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Pitch Fixing: Pandurang Salgaonkar probed by ICC ACU top official Steve Richardson

The ICC Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU)’s co-ordinator of investigations Steve Richardson on Thursday reached Pune to probe the alleged pitch-fixing controversy, involving ousted curator Pandurang Salgaonkar.

In a sting operation, Salgaonkar, a former Maharashtra pacer, was seen talking to two reporters of the India Today news channel, who posed as bookies, and also allowing them access to the match pitch.

“ICC’s top ACSU official Steve Richardson has reached Pune on Friday. Along with Bir Singh (appointed ICC ACU official for the India vs New Zealand series), Richardson will carry out the investigations.

He will be talking to Salgaonkar and also the two India Today reporters, who carried out the sting,” a top BCCI official told PTI on the conditions of anonymity. Asked if it would be an interrogation, the BCCI official said, “No, it’s just questioning. Interrogation is a strong word.

He has been suspended by the BCCI and state association pending enquiry. At this point, he has not been pronounced guilty. The ICC will only take a call once Richardson submits his report,” the official said.

The incident is believed to be on similar lines with what happened with Galle curator Jayananda Warnaweera, who was suspended for three years for breach of the ICC’s anti- corruption code.

It is learnt that the ICC is trying to bring the pitch curators under the anti-corruption education ambit in order to avoid such future incidents. It is learnt that the BCCI will be taking certain steps with regards to financial benefits for the curators, which may prevent them from even thinking about indulging in corrupt practices.

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