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ICC probes suspended Pune curator after TV sting operation

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India are now trailing 0-1 in the three-match series after losing the first ODI by 6 wickets at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.

A COUPLE OF HOURS before India's second ODI against New Zealand in Pune, a sting operation has revealed Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) curator Pandurang Salgaonkar giving access to reporters, disguised as bookies, of the pitch.

The bowlers were not identified.

The channel showed a recording of undercover reporters approaching Salgaoncar and asking for a pitch which will favour the fast bowlers.

Salgaoncar has not only been suspended and blocked from tonight's match, but also banned from entering the stadium until the investigation's report is submitted. According to the pitch curator, a pitch has been prepared on which the score of 337 can be easily made.

The leading website added that a clear violation of rules from ICC and the BCCI was witnessed when the curator allowed the reporters to inspect the pitch themselves. "It is very good". He is also accused to have allowed the reporters on the pitch and tamper with it.

He also revealed that the pitch would assist the fast bowlers and although hard, the pitch could be tinkered with in five minutes. "The ICC observer (match referee Chris Broad) has approved the pitch, the match will start on schedule", he said. "A strict action has been taken against the pitch curator and the employment relationship between Pandurang Salgaonkar and MCA stands terminated". "We are investigating the allegations from Pune this morning, as with all global cricket, the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit has an ICC ACU Manager on the ground in India and we are in close contact with him", an ICC spokesperson told ESPNcricinfo.

"I have to tell that the MCA, of course, the BCCI too, along with the Committee of the Administrators (CoA) have zero tolerance on such subjects, so MCA will be making a detailed inquiry on what has happened or what has appeared on television".

MCA president Abhay Apte told India Today that they will also look into the matter. Amitabh Choudhary, Acting Secretary, BCCI said, "The Board has zero tolerance towards any activity that brings the game to disrepute".