There is a distinct possibility that Indian sports' biggest recruiters will have to disband their U-19 team if the BCCI technical committee recommendation is ratified by the general body.
During a recent technical committee meeting in Kolkata, its members found that Railways is the only BCCI unit whose junior team (U-19) comprised children of employees.
"The technical committee has recommended that from now on, any institutional unit taking part in any BCCI tournament (age-group to senior level tournament) can only select employees," a senior BCCI official and technical committee member said.
"We have received complaints that Railways' employees' kids are playing U-19 Nationals. This was not the idea," the senior official said.
When Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) secretary Rekha Yadav was contacted, she explained the prevailing problem.
"Yes, at the U-19 level, we have children of employees playing but there is a genuine reason. We are a government organisation and we can't pick outsiders like state teams do. But even those kids are selected after trials," Yadav said.
She expressed her helplessness that it's not possible to recruit 20 U-19 cricketers every year.
"First things first. We are ready to recruit talented U-19s but we are not getting enough players. Secondly, it is not possible to recruit 15 to 20 age group cricketers every year. We have a recruitment policy that we adhere to. We can't just recruit cricketers and ignore other Olympic sports," she explained.
"The second reason is that if there are some really good talent, they would prefer playing for teams like Mumbai, Delhi or Karnataka. Even the talented kids of our employees want to play for open states," she said.
When the BCCI official was apprised of Railways' problem, he said: "We are not for once saying that employees' kids can't be talented. We are merely saying that if they are talented, recruit all of them. We only want Railways to pick employees for all BCCI events."
The Railways mostly recruits at the U-23 (CK Nayudu Trophy) and Ranji Trophy level.
However, there have been a few U-19 recruitment by Railways during earlier years, who did well at senior level and even played for India.
Former left-arm spinner Murali Kartik and current CSK leg spinner Karn Sharma have both started their career as Railways Colts players and then gone onto play Test cricket for India.
First Published: April 20, 2018, 1:06 PM IST