Former New Zealand captain Chris Cairns lied under oath that he never fixed cricket matches and once threatened a teammate with a bat for scoring too many runs, a perjury trial heard yesterday.
Cairns was accused by the chairman of Indian Premier League (IPL) Lalit Modi in January 2010 of match-fixing while he was playing for the Chandigarh Lions in the now defunct Indian Cricket League in 2008.
Two years later Cairns, 45, brought a libel action against Modi and successfully sued for 1.4million ($2.14 milion). But prosecutor Sasha Wass told London’s Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday that Cairns’ co-accused, Andrew Fitch-Holland, a lawyer and his “lead adviser”, approached teammate, Lou Vincent, to get him to lie during the libel action.
Vincent not only knew Cairns had fixed matches, but was involved in match-fixing himself under the direct orders of Cairns, Wass said. Wass said there was evidence to prove Cairns had been involved in match-fixing and had lied about it under oath.
The jury were also told that Vincent was once threatened with a cricket bat by Cairns after scoring too many runs in a fixed game, telling his then wife Eleanor Riley he had “lost Chris Cairns 250,000 dollars”.
The court also heard that Cairns had even attempted to recruit current New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, saying he could get between 70,000 and 180,000 dollars per match to throw games while playing in the ICL in 2008.
Cairns first approached McCullum in a hotel when he was playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders, giving him an in-depth explanation of how spread-betting worked, Wass said.
They then later met up in a cafe in Worcester, where a touring New Zealand team were playing against the county side. “At that meeting Brendon McCullum says Cairns approached him and asked him whether he had changed his mind,” Wass told the jury.
“He said no he hadn’t. Mr McCullum didn’t log an official report on Cairns at the time. He should have done that. He will tell you he regrets not doing that, but will explain that Chris Cairns was such a hero to him that he could not bring himself to do that straight away.”
It was not until McCullum and the New Zealand team underwent anti-corruption training at the World Cup in India in 2011 that he alerted officials to what happened, Wass said, but in the three years between he did tell other people.
Cairns is charged with perjury and perverting the course of justice, while Fitch-Holland is accused of perverting the course of justice. They both deny the charges.