After match fixing and spot fixing, India introduced pitch fixing.

The curator at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Ground in Pune has been caught ‘allowing people to tamper with the pitch’ in a sting operation carried out by a team of Indian journalists ahead of the second ODI between India and New Zealand.

India Today reporters disguised as ‘bookies’ unearthed a massive scandal on Wednesday when they recorded the curator, Pandurang Salgaonkar, revealing that the pitch will be made according to their demands.

The reporters asked Salgaonkar that two players want bounce on the pitch and if it can be done, to which Salgaonkar replied, “It will be done”.

Screengrab from India Today video.

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.The 68-year old curator even allowed the reporters to inspect the pitch in person, clearly violating the laws set by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Screengrab from India Today video.

Salgaonkar is a former fast bowler who played 63 First-Class matches and 5 List-A games.

The ICC held a pitch inspection in Pune following the scandal but declared the pitch fit for the match and gave a go-ahead to the second ODI.

The BCCI suspended the curator Pandurang Salgaonkar with immediate effect following the expose. 

“Pandurang Salgaoncar has been suspended from the Maharashtra Cricket Association’s curator’s post with immediate effect,” BCCI acting Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary told Indian media.

“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.

*It is noteworthy that the pitch in question is the same one which was rated poor by the ICC after the India-Australia Test match was played here in February this year.

Australia had thrashed India by 333 runs after the hosts were bowled out for 105 and 107 in both innings. The match was finished within three days.*

Excerpts from the video:

Excerpt 1:

Undercover reporter: A couple of players want some bounce on the wicket. Can that be done?

Salgaonkar: Our wicket is always helpful to fast bowlers

Undercover reporter: You sure that can be done?Salgaonkar: Sure

Excerpt 2:

Undercover reporter: XXX (A Player) wants some assistance from the pitch.

Salgaonkar: I’ve told you this is going to be a 340-run wicket.

Undercover reporter: That you’ve already said. We will bet on that accordingly. But we want some favour for XXX.

Salgaonkar: That will also be done.

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