In a bizarre incident, the pitch curator of the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune was found guilty of willing to change the nature of the pitch on the request of a fake bookie. India Today conducted a sting operation on Pandurang Salgaonkar, the pitch curator where the reporter portrayed himself as a bookie.
Ahead of the 2nd ODI between India and New Zealand, Salgaonkar revealed sensitive information related to the pitch to the reporter and went on to say that he could add a little bounce on the surface if required. He also revealed that a target of around 337 would be easily chasable on this wicket.
As per ICC and BCCI rules, unauthorized access is not allowed to anyone near the pitch but the curator took the reporter near the pitch and leaked sensitive information.
BCCI suspended the curator
BCCI was quick to act on the matter and suspended Pandurang Salgaonkar from MCA’s curator post immediately.
“Pandurang Salgaonkar has been suspended from the Maharashtra Cricket Association’s curator’s post with immediate effect,” BCCI acting Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary told PTI.
“The MCA has also suspended Salgaonkar from all other positions in the association. An inquiry Commission will also be constituted by MCA. At BCCI, we reiterate that we have zero tolerance towards any corrupt activity,” he added.
Despite the incident, the Board let the game take place and Chaudhary said that there was no evidence of the nature of the pitch being changed and added that it’s the call of the ICC match referee to decide the fate of the match.
“That is a decision that only the ICC match referee can take. You need evidence that the pitch has been doctored in order to call off a match. It’s match referee’s call. But in my opinion, match will go on,” he mentioned.