Chris Cairns, the former New Zealand allrounder, has told the jury in his perjury trial in London that there is “no truth” to allegations that he attempted to persuade his team-mate, Lou Vincent, to take part in match-fixing.
Cairns, who was taking the stand at Southwark Crown Court for the first time in the trial after listening to three weeks of testimony, repeatedly denied any involvement in match-fixing.
He denies two counts of perjury and perverting the course of justice, relating to his successful 2012 libel action against Lalit Modi, while his co-defendant and former attourney, Andrew Fitch-Holland, is accused of perverting the course of justice.
Asked by Orlando Pownall, his barrister, whether at any stage he was involved in match-fixing, Cairns replied: “No.”
“Did you contemplate match-fixing?” Pownall continued.
Cairns again replied: “No.”
When it was put to Cairns that he had attempted to coerce his former teammates into match-fixing, including Vincent and the current New Zealand captain, Brendon McCullum, who testified last month, he repeated his denials.
The court heard how, in 2008, Cairns had signed a three-year deal to captain Chandigarh Lions in the now-defunct Indian Cricket League. His contract was worth NZ$350,000 per year, a prospect that made him “very excited” in the latter years of his career, especially having had a “significant drop” since his final international appearances two years earlier.
However, according to Vincent’s testimony, Cairns had ordered him to fix games by deliberately playing badly. When Vincent told Cairns how he had declined the offer of cash and a prostitute to get involved in fixing, Cairns had allegedly responded: “You did the right thing . . . that’s good cover. You’re working for me now.”
Cairns denied all of these incidents, adding that, had Vincent told him of any approach, it would have been immediately reported to Howard Beer and Tony Greig, the administrators of the ICL.
“Did you at any stage seek to persuade him, successfully or not, to underperform?” Pownell asked. Cairns replied: “No.”
The trial continues.