Pandurang Salgaoncar is Pune curator (Picture Courtesy- Wikimedia Commons)

The second One-Day International (ODI) between India and New Zealand became embroiled in controversy hours before its start with allegation of corruption against curator Pandurang Salgaoncar. A television channel claims to have conducted a sting operation in which reporters posing as bookies approached the curator asking for a pitch which will favour the fast bowlers of one of the competing teams.

The curator is seen and heard on camera agreeing to the demands. “It is a very good pitch on which 337 runs will be chaseable. There is no doubt about it,” Salgaoncar is quoted as saying by India Today. Salgaoncar and others are also seen walking on the pitch.

“It’s not allowed still we did it. The BCCI observer is also sitting around,” Salgaoncar said.

Salgaoncar represented Maharashtra as a fast bowler from 1971-82. He has also served as selector of the Maharashtra Ranji Trophy team.

Speaking on the same issue, Sourav Ganguly said: “I am watching this on TV. I really don’t know what Salgaonkar is trying to say. I don’t think there is any way of stopping people from reaching the pitch. That is an issue in indian cricket. (At this point) I don’t have much to say on this as I really don’t know what he was trying to do. I don’t know how he can tweak the pitch in one day and prepare it accordingly for a bookie.

“I don’t know in what context he was saying this was he saying this in haste. Let me go through the matter first,” he concluded.