Pitch Fixing: Shoaib Akhtar says he was 'shocked and stunned'

MCA curator Pandurang Salgaonkar allowed reporters, disguised as bookies, to tamper with the pitch

Former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar on October 25 said that he was left ‘shocked’ and ‘stunned’ after a leading Indian news channel exposed Maharashtra Cricket Association curator Pandurang Salgaonkar for allowing channel reporters, disguised as bookies, to tamper with the pitch to be used for the 2nd ODI between India and New Zealand at Pune.

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 pitch could be customised as per their demands. The entire scene has been captured on tape.

Shoaib Akhtar took to Twitter to share his views on the whole controversy. Shoaib tweeted: “Am shocked and speechless to hear about this new #pitchfixing scandal.”

Here’s the tweet:

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Cricket Association promised strong action, saying,

“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.

Earlier, former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly too expressed his views on this issue. “I am watching this on TV. I really don’t know what Salgaonkar is trying to say. I don’t think there is any way of stopping people from reaching the pitch. That is an issue in Indian cricket,” claimed Sourav Ganguly according to India Times.

Meanwhile, the match is underway after New Zealand won the toss and opted to bat first.