Cairns seeks answers as new action looms

Wellington, December 6

Former New Zealand cricket star Chris Cairns, cleared of perjury charges over match-fixing, demanded answers on Sunday for why current captain Brendon McCullum testified against him.

Cairns said years of litigation had left him penniless but he would continue to fight to clear his name, amid reports he would soon face a multi-million dollar fraud claim from Lalit Modi, the founder of the Indian Premier League. “Beat up, yes. Exhausted, yes. Penniless, yes. Will I continue to fight, absolutely,” the 45-year-old Cairns said in a column for Fairfax New Zealand. The former all-rounder questioned why McCullum did not come forward before his 2012 libel trial when he successfully sued Modi who tweeted that Cairns was linked to match-fixing.

Cairns’ statement in that hearing that he “never cheated at cricket” formed the basis of the recent perjury trial in which McCullum and former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent testified they were approached by Cairns to fix matches. Although a London jury last week found Cairns not guilty of perjury, Modi is now reported to be planning a $2.27 million fraud claim against him and to have the original libel verdict overturned. A civil case requires a lower standard of proof than a criminal trial.

“McCullum and Vincent are his key witnesses in his civil case in London,” Cairns said. “Vincent has currently incurred 13 life bans from cricket (one would probably suffice) for his corrupt deeds and, as the jury in my trial was told, he has kept all the cash from his criminal deceit. “The current NZ cricket captain now has to decide if he will support Modi in his upcoming action. “But there is still a real head-scratcher regarding McCullum. Why didn’t he come forward to Modi before my 2012 libel trial? “McCullum had given a statement to the ICC (International Cricket Council) in February 2011 with Dan Vettori present and both men could have helped Modi out then. So, why now?”

During the perjury trial, McCullum said Cairns approached him with a “business proposition” about match fixing. Cairns told the court he had discussed the topic of “spot-fixing” with McCullum in April 2008 in Calcutta.