Pune: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday handed a six-month suspension to Maharashtra Cricket Association’s pitch curator Pandurang Salgaonkar following its investigations over alleged charges of corruption made by India Today in October 2017.
The incidence came into light on the morning of a match on October 25, 2017, when India was playing an ODI series against New Zealand.
The sting operation done by the TV channel showed that the curator of the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Gahunje agreeing to tamper the pitch in favour of the people who approached him.
Although the events unfolded just before the game, the game still went on, which was won by India.
Salgaonkar was charged with a failure to report an approach but no evidence was found of him actually having been engaged in corruption and therefore no charges were laid against him on that basis.
“We have carried out an extensive investigation based on the allegations made by India Today and the material they shared with us,” ICC General Manager – Anti-Corruption Alex Marshall said in a statement.
“I am satisfied that Salgaonkar has no case to answer on the broad allegations of corruption made by India Today. However, as he is bound by the ICC Anti-Corruption Code as a participant of the sport, he has been charged with breaching section 2.4.4 of the Code for his failure to report an approach to engage in corrupt conduct.
“Salgaonkar has accepted that he has committed the offence and has received a six-month suspension, which has been backdated to 25 October 2017, being the date he was internally suspended by MCA, and he will, therefore, be free to resume his duties on 24 April 2018.”
No pitch tampering
After the verdict came out on Tuesday evening, MCA President Abhay Apte clarified that the pitch for the game was not tampered with in any matter.
“It is very clear from the detailed inquiry made by the ICC that there was no pitch tampering or corrupt practices (involved) and he has been published on technical grounds,” he said.
He further added that that, since the decision from ICC has come the managing committee of the MCA will meet and take a fresh decision on his suspension.
Pangurang Salgaonkar’s statement
- I have been a humble servant of Cricket and have served the game over last 50 years in various Capacity. For Publicity and Attention, undue allegations were made against me. All allegations and charges have been extensively investigated by ACU of ICC. They have concluded the extensive investigation, Report for which is available on website. ICC Investigation Report clearly concludes that they have not found evidence of alleged charges of corruption made by India Today in October 2017.
- I have accepted the judgment of ICC that I failed on reporting to ACU, This was primarily due to fact that my wife was in critical condition and was hospitalized one day prior to the match as well as my involvement in preparation for the match which had me mentally and Physically over occupied. However, I accept & respect the decision of ICC.
- This was an extreme and unnecessary allegation from India Today and has impacted me mentally. I am thankful to ICC for being nondiscriminatory and conducting extensive enquiry in Allegation and bring the true picture in front of everyone.
- True Spirit of Game of Prevails