Mumbai:Confessions of model-turned-actress Veena Malik, the estranged girlfriend of tainted Pakistani pacer Mohammad Asif, has opened a can of worms about the recent spot-fixing scandal which has rocked the cricketing world. While Malik continues to maintain that she is not settling scores with her ex, she alleges that Asif would not have been able to fix matches without the "help" of actresses, models and even call girls. (Watch: The Veena Malik story)
Malik, who parted ways with Asif in March, confessed that she learnt of the cricketing scandal when she hired a private detective to keep an eye on him between Nov 8-23, 2009. This after she was fed up of the bowler's promiscuity, she claimed. "I always knew that Asif was involved with other women even when we were dating. He was the kind of guy who would party all night during his tours with girls. I was particularly suspicious about one person who sent him text messages frequently. I had a doubt that he was cheating on me, and so I hired a detective," said the actress.
But what the spy revealed was even more shocking. "I was aghast when the private detective told me that Asif spent a lot of time with upcoming actresses, models when he toured other countries. Bookmakers may have used these girls as messengers to pass on information to players," said Malik.
The detective handed over to the Pakistani actress phone numbers, photographs and other details of seven women, who frequently met, called and messaged Asif.
"I was shocked when I was told that most of these women were models, bar dancers, small-time actresses and even call girls from across the world," said Malik.
Asif not alone?
These women acted as a link between bookies and Asif. In fact, other Pakistani cricketers also got in touch with punters with the help of such models. "An actress whose name cropped up in an MMS scandal and a Kashmiri starlet helped other Pakistani cricketers get in touch with bookies. These girls were 'supplied' to the players by punters," said insiders.
Curious about these women, Malik called some of them after she found the phone numbers given to her by the detective in Asif's cellphone. "Some of these women were models and actresses in India and Pakistan. One of the calls was answered by a South African bar dancer, who hurled abuses at me when I asked her to stay away from Asif," said Malik.
Asif met the Indian actresses and models during tours to India. However, sources insist that the Pakistani bowler mingled with these girls when he attended an IPL party in 2008.
Malik also alleged that Indian actress Neetu Chandra's numbers were recovered from Asif's call logs. However, Chandra's spokesperson Dale Bhagwagar has denied that the actress had anything to do with the issue.
Malik also said that it was through the information given to her by the detectives that she stumbled upon the involvement of an Indian freelance sports photographer in the match-fixing scandal. (Asif worked with Indian bookie: Veena Malik)
"I suspected that Asif was involved in the scam and I confronted him. In fact, before Asif left for the Australia tour in 2009, he took an oath putting his hand on the Quran that he will get himself out of the mess and not get involved with betting syndicates," said Malik.
"But during the tour when I called him, I found something suspicious. When I told him that I was praying for the team's victory he laughed and said that Pakistan was not going to win the Australia tour."
Asif promised that he would never get involved in spot-fixing. "But soon he got involved with Majeed Mazhar," said Malik.
ICC knows it all?
However, the ICC refused to give details to this newspaper. "We don't share classified information of cases which are being investigated," said an email from ICC.
On the issue of the girls being used in the betting syndicate, Colin Gibson, head of media and communications, ICC, said, "We don't comment on any investigations being undertaken by the ICC.'"