Advertisement
Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

After Pitch-Fixing Sting Operation, BCCI Suspends Pune Curator Pandurang Salgaoncar

In the sting operation Salgaoncar is seen and heard speaking to an undercover reporter while standing on the pitch of the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

After Pitch-Fixing Sting Operation, BCCI Suspends Pune Curator Pandurang Salgaoncar
| Representative Image
After Pitch-Fixing Sting Operation, BCCI Suspends Pune Curator Pandurang Salgaoncar
outlookindia.com
2017-10-25T12:18:54+05:30

The BCCI on Wednesday suspended the curator of Pune's cricket stadium after he was seen on a TV sting operation claiming that he could tamper with the pitch ahead of the second India-New Zealand ODI.

In the sting operation by India Today TV, curator Pandurang Salgaoncar is seen and heard speaking to an undercover reporter, who poses as a bookie, while standing on the pitch of the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

The 68-year-old Salgaoncar is 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 evening. 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 later on Wednesday.

"Pandurang Salgaoncar has been suspended from the Maharashtra Cricket Association's curator's post with immediate effect," BCCI acting Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary told PTI.

"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 but Chaudhary said today's match must go ahead.

"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," he asserted.

What has left senior BCCI officials baffled is that Salgaoncar allowed a self-confessed bookie to accompany him to the main match pitch. Under BCCI rules no unaccredited persons, including journalists, are allowed near the pitch.

"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 and is taken to the main pitch by the curator," a BCCI official said.

Asked if the ACU unit should be answerable as to how an outsider got access to the pitch, Chaudhary said, "...Everyone associated with the ACU would be answerable. In any case a very select few have access to the centre of the pitch."

When contacted, BCCI acting President C K Khanna said he is writing a mail to Kumar so that his team gives an update on the incident.

"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," Khanna said.

Salgaoncar, a former Maharashtra speedster, was considered a genuine India prospect in early and mid '70s.

He toured with the Indian team for an unofficial series against Sri Lanka back in 1974. Sunil Gavaskar's autobiography 'Sunny Days' mentions him as being a genuine prospect who was unlucky not to don national colours.

The former pacer took 214 wickets in 63 first-class games.

The Pune pitch had been under the spotlight earlier as well. It had been rated poor by the ICC after an India- Australia Test match in February.

The Australians had hammered India by 333 runs on a turner where the home team was bowled out for 105 and 107 in two innings. The game itself had ended inside three days.

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly also expressed his shock.

"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.

(PTI)

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Meet Parag Agrawal: The New Indian Origin CEO Of Twitter

Meet Parag Agrawal: The New Indian Origin CEO Of Twitter

The incoming CEO is an IIT Bombay graduate who joined Twitter a decade back after having worked at Microsoft, Yahoo and AT&T in research positions.

Omicron: WHO Warns World Should Be Wide Awake

Omicron: WHO Warns World Should Be Wide Awake

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the emergence of the highly mutated omicron variant underlines just how perilous and precarious our situation is.

Omicron Scare Looms Over IND Tour Of SA, BCCI Awaits Govt Nod

Omicron Scare Looms Over IND Tour Of SA, BCCI Awaits Govt Nod

Several sporting events have been cancelled due to the new variant of the coronavirus, Omicron. India are scheduled to tour South Africa for a full series.

How New Covid-19 Variant Is Impacting Travel Across States In India

How New Covid-19 Variant Is Impacting Travel Across States In India

India has issued fresh travel restrictions for international travellers coming from 'at risk' nations in the wake of the Omicron outbreak across several countries in the world.

Advertisement