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Chris Cairns named by NZ Test player's ex-wife in match-fixing testimony

Date

Mark Geenty

Accused: Former New Zealand Test player Chris Cairns.

Accused: Former New Zealand Test player Chris Cairns. Photo: Reuters

Former New Zealand Test player Chris Cairns continues to protest his innocence amid more evidence against him, this time from Lou Vincent’s ex-wife, who alleges he was a cricket match-fixing ringleader.

Cairns’ name was publicly linked with sworn evidence to International Cricket Council investigators for the first time on Tuesday, as the former New Zealand all-rounder issued a second statement in a 12-hour period. ‘‘I totally reject the allegations against me, and I will prove this.’’

The latest leaked evidence is a sworn 10-page document from Elly Riley, Vincent’s ex-wife, that she provided to anti-corruption investigators last October. It follows leaks in the past week of former Test opener Vincent’s explosive 42-page testimony, and New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum’s signed three-page statement, both of which are understood to name Cairns as a fixing ringleader.

Riley’s evidence was that the fixing began at the Indian Cricket League in 2008, and that Vincent told her: ‘‘Chris was going to pay him $US$50,000 a game for the fixing.’’

Vincent was confronted by a stranger with a suitcase full of money shortly after, but two weeks later things went awry, Riley said in her evidence.

‘‘I got a phone call from Lou and he was crying, saying he'd just lost Chris Cairns $US250,000 or something like that because he got things wrong.’’

Riley alleged the fixing continued in English County cricket, and the more players that were involved, the more money Cairns would receive.

She confronted Cairns during a night out in Manchester in 2008. He told her they were safe, everyone did it (fixing) and no one would get caught.

‘‘I said that you're involving so many players - you're involving the whole team and by doing that you're getting greedy. I just can't see how information on the fixing is not going to leak out to others and you're not going to get caught,’’ Riley said in evidence.

‘‘Chris said that I was right, but told me not to worry as he had it all under control. Chris just sort of laughed it off.’’

Cairns, who won £90,000 in damages in a 2012 libel case against Indian cricket powerbroker Lalit Modi, issued another statement on Tuesday morning vowing to clear his name.

‘‘I am committed to concluding my interview with the Met Police as soon as possible and will work through the proper channels to, once again, prove my innocence,’’ Cairns said.

‘‘I just ask people to remember that, as yet, the ICC have still not so much as interviewed me and that what is circulating in the public domain is barely one side of the story. There is a long journey ahead.’’

Cairns later tweeted: ‘‘Thanks for all the support out there and to all those who understand that there are bigger forces at play here...chat soon...cheers.’’

McCullum is playing in the Indian Premier League and is due to return to Christchurch on Thursday for the birth of his third child. His evidence, provided in 2011 and 2013, said a player he described as his ‘‘hero’’ approached him twice in 2008, in India and England, offering money to fix matches. He rebuffed the offers.

London’s Daily Telegraph reported that three more individuals had provided statements to ICC investigators corroborating Vincent’s evidence. One of them is a former County teammate of Vincent’s in Britain, another is a friend in New Zealand, while the third is involved in cricket but not as a player.

More details of Vincent’s evidence were published on Tuesday.

He informed investigators he had an accomplice within the Sussex team when he fixed a 40-over match against Kent in August 2011 and introduced him to the bookie who was running the scam.

He also admitted approaching another Sussex player and offering him £20,000 to underperform in a Twenty20 quarter-final against Lancashire the same month.

The ICC remained silent but is expected to release a statement to clarify some matters. ICC president Alan Isaac declined to comment, saying chief executive Dave Richardson would be speaking on the topic.

It is understood Richardson was trying to contact McCullum and Vincent to reassure them over the leak of their confidential statements. The ICC believes none of its staff were the source of the leaks, but because the allegations cover a number of jurisdictions, more people had access to the statements.

18 comments so far

  • Upsetting to see such a well respected cricketer entangled in this stuff, though the rumours had been around a while. I don't think his Dad will be too proud. There are shades of Hansie Cronje - perhaps Chris should avoid light plane travel for a while.
    Professionals should be reminded that they are meddling with the very reason that people come to watch a cricket match. The easy money must make them forget.

    Commenter
    Fjordblue
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    May 20, 2014, 8:55PM
    • Crumbs & Crikey,
      Getting closer to our shores everyday.
      I'd just about give up following all the sports I love if I found that our cricketers
      had been involved in ths disgraceful behaviour.
      Of course, getting gambling out of sport alltogether would be the ideal.

      Commenter
      Johnny B Bad
      Location
      Mornington
      Date and time
      May 20, 2014, 11:31PM
  • Where there's smoke there's fire. There is no way that McCallum & Vincent have corroborated to throw Cairns under the bus. I can feel a Lance Armstrong style mea culpa coming on once some evidence comes out in the form of recorded conversations etc.

    It is a real shame. Cairns was one of the most destructive middle order batsman of his time and very handy with the ball. His old man was also an iconic all rounder and a Kiwi national treasure. It's going to be uncomfortable around the Cairns family Christmas table this yr

    With regard to Hansie Cronje - i have it on good information he is alive and well holed up in a small village in the Philippines hinterland (a colleague spotted him there in 2009)

    Commenter
    Max Peelback
    Location
    Vic
    Date and time
    May 20, 2014, 9:43PM
    • Well, it's about time this stuff came out in the open!! Fixing has obviously been going on for years and it hasn't just been the Pakistanis. So many matches have been won and lost in amazing situations involving many teams, so I severely doubt that it is restricted to Pakistan and NZ. This must be cleaned up or the crowds in ALL matches will be non-existent.

      Commenter
      Thundercloud of Bendigo
      Location
      Bendigo Victoria
      Date and time
      May 20, 2014, 11:05PM
      • Its sad that after all these years the ICC toothless tiger has still to make a dent into the match fixing. From what is described here this has been going on for many years .... and i'm sure its only the tip of the iceberg. If it can still happen so easily i'm sure there's many others out there doing it as well.......... just another reason that i don't take any 20/20 match seriously. And other one day games only slightly more seriously. The game needs to be cleaned up. Mechanisms need to be put into place to prevent or reduce the possibility to corrupt the game, yet the administrators sit around doing nothing.

        Commenter
        Enlightened1
        Date and time
        May 20, 2014, 11:20PM
        • Too hard basket for the toothless tigers!

          Commenter
          Catherine
          Date and time
          May 21, 2014, 8:34AM
      • Lalit Modi will be following this intently, after losing a defamation case about Chris Cairns being involved in match/spot fixing.

        Commenter
        Coys82
        Date and time
        May 20, 2014, 11:50PM
        • I've been having an increasingly prevalent thought - and believe the only way to really stop this stuff - match fixing, doping and any other form of cheating is to go back 30 or 40 years. I know that sounds crazy and how would we do that anyway. Let's face it, the only way these people can do this stuff is because they have the money. I was a reasonably high level sportsman, many years ago, and we wouldn't have even thought about it. Everyone was an amateur and nobody had the money. We participated for the love of the sport. It wasn't a career option but something you did in your spare time.
          When I mention this to other people they say, "Yes, but, how can we go back to that?"
          Easy, you, me, and everyone else simply turns the TV off, then there wouldn't be the advertising revenue, and no-one could afford to pay them, and it would all come to a grinding halt.
          I'm getting to that point. I watch less and less sport out of sheer disgust and disappointment.

          Commenter
          Derek
          Location
          Denmark WA
          Date and time
          May 21, 2014, 12:28AM
          • Dont bet ! Simple.

            Commenter
            Dogs
            Date and time
            May 21, 2014, 7:36AM
            • Chris Cairns was one of my favourite players. Such a competitor on the field (seemingly), devestating with the bat and very handy as a bowler. To think that he possibly has been integral in match fixing is really quite sad. I'd like to hope it wasn't true.

              Commenter
              janeygotagun
              Date and time
              May 21, 2014, 8:24AM

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