Cricketer Chris Cairns 'got team-mate to help fix matches and lie to court'


A former New Zealand cricket captain persuaded a team-mate to fix matches with him and then got a friend to pressure him into lying about it during a High Court libel action, a court has heard.

Chris Cairns, who played 277 times for his country over 17 years, was regarded as a "hero, role model and legend" in the game, "the golden boy in the cricket world whom every cricketer wished to emulate".

But his reputation was shattered after the chairman of the Indian Premier League, Lalit Modi, accused him on Twitter in January 2010 of match-fixing while he was playing for the Chandingarh Lions in the Indian Cricket League in 2008.

Cairns brought a libel action against him and successfully sued him for £1.4 million.

But Sasha Wass QC told London's Southwark Crown Court that there was evidence to prove he had actually been involved in match-fixing and had lied about it under oath.

She told the jury that Cairns' co-accused, his friend Andrew Fitch-Holland, a barrister and his "lead adviser", approached the cricketer's team-mate, Lou Vincent, to get him to lie during the libel action.

Mr Vincent not only knew Cairns had fixed matches, but was involved in match-fixing himself under the direct orders of Cairns, Miss Wass said.

During a Skype call, played to the court, Fitch-Holland told Mr Vincent: "If you can literally get a one-paragraph statement that says 'I played in the game, everything seemed OK', end of ... it makes it plain that things are a lot more straightforward than they look."

Fitch-Holland appeared to accept that both he and Mr Vincent knew the cheating had happened, saying: "... between you and I, we all know some of what is being said is clearly true", but tried to reassure him that he would never have to swear his statement was true in court.

But Mr Vincent said: "It's a big ask from me to ... in a legal document say something that isn't true", adding: "I am not proud of what has happened at all ... it's hard for me to live with what's gone on."

Miss Wass said the conversation was proof that both Mr Vincent and Fitch-Holland knew the libel case Cairns was bringing was untrue.

She said: "What that means is that Chris Cairns was guilty of match-fixing. By denying it on sworn witness statements and oath Mr Cairns was committing perjury."

Cairns, 45, from Auckland, is charged with perjury and perverting the course of justice, while Fitch-Holland, from Burton Road, Manchester, is accused of perverting the course of justice. They both deny the charges.