Neetu Chandra denies match-fixing allegations
Mumbai, Sep 6, Bollywood actress Neetu Chandra has denied having any links with Pakistani bowler Mohammad Asif, embroiled in the latest match-fixing controversy that has hit the cricket world.
“Personally, Neetu does not know Mohammad Asif or any Pakistani cricketer for that matter. Her name is being unceremoniously dragged into the match-fixing debate with baseless allegations,” Neetu’s publicist Dale Bhagwagar said in a press statement.
“Neetu didn’t even know how Asif looked like. Within minutes of this controversy breaking out, I met her and showed her his picture from the internet on my BlackBerry,” her publicist Bhagwagar said.
“Neetu glanced at it and almost jumped from her chair, joking, ‘Oh, he’s too dark’. She also doesn’t know or understand how her cell number has featured on such a scandalous list. If it indeed has, it could well be a conspiracy.”
The actress has featured in films like “Traffic Signal” and “Garam Masala”.
Her alleged involvement in match-fixing came out when Interpol and Scotland Yard handed over the mobile details of Asif to the Pakistan Cricket Board for investigation.
The document was prepared by Scotland Yard and Interpol on the basis of Pakistani actress Veena Malik’s information and it contains the call details of Asif made in 2009. But it has been leaked.
Reports stated that in the document, the only mobile phone number from Mumbai belonged to actress Neetu Chandra and that she could be involved in the match-fixing scandal.
It was further reported, according to the document, that the actress had made two phone calls and exchanged SMS with the controversial cricketer, discussing sensitive cricket issues and deals.
Neetu was one of the few privileged Bollywood celebrities to run with the Commonwealth Games torch in her hometown, Patna. Apart from being a regular basketball player, the actress is a black belt in Taekwondo, having participated in various martial arts tournaments at the district, national, as well as international levels.
However, she is not a cricket fan, Bhagwagar said.
The match-fixing controversy started when British tabloid The News of the World reported that Pakistani cricketers were allegedly involved in deliberately underperforming in the Lord’s Test that England won by an innings to wrap up the series 3-1 here Sunday.
Based on a sting operation conducted by The News of the World, the Metropolitan Police arrested London-based property tycoon Mazhar Majeed, who allegedly lured Pakistani fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif to deliver three blatant no-balls at the agreed moment of the game by the daily’s undercover reporter. Reports also suggested that Pakistan captain Salman Butt and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal were also involved.