In a shocking expose by a leading news channel just ahead of the second One Day International match between India and New Zealand, Maharashtra Cricket Association curator Pandurang Salgaonkar was caught on the camera allowing channel reporters, disguised as bookies, to tamper with the pitch to be used for the 2nd ODI. Team India is currently trailing the three-match series 0-1. Pune’s ODI is a must-win for the ‘Men in Blue’ to keep the series alive.
In the expose by India Today, Salgaonkar gave access to reporters to inspect the pitch, clearly violating the laws set by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the International Cricket Council (ICC). The pitch curator told them the reporters that the pitch could be customised as per their demands. The entire scene has been captured on tape.
“Salgaonkar also said that it is going to be a 337-340 wicket either way. He also assured on camera that a score as big as 337 will be chaseable,” India Today quoted curator on their website.
This is the same pitch which was in the limelight during the India-Australia Test match in February this year.
Australia had thrashed India by 333 runs on a rank-turner after the hosts were bowled out for 105 and 107 in both innings and the match finished within three days. Following the match, ICC rated this pitch as ‘poor’.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Cricket Association promised strong action.
“We will look into the matter. Rest assured, if anyone found guilty, strict action will be taken,” said MCA president Abhay Apte in response to the report.
“The BCCI has zero tolerance on such issues. I am not yet aware of the full thing. I will attend to it immediately and take the strictest action. The guilty will not be spared,” said BCCI joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary following the expose.
According to the India Today sources, India vs New Zealand 2nd ODI may not be called off. The final decision will be taken by the match referee. The match is scheduled to start at 1.30 PM IST.