The second ODI between India and New Zealand at MCA Stadium in Pune is less than two hours away from now, but it has already been shrouded with controversy.
The pitch curator, Pandurang Salgaoncar was approached by "India Today" reporters, who disguised themselves as bookies. The curator said that he was willing to make a pitch as per their demands.
As per latest report, Salgaoncar will be suspended, and the question of match being called off has also arisen. The final call on the latter will be taken by the match referee Chris Broad.
The sting operation carried out was aired on India Today TV. Besides Salgaoncar being ready to prepare pitch as per the requirement of the bookies, the pitch curator broke another major rule.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and International Cricket Council (ICC) rules suggest that no one, barring officials, can inspect the pitch. But, he allowed the 'bookies' to have a closer look at the playing surface.
Such things will have a negative impact on Maharashtra Cricket Association's (MCA) venue, especially after the same pitch had been criticised and rated poor by the ICC after the India-Australia first Test which ended within three days in February this year.
Salgaoncar did also reveal that the pitch is going to be batting friendly in the second ODI, where scores in excess of 330 can also be chased down in the second innings. This could be great news for cricket fans, who will watch the game at the venue as they would love to see a high-scoring affair with the home team emerging victorious.
Both India and New Zealand have some exceptional batsmen, who will be eager to score big runs and help their team end on the winning side.
India currently trail the three-match series 0-1, and Virat Kohli's men will be eager to win the second ODI in Pune and make the third ODI as the series-decider.