Groundsmen and curators are likely to be brought into the anti-corruption education loop after a controversy in India.
Hours before the second ODI between India and New Zealand, the head groundsman at Pune, Pandurang Salgaoncar, allegedly told two undercover reporters, apparently posing as bookies, that the pitch would be full of runs. ‘It is very good. It will garner 337 runs. And 337 will be chaseable.’ He has now been suspended.
Bir Singh, the Anti-Corruption unit officer travelling with the Indian and New Zealand teams, is understood to have already started a probe.
Though it is not yet clear what charges Salgaoncar could face, a BCCI official said that in apparently allowing what appear to be unaccredited personnel into the ground and on to the pitch, there is a case for ‘misconduct’. According to the anti-corruption code, no unaccredited personnel can be on the ground, let alone the pitch, days before an international match. ‘He had no business giving them access or information about the pitch,’ the official said.
In the game itself, New Zealand were restricted to 230, a target India chased down with four overs to spare on a pitch that slowed during the latter part of the match.
The ICC’s ACSU is likely to point out to the BCCI the lack or absence of anti-corruption information available to curators and local groundstaff across India. The BCCI has only made it mandatory for the players and coaches to adhere to the anti-corruption code.
‘The curators and groundstaff should be brought under the ambit of the anti-corruption education programme to develop the awareness,’ the official said. ‘They should be careful who they speak with, including the media. And if any approach is made they should immediately report the matter and follow the same protocol that is followed by the players. That is the main takeaway.’