Hours before the start of the second ODI between India and New Zealand. Pune’s Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium head curator was caught on camera suggesting to reporters of an English news channel. He had allegedly offered to doctor the pitch according to their demands. The reporters were disguised as bookies. Pitch fixing is a serious offense and not in the spirit of the game.
Former domestic fast bowler and Maharashtra Ranji Trophy selector Pandurang Salgaonkar was being investigated in a sting operation. He was seen and heard allowing the reporters access to the Pune pitch. This is a violation of the laws as set by cricket’s governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Later in the video, Salgaonkar told the reporters that the pitch will be a high scoring one. “Very good (pitch), I think this will be a 337 kind of pitch, for sure. And this 337 will be chase-able”. Salgaonkar said that it was the same pitch that he showed the day before.
In the video, Salgaonkar told the reporters that he is not allowed to let anyone inspect the pitch, but he did it with the BCCI curator around. He also said that he would deny allegations of allowing anyone on to the pitch.
How was the Pitch fixing Allegation Handled?
The news channel contacted Maharastra Cricket Association president Abhay Apte. He stated that the matter is under investigation. Strict action will be taken if any party is found guilty. In February, ICC match referee Chris Board rated the pitch poor after the first Test between India and Australia. Australia had won the Test, beating India by 333 runs.
Salgaonkar is a former fast bowler bowler who 63 first-class matches taking 214 wickets at 26.70 and in five List A games he took 4 wickets. He has also served as chief selector of the Maharashtra Ranji Trophy team. According to BCCI sources, Salgaonkar has been suspended and the match referee will take the call on calling off the match. BCCI acting president CK Khanna has also written to anti corruption unit head Neeraj Kumar to get in touch with Pune team and send a report. But it seems that the match will go ahead as scheduled.