There’s been some incredible news coming out of India after the curator of Pune’s Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium (MCA), Pandurang Salgaoncar, was suspended by the BCCI after he made claims of tampering with the track in a sting operation ahead of the second ODI between India & New Zealand.
Just a few hours before the match, ‘India Today TV‘ conducted a sting operation showing Salgaoncar speaking to an undercover reporter, who posed as a bookie for exposing the curator. Salgaloncar was seen agreeing to tampering with the pitch to suit the requirements put up forth by the reporter.
BCCI acting Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary said, “Pandurang Salgaoncar has been suspended from the Maharashtra Cricket Association’s curator’s post with immediate effect. The MCA has also suspended Salgaoncar 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.
Despite all these, the matvh went ahead and India won it easily by 6 wickets to level the series at 1-1. Amitabh said, “That is a decision that only the ICC match referee can take. You need evidence that the pitch has been doctored in order to call off a match. It’s match referee’s call. But in my opinion, match will go on”. What’s seriously astonishing & worrying is that Salgaoncar allowed the reporter to accompany him to the main match pitch.
On this topic, A BCCI official said, “The BCCI Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) under Neeraj Kumar will have some answering to do. Here a random man comes, doesn’t have an all-access area pass (only given to those who can enter any area) and is taken to the main pitch by the curator.
Like everyone, India great Sourav Ganguly was shocked as well, “I don’t know how he can tweak the pitch in one day and prepare it accordingly for a bookie. I don’t know in what context he was saying this,” Ganguly said.
BCCI acting president CK Khanna said, “It’s a pity that both former MCA President Ajay Shirke and current president Abhay Apte had helped Salgaoncar have a career after retirement. He gets Rs 65,000 salary per month from the MCA and also a BCCI pension. He is among BCCI’s independent curators. We are feeling bad for both Abhay and Ajay. Salgaoncar let them down badly”.