Chris Cairns: 'No truth' in cricket match-fixing allegations


Former New Zealand cricket captain Chris Cairns repeatedly denied that he was ever involved in match-fixing as he defended himself against accusations of perjury.

Cairns, who played 277 times for his country over 17 years, told a jury that there was "no truth" to allegations he had tried to persuade his team-mate Lou Vincent to join him in cheating.

The 45-year-old said he reacted with "horror" and "anger" when Lalit Modi, the chairman of the Indian Premier League (IPL), accused him on Twitter in January 2010 of match-fixing while playing for the Chandigarh Lions in the Indian Cricket League in 2008.

And he said he was "shocked" and found it "bewildering" that fellow New Zealand cricketer Brendon McCullum could accuse him of trying to recruit him to fix results.

Asked by his barrister, Orlando Pownall QC at Southwark Crown Court, whether he had ever been involved in match fixing, Cairns replied, "no", adding that he had never contemplated it.

Dressed in a blue jacket, blue jeans and a light blue shirt, he repeatedly rejected allegations he had tried to coerce former team-mates into cheating. 

Quizzed over allegations he had discussed the topic of "spot-fixing" with Mr McCullum in April 2008 in Calcutta, India, where the younger man played for the Kolkata Knight Riders, Cairns said he explained spread-betting to him because match-fixing was "topical" in India at the time.

Cairns said there was "minimal" time spent discussing match-fixing, and said it was "completely wrong" to suggest spread-betting was the equivalent to match fixing.

Mr Pownall asked him: "Did you ever say that you were involved in match-fixing?"

He replied, "No", and also denied trying to recruit Mr McCullum, who he said "would have reported it" if he had.

Cairns, regarded as one of the best all-rounders in the world for much of his career, also denied accusations that he made a second approach to Mr McCullum at a cafe in Worcester where New Zealand were playing a county side.

He told the court the pair chatted about how badly the national side were playing.

Asked by Mr Pownall how he would expect Mr McCullum to react to him supposedly trying to recruit him a second time, Cairns replied: "Along the lines of, 'Are you having a laugh?' Brendon is a forthright character and doesn't generally take a backward step.

"He would have made it very, very clear that he wouldn't be involved in anything like that at all."