A sinister campaign has been orchestrated by the English and Indian media camps to drag dashing Sri Lankan opening batsman Thilekaratna Dilshan in to a match fixing fiasco involving Bollywood actress Nupur Mehta. The sole aim of this mudslinging is to mentally demoralise the former Sri Lankan cricket captain and his team ahead of the England Sri Lanka test series.
This little known stunning Indian starlet having made only two Bollywood movie appearances, which were not that much successful at box office, shot in to fame worldwide after The Sunday Times paper in the UK published a blurred image of her, revealing that she was used by bookies as a honey trap to lure cricketers in to match fixing during the 2009 ICC World Twenty 20 held in England. Nupur has vehemently dismissed this allegations and has threatened sue the paper for defamation over the accusations and for the use picture without her consent.
It is claimed that during the Twenty 20 Cricket World Cup she was accommodated with a bookmaker in the same hotel the cricketers were staying and that the bookie wanted her to develop a close relationship with Dilshan to lure him to fix a match involving Sri Lanka.
When this was published in the Daily Mail Nupur agreed to have been staying in the same hotel but initially denied to have been in contact with any player nor sharing the hotel with anyone. But in a twist to this controversy she soon changed her story and admitted meeting cricketers at a casino in London. She also admitted to have been dating Dilshan during the Twenty 20 World Cup in England. Dilshan has been married to a Sri Lankan actress since 2008.
In the backdrop of this scenario Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) released a media statement in defence of Dilshan condemning the comments and accusations against Dilshan and that it does not intend to comment on the said story any further in view of its baseless nature. When Dilshan’s wife, Manjula Thilini was asked to comment on the reports against her husband her response was that the matter was not worth giving her view.
This is not the first time that the English Media has propelled up a controversy against a Sri Lankan Cricketer. In the hey days of former ace off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who eventually went on to be test crickets highest wicket taker, various theories were invented to accuse the master spinner for chucking. These theories all died down in time but surfaced just before the commencement of an England Sri Lanka series. These are well planned events launched by media power houses such as Britain for their teams to have a mental advantage over the opposition before an important series. Murali has now retired, so it seems that they have chosen Dilshan as bait for their western hypocrisy. The English Media has timed it well just before the first test between Sri Lanka and England in Galle. The Englishmen naturally have a very poor test record in the subcontinent, as evident by their recent walloping by Pakistan in the UAE, and these are malicious attempts by the English Media to unsettle the Sri Lankan cricket team. One may even argue this to be an attempt by the English media to hide the shame of the match fixing scandal pertaining their county cricket. So are the men who call themselves purists of the game.
The involvement of a Bollywood actress has made the Indian media to sensationalize this story. The Indian Media’s mudslinging campaign against Dilshan is for a different reason and it seems to be in retaliation of Sri Lanka ousting India from the CB series in Australia and not winning against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup to pave way for India to the finals.
It is well-known fact that cricket fans in Sri Lanka are intelligent and are highly educated about the game. They know how to share the joys of winning and bear the heartache of losing unlike the Indian fans and no matter what happens, win or lose; they will always stand by their cricket team. This is an instance where the Dilshan will need the full support of the entire Sri Lankan cricket fraternity. They know that their cricketers despite being not paid in the last year played for the sheer love of the game and would not any bring dishonest to the country. The Sri Lankan fans also are wise enough to see this as a yet another bullying attempt by the former colonial master and the neighbouring big brother. Readers are invited to post comments on this controversy.