Pune pitch curator to be suspended for giving out information

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Espncricinfo.com reports that a sting operation by India Today was carried out and that groundsman Pandurang Salgaonkar was willing to tamper the pitch to give advantage to two particular bowlers.

Apart from agreeing to prepare the pitch as per the specifications of the bookies, Salgaonkar has also been accused of allowing the reporters disguised as bookies on the pitch and letting them tamper with it.

India are now trailing 0-1 in the three-match ODI series against New Zealand, having slumped to a shocking six-wicket defeat in the opening match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Ramesh Mhamunkar, a member of the BCCI's grounds and pitches committee, was put in charge of the pitch.

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

"Salgaoncar has been suspended from the Maharashtra Cricket Association's curator's post with immediate effect", BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary said. "It is very good".

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"A strict action has been taken against the pitch curator and the employment relationship between Pandurang Salgaonkar and MCA stands terminated", BCCI Chief Executive Rahul Johri said in a statement. "I guess it will garner 337 (runs)", Salgaoncar disclosed. He also reported that the 340 will be chaseable. "The BCCI observer is also sitting around", he confessed.

Salgaoncar represented Maharashtra as a fast bowler from 1971-82. An inquiry will now take place into the events.

MCA president Abhay Apte said: "The MCA will be making a detailed enquiry on what has happened or what has appeared on the television".

What has left senior BCCI officials baffled is that Salgaoncar allowed a self-confessed bookie to accompany him to the main match pitch.

According to the BCCI and the International Cricket Council (ICC), rules state that no one - other than the officials - can come inside the stadium or inspect the pitch for that matter.

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