Indian curator banned after ODI pitch tampering claim

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Indian curator
Shukriya Pakistan

PUNE: India’s cricket board Wednesday banned an official from the Pune ground after he was recorded saying he tampered with the pitch ahead of the second one-day international against New Zealand.

Pandurang Salgaoncar, the pitch manager at the Pune ground, was exposed during an undercover sting by India Today TV claiming he doctored the surface ahead of the ODI starting Wednesday.

“Yes, he has been suspended and banned from entering the stadium,” CK Khanna, acting president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), told AFP.

“A neutral curator from Mumbai has taken charge (for the New Zealand ODI). He has inspected the pitch and found it to be perfectly fine. The match is on.”

In a video recorded by Indian reporters posing as bookmakers, Salgaoncar describes tampering with the pitch.

He also showed the men around the Pune surface the day before the ODI, breaching rules by the International Cricket Council governing access to the pitch.

Salgaoncar, 68, was a fast bowler from Maharashtra in the 1970s before taking up the role of curator with the state association.

“He has certainly let us down. An inquiry has been set up by the Maharashtra Cricket Association to deal with the issue,” said Khanna.

“We are also working with the (BCCI) anti-corruption unit to get to the bottom of the matter as everybody has acted very swiftly to the claims of the sting operation.”

India need to win Wednesday’s match to stay alive in the three-match series, after they were delivered a stunning defeat in the opener in Mumbai on Sunday.

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