An unnamed Bollywood actor is alleged to be at the heart of a thriving multi-crore international cricket match-fixing scam operating out of India.
Indian bookies, a British newspaper claimed on Sunday, were using the actor who could not be identified for legal reasons to “lure” cricketers as they apparently succumbed more easily to the charms of “pretty girls” than the promise of big bucks.
A report in The Sunday Times, headed ‘Bollywood honeytrap seduces cricket stars into match-fixing,' said the International Cricket Council (ICC) was “aware” of the activities of the actor, “suspected of attempting to subvert players.”
The ICC was reported to have launched an investigation into the newspaper's claim of how a network of India-based bookmakers was corrupting cricketers and subverting the game.
“Officials were alerted by reports from four players who reported her suspicious approaches to them,” the report said.
An “influential” Delhi-based bookie Vicky Seth, secretly filmed by undercover reporters, said that “attractive girls are the ideal choice to cosy up to players and persuade them to work for bookmakers.”
“Players are always vulnerable to approaches by pretty girls and when they are offered the opportunity to make fortunes for making minor adjustments in their play, it is an irresistible package,” he said, sipping scotch whisky in a “smart” Gurgaon bar.
Seth, who runs property business, boasted that he could “fix big international events such as Test matches, Twenty20s, and games in both the Indian Premier League and the Bangladesh Premier League.” Last year's World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan had also been “rigged,” he claimed.
Another bookie, known as Monubhai, said he had worked with players from most of the main cricketing nations to fix games, and had recently been offered a chance to sign up New Zealanders. His next target was the new Indian Premier League tournament starting next month.
“The IPL starts on April 4, then everyone will be doing it [match-fixing],” he said, offering to fix sessions claiming “I've got players there” who would do it. “I will let you have results with scripts [details of ‘fixes' set up in advance, such as agreed no-balls, or agreed numbers of runs]. I've got players there,” he said.