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Institutional clubs stay under scanner

Punjab National Bank, an affiliated institutional club with the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA), is a curious case.

cricket Updated: Aug 20, 2010 23:38 IST
Subhash Rajta

Punjab National Bank, an affiliated institutional club with the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA), is a curious case.

The club has been playing in the DDCA regularly, but its Chief Public Information Officer has no clue about its existence. “There exists no cricket team of Punjab National Bank,” the official said in reply to an RTI query on June 12 this year.

The club’s nominee Anil Kumar, who appeared before the DDCA’s inquiry panel probing irregularities in institutional clubs, tried to clear the air, saying, “They do not have any team at the head office level; the team is just for Delhi circle.”

This confusion within the Punjab National Bank is surprising, in the least. But that’s not the only issue that raises eyebrows. The committee found out that as many as 40 players have represented the club in 2008-09, and most of them were not employees of the bank, as admitted by Anil Kumar. “Only 13-14 bank employees play for the team, and others are called from outside when the need arises,” Kumar told the committee.

While that’s a clear violation of the rule that says only employees, their children or contracted players can represent institutional teams, the committee suspects something more sinister.

“There are quite a few cases where nearly 40 players have represented an institution in a year. Unofficially, it has been brought to the notice of the committee that some officials of these clubs are taking money from outsiders,” the committee noted.

The committee has put Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India, Engineer’s India Limited, Indian Railway Construction Company, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Syndicate Bank on this suspect list.

No wonder, then, the committee has recommended reconsideration of the affiliation of such clubs.