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Manjot Kalra suspended from Ranji Trophy for age fraud

Manjot Kalra, India's centurion in the U-19 World Cup final of 2018, has been handed a one-year suspension from Ranji Trophy for an age-fraud offence. According to a PTI report, the Delhi batsman was served the punishment by the outgoing DDCA Ombudsman Badar Durrez Ahmed for an offence allegedly committed during his U-16 and U-19 playing days.

Nitish Rana, another Delhi batsman, has not been served a punishment for the time being with the more documents of his age proof being sought to validate his case of wrongdoing in age-group cricket. The case of Shivam Mavi, current KKR bowler and a teammate of Kalra at the 2018 U-19 World Cup, will be passed on to BCCI with the fast bowler now representing Uttar Pradesh.

Curiously, Justice Durrez Ahmed passed the verdict on the final day of his tenure. Kalra, who last week scored 80 playing for Delhi U-23 side, was in line to replace Shikhar Dhawan in the Ranji squad but will now not be eligible for participation this season. "He has been prevented from playing club matches also. Now his parents will have to appeal for a change of order in front of new Ombudsman. Till then DDCA can't pick him for Ranji Trophy. We are helpless," DDCA general secretary Vinod Tihara told PTI.

Tihara also expressed surprise at Rana not being punished for the similar offence. Justice Durrez Ahmed, however, has implored the state association to seek birth certificate related documents from his school - DAV Centenary, Narela - before the next hearing. It is unclear if the new ombudsman will decide on the quantum of punishment, if any, in the case of Rana.

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