Sting: BCCI sacks Pune curator over tampering claims
New Delhi/Pune: The spectre of corruption returned to haunt Indian cricket with the BCCI suspending Pune stadium's pitch curator just hours before the second India-New Zealand ODI on Wednesday after he allegedly agreed to tampering with the track in a TV
In the sting operation by, curator Pandurang Salgaoncar was seen and heard speaking to an undercover reporter, who posed as a bookie, while standing on the pitch of the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
However, Wednesday's match, second of a three-game series, went ahead as scheduled after an ICC observer approved the track following an inspection. Maharashtra Cricket Association President Abhay Apte made the announcement barely half an hour before the toss.
The 68-year-old Salgaoncar was seen agreeing to tamper with the pitch to suit the requirements put forth by the reporter. India Today TV said the video was shot on Tuesday.
It is not clear how Salgaoncar, a former pacer and one-time India prospect, could have tweaked the pitch with just a few hours to go before the match.
"Pandurang Salgaoncar has been suspended from the Maharashtra Cricket Association's curator's post with immediate effect," BCCI acting Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary said.
"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.
This was reiterated in a statement issued later by the BCCI in which Ramesh Mhamunkar was named the point person for the centre wicket and the field of play for the second ODI between India and New Zealand.
Committee Of Administrators (COA) chief Vinod Rai, on the other hand, defended the BCCI's anti-corruption unit, saying a three-member team can only do as much.