Bengaluru, October 25: Pandurang Salgaonkar, curator of the Maharashtra Cricket Association Ground in Pune, has been suspended after being accused of 'allowing people to tamper with the pitch' on the eve of the second ODI between India and New Zealand.
According to India Today, its reporters 'disguised as bookies' had the pitch curator agreeing to prepare the pitch according to their demands.
Salgaonkar, a former fast bowler who played 63 First-Class matches and 5 List-A games claiming 214 and 4 wickets, is also accused of allowing the reporters on the pitch and tamper with it. He has now been barred from entering the ground.
However, the match will go on as scheduled. "MCA has withdrawn his membership. MCA will investigate the matter. The ICC observer has cleared the pitch. So, the match is on," said MCA secretary Abhay Apte.
"Pandurang Salgaonkar has been suspended from the Maharashtra Cricket Association's curator's post with immediate effect," said BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary.
"The MCA has also suspended Salgaonkar 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 said.
The curator claimed the pitch for the second ODI was expected to witness a run-fest, with teams being able to put up 337-340 runs 'either way'.
"The match should go ahead, despite the scandal, unless the match referee finds evidence of the pitch being doctored," said Chaudhary.
Vinod Rai, Chairman of CoA, said: "We are looking into the issue and in contact with the concerned officials. We have asked for a detailed report and will act upon it accordingly. At BCCI, we have zero tolerance towards any such activity."
BCCI CEO Rahul Johri too issued a stern statement.
"A strict action has been taken against the pitch curator and the employment relationship between Mr Pandurang Salgaonkar and MCA stands terminated.
"The BCCI is in touch with the MCA and appropriate measures will be taken with regards to the matter. The BCCI will continue to enforce strict measures in case of such misconduct in the future," he said.