Mumbai cricketer Kaustubh Pawar recently stirred controversy by saying that the captain of the Nepal U-19 team that’s currently playing in the ICC U-19 World Cup was around 25-years of age. However, the ICC after carrying out necessary enquiries has ruled that Raju Rijal’s age is indeed as per the documents submitted by the Nepalese cricketing authorities.
According to Pawar, who had posted on several leading social media sites, he’d played with Rijal as early as in 2000s, in a U-15 tournament. Pawar had also alleged that back then Rijal used to play under the name of Raju Sharma.
Noting the severity of the allegations, the ICC checked the veracity of the documents furnished by the Nepalese authorities and concluded that there was no wrong-doing in these submitted documentations. In addition, the ICC also stated that since there was no proof regarding the doubts about the player’s age except Pawar’s allegations, Rijal would not only be allowed to continue to play in the event, but also that the subject would be closed until any newer evidences emerged about Rijal’s age.
In the U-19 World Cup, Nepal, who’s in Group D as India, has qualified for the quarter-finals. In the last eight, Nepal will take on hosts Bangladesh in Mirpur, on the 5th February.