Nupur Mehta questioned by ICC official on fixing allegations
New Delhi: An ICC anti-corruption investigator on Monday questioned Bollywood starlet Nupur Mehta in connection with the match and spot-fixing allegations made by a British newspaper a few months ago.
Mehta, whose name first surfaced when London`s `Sunday Times` carried out a sting operation on a Delhi bookie in March, said that she met ICC anti-corruption and security officer Alan Peacock at a Mumbai hotel today and was able to "clear the air" that she was not involved in any fixing activity.
In the sting operation, done to investigate allegations of match-fixing in the 2011 World Cup, specifically the semifinal match between India and Pakistan in Mohali, a suspicion was raised on Mehta being used by bookies to lure players.
"ICC anti-corruption and security unit head Alan Peacock quizzed me in Mumbai for two and half hours today. He was the only official representing the ICC. There was a list of questionnaires. He asked me who all I know in cricketing world both India and international players. I took names but I won`t reveal it to the media," Mehta told PTI.
The ICC, however, refused to comment on the development, saying that it does not normally comment on anti-corruption related matters.
Mehta said she told the ICC official that she was not involved in match-fixing and the cricketers she befriended with were also not involved in such activities.
"I have complete faith in ICC investigating unit. They gave me a clean chit today and said that they would not interrogate me again. I told them the cricketers I took the names are not involved in fixing at all. They are innocent. I proved myself right. I have cleared the air," she said.
Giving details of her meeting with Peacock, Mehta said, "I gave full cooperation. We had fixed the appointment for today (with Peacock) because I was busy at the weekend.
The questions were on match fixing. He asked if I had any source or cooperation with bookies and punters around the world for match fixing. My answer was a complete no," Mehta said.
"He also asked me about the cricketers I know and people at the cricket Board. I told him whom I knew and that was it," she added.
Mehta also said that she was clueless about the 'Sunday Times' report, which claimed that she was involved in match fixing.
"Today's meeting with the ICC official was a follow up of the Sunday Times report. The reporter may have given some clues but still today I am clueless how the report concluded that I was involved in match fixing. What was the evidence?" she asked.
The sting story had not mentioned her name but a blurred image was carried and Mehta then denied any involvement in match fixing. She had also threatened legal action against the newspaper.
Mehta had also said at that time that she had gone out with Tillakaratne Dilshan during the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup in England.
Reports have also suggested that Mehta has known a few Indians as well as West Indian players who played in the IPL for some time.
"He (Alan) wanted to know how I met the cricketers and if I have any involvement in any kind of corruption. He seemed to be convinced and satisfied (by the answers). In any case, if I am called for interrogation again, I would co-operate in all possible ways," Mehta said.
According to her, she informed the ICC officer that she knew a few cricketers from India, West Indies and Sri Lanka through social networking.
"I told him about being friends with few Indian, Sri Lankan and West Indian players. I met them in a party. I think there is no harm in having cricketers as friends," she said.