Pune: The BCCI (Board for Control of Cricket in India) on Wednesday suspended MCA (Maharashtra cricket Association) curator Pandurang Salgaonkar, after he was caught on camera giving away details about the pitch to undercover reporters.
A TV channel claims to have conducted a sting operation in which reporters posing as bookies approached the curator asking for details of the pitch. Salgaonkar, in return is seen and heard on camera agreeing to the demands saying "It will be done," according to the video recording by a TV channel.
Mumbai curator Ramesh Mhamunkar was immediately made the point person for the centre wicket and the field of play before the second ODI between India and New Zealand.
"Pandurang Salgaonkar has been suspended from the MCA curator's post with immediate effect," BCCI acting Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary said via a statement.
"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.
The expose revealed a serious lapse in the functioning of the BCCI's anti-corruption mechanism but the ICC appointed match referee Chris Broad noted that the match must go ahead.
The Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) has also taken a dim view of the matter. Vinod Rai, the chairman of the COA said, “We are looking into the issue and in contact with the concerned officials. We have asked for a detailed report and will act upon it accordingly. At BCCI, we have zero tolerance towards any such activity."
Salgaonkar, a former Maharashtra speedster, was considered a genuine India prospect in early and mid '70s. He toured with the Indian team for an unofficial series against Sri Lanka back in 1974. The former pacer took 214 wickets in 63 first-class games.
The Pune pitch had been under the spotlight earlier as well. It had been rated poor by the ICC after an India- Australia Test match in February.
What do the ICC rules say
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and International Cricket Council (ICC) rules state that no one — other than the officials — can come inside the stadium or inspect the pitch for that matter. However, Salgaonkar even allowed them to look at the pitch ahead of the India match.
The last time India played at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune, the ICC labelled the pitch 'poor', as the first match of the three-Test series between India and Australia had ended in the post-tea session on the third day. Spin wizard Shane Warne had famously referred to the surface as an ‘eighth day wicket’ on the first day of the match itself.