The BCCI has issued additional measures to curb the menace of age fraud in Indian domestic cricket, adopting a Voluntary Discourse Scheme (VDS) for players who have already registered apart from handing down two-year ban on those find out to have committed the fraud.

As per the VDS, those who voluntary declare about having manipulated their date of birth through fake/tampered documents will escape the punishment and allowed to continue playing in appropriate age group.

“Under this scheme, players who voluntarily declare that they have manipulated their date of birth by submitting fake/tampered documents in the past will not be suspended and allowed to participate in the appropriate age group level if they disclose their actual date of birth (DOB),” BCCI said in a statement on Monday.

“Players have to submit a signed letter/email along with supporting documents to BCCI Age Verification Dept. revealing their actual DOB before 15th September 2020,” it added.

However, those who are found to have provided fake/tampered documents will be banned for two years and won’t be allowed to participate in age group tournaments of BCCI, as well as those organised by the State Units even after completing of ban.

Guidelines have also been issued with regards to domicile fraud with a provision of two-year ban on those found guilty of it.

“All Cricketers committing Domicile fraud, including Senior Men & Women, will be banned for 2 years. Voluntary Disclosure Scheme does not apply for cricketers who have committed domicile fraud,” the statement read.

“For the BCCI Under-16 age group tournament, only players who are between 14-16 years old will be permitted to register.

“In the Under-19 age group, if a player’s birth is found to be registered more than 2 years after birth, as mentioned in the birth certificate, then there will be restrictions on the number of years allowed to participate in the BCCI Under-19 tournaments,” it added.

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said the steps have been taken to provide a level-playing field across age groups.

“We are committed to providing a level-playing field across all age groups. The BCCI has been taking steps to counter age fraud and are now introducing even stricter measures from the upcoming domestic season. Those who do not voluntarily disclose their misdemeanour will be punished heavily and will be banned for two years,” Ganguly said.

India batting legend and Director of National Cricket Academy Rahul Dravid encouraged cricketers to abide by the directives. “Age fraud is a serious matter and is detrimental to the health of the sport. Many youngsters who are supposed to be playing in a particular age group fail to make it owing to age fraud. With the BCCI taking stern actions to curb this, it is only advisable for the players to come forward and abide by the directives issued by the Board,” Dravid said.