Several wards of railway employees knocked on the doors of the Delhi High Court on Tuesday, challenging the BCCI’s decision restraining them from playing for the railways in the “under-19” and “under-23” categories.
A plea moved by 10 wards of railway employees said the junior teams were allowed to participate in the tournaments organised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from 1980 and since then, the railway employees’ children had been representing the department and winning accolades.
It said the BCCI had decided that only the permanent employees of the railways would be allowed to play for the team.
The plea came up for hearing before Justice Vibhu Bakhru, who asked the junior players to give a representation to the BCCI.
The petition, filed through advocate Aditya Kumar Choudhary, sought a direction to quash the May 3 letter sent by the BCCI to the Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB), informing it about the recommendation of the board’s technical committee at its April 16 meeting, which was ratified by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA).
It said at the April 16 meeting, the BCCI technical committee had recommended that the RSPB team should only consist of players who were on permanent employment with the railways.
The plea sought a direction to the board to let the RSPB Under-19, Under-23 and senior teams to include the wards of railway employees and conduct an immediate trial for all the categories.
The petition has made the BCCI, the RSPB and the Ministry of Railways parties to it.
“The railway teams have been playing in different BCCI tournaments for more than 30 years and have consistently played well and contributed not only to Indian cricket but to world cricket as well by producing excellent players in the likes of Sanjay Bangar, Murali Kartik, Karn Sharma, JP Yadav and Harvinder Singh,” the petition said.
“…. the schedule for the BCCI domestic season has been released and the season is going to start from September 19, there is an urgent need to take action against these steps of the BCCI and the RSPB, otherwise thousands of promising careers will be ruined in the blink of an eye,” it added.