Ajay Shirke demands CBI probe into Pune pitch fiasco
Sacked BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke has called for a CBI enquiry into the 'controversial' Pune pitch used for the first test between India and Australia. He said that the issue of doctoring pitches have bothered Indian cricket since long and it was time that the administrators got into the root cause of the issue. Shirke also criticized Pune pitch's curator Pandurang Salgaonkar.
First test turns into a fiasco in Pune
Pune's Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium hosted its first ever test match between India and Australia from 23-25 February 2017. The host team was handed a disastrous 333 run defeat by the visitors on just the third day of the match.
Pune pitch rated 'poor' by match referee
International Cricket Council's match referee for the first test between India and Australia, Chris Broad, has rated the pitch as 'poor.' Broad submitted the report to ICC and rated the pitch on the basis of "the balance between bat and ball scale." ICC said, "The report has been forwarded to the BCCI, which now has 14 days to provide its response."
Not a first 'poor' rating for Indian pitch
In December 2015, ICC match referee Jeff Crowe had given a 'poor' rating to the pitch used for the third test between India and South Africa at Nagpur's Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium.
What can BCCI do now?
After BCCI sends its reply to the ICC, it will be reviewed by ICC's General Manager (Cricket), Geoff Allardice, and Ranjan Madugalle from the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees. According to ICC guidelines, if the pitch gets a 'poor' rating for the first time, "a warning and/or a fine not exceeding $15,000 is given together with a directive for appropriate corrective action."
Shirke questions the curator's intentions
Calling the whole issue as 'pitch-fixing', Shirke, a former president of Maharashtra Cricket Association said, "Pune has historically prepared seaming wickets, so what has suddenly gone wrong? Was Pandurang Salgaonkar intoxicated? Did he go mad?"