The ICC has said it is “satisfied” that Nepal Under-19 captain Raju Rijal is eligible to play in the ongoing World Cup in Bangladesh. The ICC stated it “looked into the matter” and reviewed Rijal’s documents, which had been submitted by the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) before the tournament, and concluded there was no evidence to suggest that his date of birth – September 26, 1996 – was incorrect.
On Monday, the 25-year-old Mumbai cricketer Kaustubh Pawar had alleged that Rijal was overage, claiming on social media that he had played with Rijal then named Raju Sharma in an Under-15 tournament. “We played together in under 15 for Mumbai and now he is captain of Nepal under 19 team and we others are 24-25 age respectively,” Pawar’s post had said. “In Mumbai Raju Sharma, In Nepal Raju Rijal.”
The ICC said it spoke with the chief executive of CAN, Rijal and Nepal team manager Sudeep Sharma. The documents the ICC reviewed included copies of his passport and birth certificate, issued by the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, and a signed age-determination declaration.
“Since there was no evidence to suggest these documents were not genuine, the ICC considered the matter closed unless new information came up,” the ICC’s statement said. “Unless any new information comes to light, the ICC considers this matter closed.”