“Underpaid groundsmen” are vulnerable targets for bookies says Venkat Sundaram

Vastavam web: A curator falling to the lure of corrupt money doesn’t come as a surprise to former BCCI pitch committee chairman Venkat Sundaram, who says “underpaid groundsmen” are vulnerable to such approaches.Besides being a pitch expert, Sundaram is a former First-Class batsman who played against the now suspended Pune curator and former pacer Pandurang Salgaoncar, in the ’70s and the ’80s.”Players and officials have been involved in corruption in the past so the next soft target was very much likely to be the curators, who in my opinion are hugely underpaid compared to match officials and players,” Sundaram told.
“The India cricketers are earning in crores, the First- Class players are earning in lakhs and they deserve to. But you also have to look after the groundsmen.”Not only the chief curator is underpaid, some of the other groundsmen make just about Rs 10,000 to 15,000 per month. But it is still no justification for you to be corrupt and venture into pitch tampering,” said Sundaram, who played 81 First-Class games for Delhi and Tamil Nadu.Sundaram said he felt sorry for his contemporary Salgaoncar, who has now been suspended by the Maharashtra Cricket Association for allegedly agreeing to doctor the pitch ahead of the second ODI between India and New Zealand.
“He was India’s fastest bowler back then and came from a poor background. If he had played for bigger centres like Bombay, he would have ended up playing for India. I feel sorry for him. He also did well as a curator,” said Sundaram.