NEW DELHI – A little-known Bollywood actress who was linked to cricket match-fixing allegations by Britain’s Sunday Times has said she was quizzed for two-and-a-half hours by the sport’s governing body.
Nupur Mehta, who has denied any wrongdoing, told Tuesday’s Times of India that she met with Alan Peacock, an official from the International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU), at a Mumbai hotel. The Sunday Times in March said Indian bookmakers had hired an unidentified Bollywood actress to lure cricketers into both match-fixing and spot-fixing, and used Mehta’s photograph to illustrate the story.
Mehta told the Times of India she had been “given a clean chit by the ICC” after meeting with Peacock on Monday. “They are satisfied with the answers I have provided,” Mehta told the newspaper. “I have many friends who are cricketers and with whom I socialise… I also know a lot of international cricketers.” The ICC declined to confirm the meeting, saying that it does not comment on the activities of its anti-corruption unit. Mehta, who has only won small roles in Hindi films, has denied any links to bookmakers and has threatened to sue the Sunday Times over its report.
India is seen as the international centre of illegal gambling on cricket, with huge sums waged on results and on specific periods of play. Five Indian cricketers were suspended during the recent Indian Premier League (IPL) season after a TV sting claimed to unearth evidence that no-balls could be arranged to order. The report targeted fringe players and provided no proof of corruption within IPL games, but it re-focused fears about the impact of illegal gambling on the sport. -Pakistantoday