Standing in a drizzle on the 22-yard strip about an hour after India pocketed the second Check and the Freedom Sequence by annihilating South Africa by an innings and 137 runs, Pandurag Salgaocar was a contented man. In so some ways, life has a come a full circle for the tearaway quick bowler of yesteryear, who was become a villain from an unsung hero of Indian cricket.
Two situations within the final two years had tarnished Salgaocar’s status.
In February 2017, when the MCA Stadium hosted its debut Check, he got here underneath criticism for producing a sandpit that was rated “poor” by the ICC.
It was adopted by the veteran curator going through a suspension after being alleged to have been concerned in corrupt actions in a sting operation forward of India’s ODI towards West Indies.
As soon as the ICC gave him a clear chit after going via the uncooked footage, Salgaocar was reinstated because the curator and he responded by producing a perfect Check pitch in Indian circumstances.
“Cricket has given all of it again to me. I’ve seen quite a bit over the past two years. They fabricated the movies, doctored my quotes nevertheless it hasn’t mattered. Right here, I’m persevering with to serve Maharashtra cricket. That’s what issues,” Salgaocar mentioned.
“I’ve at all times been loyal to Maharashtra cricket, ever for the reason that taking part in days. There are others who’ve chased cash, joined different States to play and have come again to Maharashtra, however I’ve at all times put Maharashtra cricket forward of every little thing else.”
It might sound emotional, however Salgaocar gave the impression to be cool and composed.
In truth, he turned philosophical in the course of the transient chat, throwing aphorisms in his typical Marathi dialect as incessantly as bouncers in his heyday, one in all them famously injuring the legendary Sunil Gavaskar.
“Melelya maansala kaay farak padto? Kudal ghya kinwa koyta ghya (How does it matter if you happen to hit a lifeless man with an axe or a coyote?),” he says when prompted additional on the emotional upheaval within the sting operation, including: “Lokanna kaahihi bolu de, beduk budato aani pakshi udto (Doesn’t matter what folks say. A frog drowns and a fowl soars excessive).”
Having earned wealthy reward from everybody concerned within the sport, it’s time for Salgaocar to rejoice his 70th birthday on Tuesday along with his head held excessive.