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India vs Windies: Curator Pandurang Salgaonkar oversees the pitch preparation for the 3rd ODI

The third ODI between India and Windies is set to be played in Pune

Pune pitch
MS Dhoni at the Pune pitch. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Pandurang Salgaonkar broke into the headlines after being caught in a TV sting operation where he allegedly offered to prepare the wicket for an India-New Zealand ODI match according to the requirement of the journalists who posed as bookies. Though he was not booked for pitch-fixing, he was handed a six-month ban for failing to report the incident to ICC’s anti-corruption unit.

The Maharashtra Cricket Association had reinstated him on April 25 after the six-month period. This allowed Salgaonkar to oversee the pitches for the Indian Premier League fixtures. The 69-year old is known for his straightforward, fun-loving nature and ever-smiling face. He is also remembered for being one of the fastest bowlers of his time in the 1970s.

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At his peak, he clocked 145-plus kph and posed a massive threat to the batsmen. However, he was one of the unluckiest as he never got an opportunity to play for India despite his considerable talent, and a haul of 214 first-class wickets in 63 games at an average of 26.70.

Back to business

On Friday, Salgaonkar was back to his usual routine as he braved the scorching sun to ensure that the wicket was rolled properly for his first international assignment since coming back. He kept a close eye on the entire process along with BCCI-appointed neutral curator Ramesh Mhamunkar. However, unlike his outspoken nature, Salgaonkar stayed away from interaction with the journalists, lensmen and strangers.

India is set to play the Windies in the third ODI at Pune on Saturday. The hosts lead the series 1-0 and will be hoping to make it 2-0 when they turn up on the field later in the day. India’s regular frontline bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been included for the next three games which should provide the much-needed boost to Virat Kohli’s team.

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