At the risk of trivialising what might turn out to be a match-fixing issue of some significance, the events leading up to Wednesday's pitch shenanigans in Pune could turn out to be nothing more than the boastings of a vain man.

It has been a (relatively) long while since cricket had an issue of fixing to deal with, whether match or spot, whether by players or administrators.

The furore over Pune's curator Pandurang Salgaoncar allegedly talking about delivering a pitch for New Zealand's second ODI against India to suit certain players added a frisson to the start of the contest.

As it turned out, Salgaoncar's talking of a pitch to produce 337 first innings runs proved to be piffle. New Zealand were able to muster just 230 for nine, India won comfortably.


Parts of the sting operation by an Indian TV channel were bleeped out so there are immediately inferences to be taken, rightly or wrongly.

Who was being discussed?

Is there a suggestion certain players are known to be in the market for some extra curricular business?

And here's a surprise: it was not even raised on the TV commentary. Just joking.

Absolutely no surprise with the cheerleading philosophy the Indian boxes share with other commentary booths around the game.

Actually take back that bland TV reference half a step. At one point late in New Zealand's inadequate innings, there was a discussion in the commentary box about how pitches can vary in behaviour and appearance at the Maharashtra Stadium in Pune.

The former players talked about some that were grassy, some "up and down", others bare and barren.

Was this their way of making a point that strange things are nothing new in Pune?

And were there knowing winks being exchanged behind the microphones?

Salgaoncar was a first-class cricketer, with a decent record as a fast bowler.

Why, when approached by a couple of undercover reporters whom he didn't know, would he start talking up the chances of manufacturing something to order unless it was a way of showing how important he was?

There's a picture forming of an ageing man being encouraged to shoot his mouth off to apparently interested listeners.

The other point to consider is his pitch for the test against Australia earlier this year was rated "poor" by International Cricket Council officials.

Australia won by 333 runs on the "poor" pitch.

So maybe it's just a case that Salgaoncar is not a particularly good practitioner of the turf arts, simple as that, add in a tablespoon of bombast, and a sprinkling of stupidity and nothing more sinister.

The Indian board is investigating; the ICC's hands are in the mix.

Just a hunch here, but the sacked Salgaoncar mightn't be getting a recall any time soon.