Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin has called for a ban on Pune pitch curator Pandurang Salgaonkar, who was caught on India Today's camera agreeing to manipulate some bounce, some movement and some balance between bat and ball for the Wednesday ODI at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) stadium. It was the same pitch which Salgaonkar had worked on with assistance from BCCI-certified curator Ramesh Mhamunkar, who is employed by the Mumbai Cricket Association to look after the Wankhede Stadium. "At BCCI, we have zero tolerance towards any such activity". BCCI's acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary has made a decision to suspend the curator following his exploits, "Pandurang Salgaonkar has been suspended from the Maharashtra Cricket Association's curator's post with immediate effect", BCCI acting Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary told PTI.
This comes after reports emerged that Salgaoncar had agreed to "tamper" the pitch after some television reporters, posed as bookies, approached him.
In the course of a sting operation conducted by the two journalists, the 68-year-old Salgaonkar predicted the number of runs that could be scored (at one time 337 and 340 at another), that the match would be a high-scoring one and the likely first-innings score of 337 can be chased down.
Khanna also said that he has already written to Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) chief Abhay Apte on the issue. "I am not yet aware of the full thing", BCCI Acting Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary was quoted as saying. Under BCCI rules no unaccredited persons, including journalists, are allowed near the pitch.
The BCCI also released a statement confirming Salgaonkar's termination.
India are now trailing 0-1 in the three-match series after losing the first ODI by 6 wickets at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.
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