Calcutta: In India, if you say that cricket is following in the footsteps of soccer, you may be red-carded for insanity. Though globally soccer enjoys an overwhelming superiority, it’s quite the other way round in the subcontinent, with India being the multiple world champions in the bat-and-ball game.
But then, exceptions are always there. A case in point is the Cricket Association of Bengal’s latest idea of shortlisting around 25 players from the under-14 to under-17 age groups and make them play in the local league.
Now that sounds very similar to the All India Football Federation’s developmental side, which currently plays in the I-League as the Pailan Arrows.
The CAB, however, denies that they have taken a leaf out of the AIFF’s book. “Look, we always wanted that our supply line be continuously monitored… Hence, we have decided to keep 25 promising youngsters together and make them play in the local league…
“It’s not exactly like the Arrows in football… While the Arrows have a separate identity, our players will be registered with an already existing club. Also, they wouldn’t be playing in the top tier, they will play in the second division,” CAB treasurer Biswarup Dey said on Wednesday.
Interestingly, it was learnt that the idea of ‘continuously monitoring’ youngsters was originally mooted by the now non-existent cricket development committee. Arun Lal, who was in that committee, had blasted the CAB for ignoring their proposals.
“We respect the proposals of the committee… But often we face a problem in implementing them as reality poses many hurdles. But whenever we get a chance, we would like to keep their suggestions in mind, like we have done in this case,” Dey said.
It was learnt that Salkia Friends is the club, which has been chosen for the youngsters. The CAB is also in search of a player-cum-coach for the team.
“We want a senior player to coach the team since he will be able to help them out practically on the field. He will be reporting to Goutam Shome, who is in charge of junior cricket,” Dey informed.