BCCI Chief Medical Officer’s resignation could lead to age fudging during Vijay Merchant Trophy


BCCI Chief Medical Officer Dr. Abhijit Salvi has reportedly resigned from his position. He is the one who verifies players’ age eligibility and this might put the upcoming Vijay Merchant Trophy, the U16 tournament under the cloud in terms of age fudging. The BCCI has not made the news of Salvi’s resignation public yet but it is understood that he left the post after the second Test between India and New Zealand ended on December 7.

The Vijay Merchant Trophy is set to commence on January 9 where U16 cricketers from across the country participate. A total of 36 teams fight it out for the glory and Abhijit Salvi was in charge to verify the age of the players ahead of the tournament. The timing of his resignation is significant as only less than a month is left for the competition to get underway.

According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, Salvi stepped down from the helm for personal reasons and apart from not making the news public, the BCCI hasn’t even advertised his replacement.

What was Salvi’s role?

Abhijit Salvi was in-charge of the age verification process as BCCI aimed to uproot the age fraud. India’s current head coach and former NCA head Rahul Dravid had also earlier called his malaise as toxic and equal to fixing. As far as Salvi is concerned, he would’ve been conducting the bone density test, used to determine and verify the age of the players, by now with less than a month to go for the tournament.

With no medical expert to verify the age, there are fears propping up that some of the genuine players may get disqualified from the U16 tournament and in turn, it may affect their participation in future U19 tournaments as well.

Apart from being at the helm of the age verification process, Abhijit Salvi also travelled to Australia and Sri Lanka as India’s team doctor. But his resignation will not have any impact on the team’s South Africa tour as he was never supposed to travel to the rainbow nation. The ESPNCricinfo report also added that the BCCI has appointed Charles Minz as the team doctor for the South Africa tour.

It remains to be seen if BCCI appoints any medical expert to avoid age fudging in the Vijay Merchant Trophy and if they are thinking of it, then they will have to do it soon with only three weeks to go for the tournament.