at the U-19 level. That’s all what I can say,” noted Kumble. “If I had undergone the same test when I was 16, I probably might have failed in it,” said the former India skipper on a lighter note.

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