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27 October 2017, 12:42 | Stacy Ballard
| INDRANIL MUKHERJEE AFP
A groundsman has been sacked after video emerged of him allegedly agreeing to tamper with the wicket before Wednesday's one-day worldwide between India and New Zealand in Pune.
In the sting operation, Salgaoncar is seen and heard speaking about tampering with the pitch to an undercover reporter, who poses as a bookie, while standing on the pitch of the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here last evening.
In a serious lapse of national governing body for cricket, the BCCI acting Secretary said the match must go on. "At BCCI, we reiterate that we have zero tolerance towards any corrupt activity", he added.
"Pandurang Salgaonkar has been suspended from the Maharashtra Cricket Association's curator's post with immediate effect". Incidentally, earlier this year in February, the pitch in question was rated "poor" by ICC match referee Chris Board after the first Test between India and Australia. "Rest assured, if anyone found guilty, strict action will be taken", MCA president Abhay Apte was quoted as saying by India Today. According to the pitch curator, a pitch has been prepared on which the score of 337 can be easily made.
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An inquiry has been initiated by the MCA and the BCCI's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit has been asked to submit a report of the incident.
What has left senior BCCI officials baffled is that Salgaoncar allowed a self-confessed bookie to accompany him to the main match pitch. Under BCCI rules no unaccredited persons, including journalists, are allowed near the pitch.
This operation raises questions over the second ODI between India and New Zealand and Indian cricket overall.
"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.
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