Salgaocar's fall from grace

For Pandurang Salgaoncar, the sting operation and his subsequent suspension marks a swift fall from grace.

A former quick bowler, Salgaoncar represented Maharashtra in domestic cricket in the early and mid-1970s. Blessed with good pace, he was considered a genuine India prospect but never made it big.

He was part of the Indian team for an unofficial series against Sri Lanka in 1974 but didn't progress beyond that.

Sunil Gavaskar, in his autobiography Sunny Days, states that Salgaoncar was unlucky to miss out on India colours. He turned out in 63 first-class matches, claiming 214 wickets.

After an unsung career, he seemed to have finally become part of the international game when he became a curator. He was paid a salary of Rs 65,000, according to BCCI sources.

When Pune earned Test status back in February, Salgaoncar was happy that he had graduated to the top level but with the match ending in just three days, he was again in a spot.

The International Cricket Council match referee Chris Broad had then rated the pitch as poor. The game against New Zealand would have been redemption time for Salgaoncar but instead, more humiliation is in store for the former quick.

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