Curator agreed to tamper Pune pitch

Curator agreed to tamper Pune pitch

Indian cricket was hit by another corruption tale on Tuesday, with the BCCI suspending the curator of the MCA Stadium pitch here just before the second India-New Zealand one-day international after he agreed to tamper with the pitch in a TV sting operation.

The sting operation, by India Today TV channel, showed the curator, Pandurang Salgaoncar, talking to reporters disguised as bookies. He agrees to the demands made by the reporters, who are also seen walking on the pitch in complete violation of the rules.

A former Maharashtra pace bowler who was considered an India prospect in his time, Salgaoncar was suspended from his duties with immediate effect and his membership from the MCA was withdrawn pending an enquiry.

It is the second time this year that the pitch here has come in the news for the wrong reason. In February, the ICC match referee Chris Broad termed the surface as “poor” in his report after the spin-dominated Test ended inside three days in favour of Australia. A rank turner, prepared by Salgaoncar, had left the host association and the BCCI red-faced then.

This time, the ODI went ahead after Broad, incidentally, the match referee again, inspected the pitch and gave the green signal.

The BCCI and Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) officials reacted with shock to the development. MCA president Abhay Apte said: “The MCA, of course, BCCI and CoA (Committee of Administrators) have zero tolerance for such subjects. MCA will be making a detailed enquiry on what has happened or what has appeared on the television but before we have our urgent meeting, I, in the capacity of president of Maharashtra Cricket Association, have suspended Salgaoncar with immediate effect and all his work contracts have been withdrawn, including his basic membership as MCA member.”

The BCCI was also quick to react. “Salgaoncar has been suspended and he has been banned from entering the stadium till the report of the enquiry has been submitted,” said BCCI President CK Khanna.

“The BCCI's neutral curator from Mumbai (Mamunkar) has taken charge. Neeraj Kumar (the head of the BCCI's ACSU) and the Maharashtra CA have also been asked to submit their reports to the BCCI,” he said.
DH News Service

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