Delhi’s wicketkeeper-batsman Anuj Rawat, who recently captained India U-19 in four-day matches in Sri Lanka, is under the scanner for playing an unsanctioned T20 league in Mauritius last year along with a host of Pakistani cricketers.
The tournament was held in June last year and Anuj played in it alongside some lesser-known first-class players like Asad Pathan.
Normally for playing in leagues in UK or Bangladesh, a cricketer ne (No Objection Certificate) NOC from BCCI to apply for visa.
However, for travelling to Mauritius, Indian nationals don’t need a visa if the intended stay is for not more than 60 days.
The visa policy states: “You don’t need a visa to enter Mauritius. On arrival, your passport will be stamped allowing entry to the country for 60 days. You’ll need to be able to provide evidence of onward or return travel.”
The rule allowed the cricketers to bypass BCCI and play in the tournament, which featured a lot of questionable names.
It is learnt that India’s U-19 World Cup hero Manjot Kalra had also sought permission from the BCCI to play this particular tournament, only to be rejected by the parent body.
Anuj, who is currently playing a one day series against Sri Lanka colts, appeared to have not procured any NOC from the BCCI to play in the unsanctioned tournament.
A YouTube video of the tournament has emerged and Anuj is seen playing in a match between teams named Flac Royals and Quatre Borne.
Anuj’s opposing team comprised former Pakistan cricketer Hasan Raza and ex-England international Owais Shah, who had featured in the sting operation conducted by the Al Jazeera network.
Acting BCCI secretary Amitabh Chaudhary was shocked to know that some players have played in the unsanctioned tournament.
“The age group players are educated by BCCI at the national level. This is very unfortunate if junior players have gone ahead and played unsanctioned tournament. This ne to be looked into seriously,” Choudhary said.
BCCI GM (Cricket Operations) Saba Karim said that he was unaware of the developments.
“For any tournament outside India, the players need to seek NOC from BCCI. I am not aware whether Anuj sought permission or not. You could check with DDCA,” Karim said.
A senior DDCA official confirmed that Anuj has not taken any permission from the state association.
Anuj made his first-class debut last year and scored 178 runs in three games with two half centuries.
He couldn’t make it to the U-19 World Cup squad in New Zealand due to poor show in the lead-up tournaments.
However, he was rewarded with captaincy of the days side and led them to a 2-0 victory in the Youth Test series in Sri Lanka recently.
Anuj can still claim that he was unaware of the rules as in June 2017, he was not part of the national U-19 camp.
However, the BCCI, in all likelihood, could ask him a few tough questions about flouting the rules of the parent body.