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BCCI Anti Corruption Unit closely monitoring pitch preparation after Pune TV sting

Head of the Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) of the Board of Control for cricket in India, Neeraj Kumar said BCCI was not inquiring into the Pune TV sting as it was an international match and hence came under the jurisdiction of the International Cricket Council (ICC) ACU.

india vs new zealand 2017 Updated: Oct 26, 2017 21:13 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Hindustan Times, Kanpur
Pandurang Salgaonkar,India vs New Zealand,IND vs NZ
After Pune curator Pandurang Salgaonkar’s suspension following a TV sting, focus has shifted to the Green Park in Kanpur (file pic), the venue for Sunday’s third and final ODI between Indian cricket team and New Zealand cricket team. Pitch curators and ground staff are under strict vigil, and almost under detention by officials concerned.(BCCI)

With the International Cricket Council (ICC) announcing a probe into claims in a TV sting that the Pune pitch curator Pandurang Salgaonkar had promised to doctor the pitch ahead of Wednesday’s second ODI between India and New Zealand, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has also stepped up vigilance.

Though the BCCI’s Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) has refused to get involved officially saying it is ICC’s prerogative to probe the issue, it is closely monitoringthose connected with pitch preparation.

Head of the Anti Corruption Unit (ACU), Neeraj Kumar said BCCI was not inquiring into the Pune TV sting as it was an international match and hence came under the jurisdiction of the ICC ACU.

“BCCI has nothing to do with what happened in Pune. The ICC ACU is already probing the issue. It is their call, to do things on their own,” Kumar told Hindustan Times on Thursday.

But Board sources said ACU as well as other officials concerned are closely tracking investigation into the Pune incident. “We aren’t officially involved anywhere as the probe is under the command of the ICC, but we are well aware of each and everything,” a BCCI official told Hindustan Times on condition of anonymity.

“In fact, alongside ICC’s ACU, we are having our own search and research on the issue as it’s also related to the image of BCCI world over and that of Indian cricket, including former cricketers like Pandurang Salgaonkar who are involved in various segments of the game,” he added.

On Wednesday, Salgaonkar was dismissed by the Maharashtra Cricket Association minutes before the India-New Zealand tie, and even before the ICC announced a probe, after ICC Match Referee Chris Broad cleared the pitch for playing the match.

“We are investigating the allegations from Pune this morning,” an ICC spokesman was quoted as saying on Wednesday. “As with all international cricket, the ICC anti-corruption unit has an ICC ACU manager on the ground in India and we are in close contact with him. We are now looking to establish the facts and will make no further comment while this is ongoing.”

A source also said besides his recent activities, the past record of Salgaonkar is also being investigated. “Did he do anything wrong in the past is also a matter of investigation.”

The Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief, Vinod Rai had defended BCCI’s anti-corruption unit on Wednesday, saying a three-member team can’t be expected to monitor everything.

“There were irregularities on all fronts, so a full scale inquiry has been ordered. ACU has only three people, so they can’t be everywhere,” Rai told reporters in Delhi on Wednesday.

First Published: Oct 26, 2017 21:10 IST