Bollywood starlet Nupur Mehta has angrily denied being involved in cricket match-fixing after her photograph was published in newspapers reporting allegations that an actress was used to lure players into the scam.
Nupur Mehta, a model who has appeared in two movies, said she was considering legal action. An investigation by The Sunday Times claimed bookies in India had used an unnamed Bollywood star to seduce cricketers to fix matches. The story was accompanied by a pixelated image of Miss Mehta, taken from her 2005 film Jo Bole So Nihaal – a Sikh phrase meaning "blessed is the one".
Since then, Indian newspapers have run stories linking her to the sting, much to her anger. "I'm very much hassled and mentally traumatised. I never thought my name would crop up in these kind of allegations when I have nothing to do with it. I have no relation with it," she told reporters in Mumbai."Yes I am a cricket lover as most of us are. It's a religion in our country. I like to see most of the matches, and not only cricket I love all kinds of sports for that matter. I love football. I love tennis.
"I have no clue why my name is being tossed up with these allegations."The Sunday Times said it had filmed evidence of bookmakers boasting they were able to fix international matches. They claimed that last year's World Cup semifinal between India and Pakistan at Mohali was among those targeted. A Delhi bookmaker said women were used as go-betweens. "Attractive girls are the ideal choice to cosy up to players and to persuade them to work for bookmakers," he said. "Players are always surrounded by fans and groupies so nobody suspects a thing when they walk in and out of player's hotel bedrooms."