Physical proof of age (2008)?
It isn’t even clear with the living, let alone those who have been dead for five hundred years:
The current method adopted for verifying the age of cricketers has come
under scrutiny from the ICC’s medical council, which met in Dubai recently to
discuss a variety of issues that impact the performance of an athlete.
The topic of cricketers’ legitimate age has long been debated, especially in the
subcontinent, with India and Pakistan doing exceedingly well in age-group
tournaments like the Under-19 World Cup.
At the moment a player’s age is determined by using X-rays, a method the
five-member panel thought was absolutely unscientific. “Presently X-rays of
the growing ends of the bone or the dental X-rays are used to determine the
player’s age which was unanimously turned down by the committee. The
margin of error can be as much as one or two years”, Dr Anant Joshi, the
Indian representative, told Cricinfo.
The alternative, the committee recommended, was to go by verification of
authentic papers like the passport, date of birth certificate and any other
relevant papers at every possible instance. Joshi, who is also the BCCI’s
medical consultant, said discrepancies could take place using this method,
too, but it was a much better procedure.