Pitch tampering row: MCA curator suspended pending inquiry

Ahead of 2nd ODI between India and New Zealand, the pitch curator Pandurang Salgaonkar of the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium in Pune has been sacked by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after he was found allowing people to tamper with the wicket.

The curator Salgaonkar even allowed the India Today reporters in disguise to take a look at the pitch, throwing the BCCI and ICC regulations out of the window. "At BCCI, we reiterate that we have zero tolerance towards any corrupt activity", he added.

Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni inspects the pitch ahead of the 2nd one day global (ODI) cricket match between India and New Zealand at The Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on October 25, 2017.

"The International Cricket Council (ICC) Match Referee Mr Chris Broad inspected the pitch ahead of the match and cleared the same for the game to go ahead". The pitch curator told them the reporters that the pitch could be customised as per their demands. Maharashtra Cricket Association president Abhay Apte made the announcement barely half an hour before the toss.

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"The MCA has also suspended Salgaonkar from all other positions in the association".

In the course of a sting operation conducted by the two journalists, the 68-year-old Salgaonkar predicted the number of runs that could be scored (at one time 337 and 340 at another), that the match would be a high-scoring one and the likely first-innings score of 337 can be chased down. "We will take the strictest action", CoA chief Vinod Rai said.

Salgaonkar also gave out information on the scores expected from the contest.

India are now trailing 0-1 in the three-match series after losing the first ODI by 6 wickets at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.

  • Regina Holmes