India-Pakistan World Cup Semifinal Fixed, Bollywood Actress Used to Tempt Cricketers: Bookie

 @KukilBora
on March 12 2012 4:55 AM
India-Pakistan World Cup Semifinal
India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni plays a shot watched by Pakistan's wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal (R) during their ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 semi-final match in Mohali March 30, 2011. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

It was a long-cherished dream come true for all Indian Cricket lovers when the national team defeated Sri Lanka in the final match of the 2011 World Cup Cricket and brought home the trophy after 28 years.

Apart from clinching the championship, what made millions of Indian Cricket fans' chests swell with pride was that their team reached the final by thrashing arch rival, Pakistan. But now, after almost a year, a revelation made by a British newspaper seems to question that memorable win.

The Sunday Times, London, said it carried out a sting operation on a Delhi-based bookie called Vicky Seth, who claimed that last year's Cricket World Cup semifinal match between India and Pakistan at Mohali was fixed.

Seth, described as one of Delhi's most influential bookmakers, made a number of shocking revelations during a drinking session while talking to an undercover Sunday Times reporter, who reportedly videotaped the entire conversation.

However, he didn't offer any evidence to confirm rumors that first surfaced on the Internet even as the match was going on, according NDTV Sports.

According to reports, the Sunday Times reporter was the one who exposed three Pakistani cricketers in 2010. Salman Butt, captain of the Pakistani Cricket team at the time, and two fast bowlers, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were later found guilty of indulging in spot-fixing.

A report in the Times of India said the International Cricket Council (ICC) denied that it was launching an inquiry into these claims. However, the report didn't rule out the existence of an ongoing probe into some of the issues raised by the Delhi-based bookie.

Bollywood Honey Traps

One surprising revelation made by Seth was the use of a Bollywood actress, who was not named in the Sunday Times report, as a honey trap to tempt cricketers into corruption.

The ICC is aware of the activities of an actress, suspected of attempting to subvert players, said the report.

The bookie also claimed that tens of thousands of pounds are on offer to fix matches, typically £44,000 ($70,000) to batsmen for slow scoring; £50,000 ($80,000) for bowlers who concede runs; and as much as £750,000 ($1.2m) to players or officials who can guarantee the outcome of a match.

He even claimed that he could fix big international events such as Test matches, Twenty20s, games in both the Indian Premier League and Bangladesh Premier League and county matches in England, a growing market for fixing given that the matches are low profile.

Ravi Sawani, the ICC anti-corruption and security unit's chief investigator, issued a statement denying anything suspicious about the India-Pakistan match. He even said that no investigation was needed or carried out.

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