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KCA ignore sexual assault, bullying complaints against coach since 2018

KCA ignore sexual assault, bullying complaints against coach since 2018

Kerala Cricket Association. (Photo Source: X/Twitter)

The Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) has come under scrutiny for allegedly ignoring complaints of sexual assault and bullying against a girls’ cricket coach, Manu M, since 2018. Recent revelations have exposed a series of POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) cases filed against the coach.

The controversies surrounding Manu M date back to 2018 when the first complaints of bullying were reportedly raised in a KCA apex council meeting. Despite these early warning signs, the association allowed Manu to continue coaching, even after a sexual abuse allegation surfaced in 2022.

The KCA’s handling of the situation has been criticized as negligent and potentially endangering the safety of young female cricketers.

“We got the first complaint from a parent in June this year about an incident that took place in 2018. They had already registered a complaint with Childline before informing us. But in April, Manu had sent in his resignation citing that he got a job in Bengaluru where his family lives,” said KCA secretary Vinod S Kumar as quoted by The News Minute.

Also read: Rohit Sharma pens down emotional farewell letter for Rahul Dravid

I have seen girls walking away from Manu M crying: Former player at the KCA 

The association claims that Manu resigned in April 2024, citing a job opportunity in Bengaluru. However, evidence suggests he was still assigned as a coach for the KCA TCM Pink T20 Challengers 2024 tournament in May.

“At least this fellow should have been removed from the responsibility of coaching girls. They are closely connected. Manu is a member of a club launched by Vinod,” said Ajith Kumar

The lack of proper mechanisms to handle such sensitive issues within the KCA has also come to light.

“I have seen girls walking away from him crying, but I thought it might be because he scolded them as part of coaching. Later, two girls who were 10 or 12 years old, told me what happened. I took their video and went to the Cantonment police station,” Akhil, a cricketer and former player at the KCA said while speaking to Mathrubhumi News.

Also read: Gautam Gambhir, BCCI negotiating salary before announcing appointment of Head Coach

The association does not have an Internal Committee as mandated by the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) Act, relying instead on an ethics committee and an ombudsman, neither of which are equipped to deal with sexual abuse complaints involving minors.

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