India plays New Zealand despite curator's violation of ICC regulations

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"After reports stating an alleged malpractice from the MCA (Maharashtra State Cricket Association) pitch curator, Mr Pandurang Salgaoncar, the MCA has dismissed Mr Salgaoncar from the position of Curator with immediate effect", the board said.

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.

The India Today TV channel broadcast an undercover operation on Wednesday (October 25) morning, showing Salgaonkar, 68, speaking to the channel's reporters and divulging details of the pitch to be used for the second ODI.

The controversy did not affect the start of the second ODI between India and New Zealand, which began as scheduled after a routine pre-match pitch inspection by ICC match officials. India Today TV said the video was shot on Tuesday evening.

Earlier, The Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) tightened security around the Green Park pitch in order to stop another Pune-like happening.

Reporters told the groundsman that two players wanted a pitch with bounce. "It is very good".

Salgaoncar, himself a former cricketer, also permitted the investigative reporters to take a test walk on the pitch and stamp it with the feet.

Salgaonkar also said that it is going to be a 337-340 wicket either way.

He was also seen showing the men around the surface, breaching ICC rules about access to the pitch.

He also revealed that the pitch would assist the fast bowlers and although hard, the pitch could be tinkered with in five minutes.

The BCCI immediately appointed Wankhede curator Ramesh Mhamunkar in place of Salgaonkar.

"The MCA will be making a detailed inquiry on what has happened or what has appeared on TV, but before we have our urgent meeting", he added. Amitabh Choudhary, Acting Secretary, BCCI said, "The Board has zero tolerance towards any activity that brings the game to disrepute".

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