BCCI ban Pune pitch curator for sharing pitch information with bookies in sting operation

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BCCI ban Pune pitch curator for sharing pitch information with bookies in sting operation

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SportsCafe Desk


The BCCI have banned Pune pitch curator Pandurang Salgoankar from entering the stadium after he was caught in a sting operation sharing pitch information with reporters disguised as bookies. This scandal has occurred ahead of the second ODI between India and New Zealand at the same venue.

The second ODI of the three-match series is an important one for Team India after they lost the opener in Mumbai on Sunday. But the buildup to the encounter has made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Ahead of the do-or-die game for Team India, Pune’s pitch curator has been banned from entering his stadium after he was caught on camera sharing pitch information with bookies. In a sting operation, done by India Today, Salgoankar was seen giving information to undercover reporters who met him as a bookie. He not only shared the crucial information but also seemed ready to customise the pitch on demand to favor the bookies.

On a hidden camera, the 68-years-old claimed that the Pune pitch would be a batting paradise as he disclosed that around 337-340 runs could be scored and also assured that a big total would be chaseable. Salgoankar didn’t stop here and even offered to doctor the pitch of the bookies wanted him to do so. 

According to the BCCI and ICC rules no one, other than the officials can come inside the stadium or inspect the pitch.

Salgaonkar is a former fast bowler who played 63 first-class matches in which he took 214 wickets at an average of 26.70 and in five List A games he took 4 wickets for his side. BCCI joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary confirmed that the board will deal with this matter strictly.

"This will be dealt with properly. Don't worry about that. There is no question of any compromise. We have zero tolerance.

"I am not in Pune but have spoken to Mr Abhay Apte (MCA president). The curator should not be allowed inside the ground. If this is true, it is very shocking because Salgaonkar was a first-class cricketer," Chaudhary said, reported India Today.

This was not the first time when Salgaonkar's name come into the limelight for the wrong reasons. Earlier, he was accused of tampering the pitch in the India-Australia Test match where the Kangaroos had thrashed India by 333 runs after the hosts were bowled out for 105 and 107 in both innings and the match was ended in three days. The pitch had received a poor rating by the ICC.

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

UR: You sure that can be done?

S: Sure

Excerpt 2:

UR: XXX (A Player) wants some assistance from the pitch

S: I've told you this is going to be a 340-run wicket

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

S: That will also be done.

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