Bollywood actress to sue newspaper over match-fixing story

NEW DELHI: An Indian actress embroiled in an English newspaper report alleging rampant match-fixing in cricket is considering her legal options, including a defamation action.

“I am really hurt and considering legal action against the paper for using my picture,” Bollywood actress Nupur Mehta was quoted as saying by The Times of India yesterday.

Mehta’s blurred photo was used by London’s The Sunday Times in a controversial match-fixing story which alleged illegal bookmakers were going to great lengths, including using actresses, to lure cricketers into fixing games.

The Sunday Times said it had filmed evidence of bookmakers from the Indian subcontinent boasting about being able to fix the results of international matches and that last year’s World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan at Mohali had been targeted.

The International Cricket Council has said reports it was investigating the India-Pakistan semi-final were “baseless and misleading.”

The Board of Control for Cricket in India and former players have treated the reports with caution.

“Newspapers can publish anything. Unless we get something concrete from an (investigating) agency or the International Cricket Council, I don’t think it will be appropriate to react to it,” BCCI vice president Rajiv Shukla told reporters in New Delhi.

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly dismissed suggestions that India could have benefited from the fixing claims.

“I don’t know how they have got the information but let me tell you that India are world champions and nobody can take that away from us,” Ganguly was quoted as saying.

“I need to know the exact details of the allegations but please don’t take away what India did in the competition.”

Spin bowling great Bishan Singh Bedi demanded that the bookmakers be hauled up for fabricating such claims but said the ICC and the BCCI needed to be cautious.

“We have heard so many things about the Commonwealth Games and various other political upheavals. How can cricket be an exception? Cricket is not the only sport which reflects the time you live in, and this is not the only expose. Neither the ICC nor the BCCI can dismiss this particular expose very easily,” the former India captain told the Times Now news channel. — AP

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