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Rediff.com  » Cricket » I spent around 800 pounds on Dilshan: Nupur Mehta

I spent around 800 pounds on Dilshan: Nupur Mehta

Last updated on: June 20, 2012 20:41 IST

ICC has given me a clean chit verbally: Nupur Mehta

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Despite doing a couple of Hindi films and television commercials some years back, Nupur Mehta was relatively unknown till she hit the headlines after her name was dragged into the match-fixing controversy by a British newspaper.

Her admission of having dated Sri Lanka's top batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan was what put her in a spot. She was interrogated by the International Cricket Council's Anti-Corruption Unit officer Alan Peacock earlier this month and came away with a clean chit. 

The Bollywood starlet claims all doubts the sport's governing body had about her alleged role in match-fixing activities during the World T20 in England in 2009 have since been laid to rest.

She says she is just good friends with cricketers from India and abroad, and that's why she was seen in the company of some of them in England.

'IPL is fantastic for Indian cricket'

Now, since disappearing from the scene after doing a few movies in the early 2000s, Nupur is now ready to put the ghosts of match-fixing behind her and launch her second innings in Bollywood following offers from top directors like Mahesh Bhatt and Tigmanshu Dhulia.

In an exclusive interview with rediff.com's Harish Kotian, she reveals details of what transpired during her meeting with the ICC's anti-corruption officials in Mumbai and her affair with Dilshan.

Click NEXT to read the full interview


Image: Nupur Mehta
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com

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'I never met the bookies'

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Why would you say your name was dragged into this match-fixing controversy?

After meeting the ICC official (Alan Peacock) I came to know another part of the story -- that two bookies said we used actresses to lure the cricketers. I was there in London during the T20 World Cup in 2009 and I was seen partying out in discotheques and casinos with my cricketer friends. And in the 2011 World Cup, when the tournament was held in India, I was also seen here partying again with my cricketer friends.

They put two and two together that she must be the Bollywood cricketer whom the two bookies were taking about, but the world does not work on assumptions; the world works on proven facts, which are missing in this case.

Could you figure out why the bookies named you? Did you ever meet them?

I never met the bookies and I have never heard their names before. I don't even have friends who are bookmakers nor do I know people who are involved in match-fixing. I have my cricketer friends; they are very nice to me and they are very honest players.



Tags: ICC , T20 , London , India

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'I have cleared all allegations'

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So what exactly went on during the interrogation by the ICC official in Mumbai? What exactly did they want to know? What was your reply?

I was happy to meet Alan Peacock, who is the chief investigation officer of the Anti-Corruption Unit of the ICC. The interrogation lasted for about two-and-a-half hours. The official was very glad to meet me and was very impressed after meeting me. He went back as a satisfied person, because he came to know about my truthfulness, about my sincerity. He was very convinced that I was not involved in match-fixing and other allegations.

Were you able to clear your side during your meeting with the ICC official?

Absolutely! I am very glad to have met him, because at least the air has been cleared. All these allegations which have been put on me in the last few months, I have been able to clear them.

So what eventually came out of the meeting with the ICC official, who is yet to give you a clean chit? Will they call you again?

I hope they don't call me. Mr Peacock went away very satisfied after meeting me and he was very convinced. Verbally, he gave me a clean chit as well.

If the ICC is denying that they have met me or given me a clean chit it makes no sense, because it was shown on all television channels very clearly [that I met the ICC official in Mumbai].

I hope they don't call me again. I will be relived if they don't.


Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com

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'Dilshan is a courtesy-less, thankless person'

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There were reports doing the round that said you were dating Sri Lankan cricketer Tillakaratne Dilshan during the 2009 World Twenty20 in England. Was it true?

I don't think I can put too much spotlight on that, because I don't have much to say about Dilshan and his relationship with me. It was for a very short span of time that I was dating him.

I happened to blow up around 800 pounds on him then and he didn't even have the courtesy to return that money to me.

He wanted to play in the casino, he wanted to have biryani, he wanted to go out for shopping, he wanted to open a bottle of champagne in a discotheque. All this cost money, and London being such an expensive city, I happened to spend money on him.

And Dilshan is such a courtesy-less, ruthless, thankless person that he came back for the IPL and didn't even return my money.




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'I had to spend money on Dilshan'

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How did you get involved with him?

I would like to make it very clear that I was in London; I was there for a vacation and the T20 World Cup was happening in that city at the same time. It was mere coincidence. Wherever you went then, whether it was a pizza parlour, shopping mall, discotheque, casino, everywhere the cricketers were clustered from all over the world.

One day I was buying a pizza and there was Shane Watson next to me. It is very human to meet cricketers in a city that's hosting the T20 World Cup.

Dilshan only came up to me and he started talking to me in the hotel lobby. I didn't go up to him. In the casino also, Dilshan was sitting there and he wanted money to play so I ended up being the host there.

He wanted to open a bottle of champagne because he was named the man of the tournament, so I had to spend money on him.


Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com

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'Dilshan used to tell me stories about his cricket board'

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Dilshan didn't contact you after that?

He came back to India for the IPL and he didn't even have the courtesy to call me up and thank me for the hospitality I showed in London, nor did he return the money. 

I spent around 800 pounds on Dilshan, but he is such a thankless person.

He did stay in touch with me after going back from the T20 World Cup. This will be surprising for you -- that he used to call me from his country [Sri Lanka] and tell me to call him back because his balance was getting over. Dilshan was such a miser.

I don't know whether he didn't want to spend money on the phone call or whether, genuinely, he didn't have the money.

He used to tell me stories about his cricket board -- that the board had not paid him for two years. So he used to ask me to buy a bottle of champagne in London and stuff like that.



Tags: Dilshan , IPL , London , ODilshan , T20

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'I am friends with some Indian cricketers'

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Are you also friends with Indian cricketers?

Yes, there are some Indian cricketers whom I am friends with and I am still in touch with them.

Did it bother your cricketer friends when you got involved in this match-fixing controversy?

This controversy has not even feared my cricketer friends because they know what kind of person I am. They know I am a sincere girl, true girl; so it has not bothered them.

They did not believe in these kinds of allegations and the conspiracy that was happening against me. So my friendship with them did not get affected.

Did you go to watch any of the matches in the 2011 World Cup? Were you present at any of the venues, because your name was linked to the India-Pakistan semi-final match in Mohali last year. Can you clarify why that happened?

Yes, it was a coincidence that I was seen out with my cricketer friends; that is how they assumed that she is a Bollywood actress and she must be related to match-fixing; but it is not so.

I saw the match but I didn't go to the stadium to watch it. But I think if I was involved in this by any chance then they should really garland me and they should give me an award for helping India win the World Cup.


Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com

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'Good things are coming my way'

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The Sunday Times carried a report some months back saying you used to lure cricketers to fix matches. If this is not true why have you not sued the newspaper yet?

I have already sued the Sunday Times. One case has already been filed by my London lawyer and one case has been registered by my lawyer from Delhi. They are following up the case on my behalf.

Life must have changed after your name cropped up in this match-fixing controversy, when it was first reported in an English newspaper. Isn't it?

I must say things are going on for the better; good things are coming my way. I have got a few offers and I will be concentrating on my Bollywood career now. I am happy that people have started recognising me as a clean person who was not involved in match-fixing or any other such stuff.

Can you tell us what kind of offers you are getting?

I have a few offers in Bollywood from the Bhatt camp, from directors like Tigmanshu Dhulia and Anees Bazmi; so I will be concentrating on that. Also, I have been offered a television reality show and this season you will definitely see me in Big Boss and some other reality shows as well.


Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com

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