The case against Cairns

May 21st, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Press reports:

continues to protest his innocence amid more evidence against him being disclosed, this time from Lou Vincent’s ex-wife, alleging he was a match-fixing ringleader.

Cairns’ name was publicly linked with sworn evidence to International Cricket Council investigators for the first time today, as the former New Zealand allrounder issued a second statement in a 12-hour period: ”I totally reject the allegations against me and I will prove this.”

The latest leaked evidence is a sworn 10-page document from Elly Riley, Vincent’s ex-wife, that she provided to anti-corruption (ACSU) investigators last October. It follows leaks in the past week of former test opener Vincent’s explosive 42-page testimony, and New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum’s signed three-page statement, both of which are understood to name Cairns as a fixing ringleader.

Riley’s evidence, reported by One News tonight, was that the fixing began at the Indian Cricket League in 2008, and that Vincent told her: ”Chris was going to pay him US$50,000 (NZ$58,000) a game for the fixing.”

I feel very sorry for , who was one of my cricketing heroes growing up. His one handed six off Dennis Lillie remains etched in my memory. He will be torn between love for his son and love for his game.

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43 Responses to “The case against Cairns”

  1. Ashley Schaeffer (535 comments) says:

    Lance Armstrong used to protest his innocence pretty fiercely as well.
    It seems like the wall of silence is breaking down around Chris Cairns.
    Either that or some big players are paying people to supply false testimony against Chris Cairns. What’s more likely? I’m leaning toward Cairns being a fixer, but would dearly love to be proven wrong.

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  2. gump (1,683 comments) says:

    It looks like he must have lied to the London High Court during his 2012 defamation action against Lalit Modi.

    He’s going to be in a whole heap of trouble.

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  3. NK (1,259 comments) says:

    Chris Cairns is sounding more like Winston Peters each and every day: “everyone is a liar except me”.

    To me, this has a similar stench to drug use by athletes. WADA has been fighting a losing battle for years on that front, and the ICC and this investigation might only scratch the surface of what really goes on.

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  4. Ed Snack (1,940 comments) says:

    Why would anyone bet on cricket, knowing just how much match fixing was going on ? Plenty of mug punters out there I guess.

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  5. Dave_1924 (121 comments) says:

    If Chris Cairns is a fixer… I’m with you DPF: B.L. Cairns was a trojan stock bowler for NZ and never did anything but an honest shift in the field. And of course Excalibur blasting sixes in the ODI’s was an awesome sight. Feel very, very sorry for Lance….

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  6. James Stephenson (2,266 comments) says:

    It looks like he must have lied to the London High Court during his 2012 defamation action against Lalit Modi.

    Yes, and it appears the Cairns defence is going to be that he’s being fitted up in revenge.

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  7. thePeoplesFlag (283 comments) says:

    Why feel sorry for him? it is looking increasingly likely he lied under oath in his defamation case, and the number of people who are fingering him as a fixer is reaching the point his protestations of innocense are starting to look ridiculous.

    Cricket used to be the one last bastions of the thinking man against the vulgarities of commercial “sportstainment”, where armies of genetic freak “athletes” vie to physically bash each other into submission in the name of sports entertainment, money and TV ratings. Now, thanks to the fixers and the cheats, cricket is probably the most corrupt professional game on the planet.

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  8. Manolo (14,169 comments) says:

    Down with the crooks and cheats, whoever they are.

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  9. Huevon (228 comments) says:

    Looks like EA Cricket 07 is about as honest as it gets…

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  10. Dave_1924 (121 comments) says:

    Sorry for Lance not Chris – Chris gets all that’s coming his way if he is guilty….

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  11. dave_c_ (225 comments) says:

    Rout them out with vigour, then pull the trigger !
    If guilty, then there should be no leniency -

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  12. Kimble (3,955 comments) says:

    $50k for a single game?

    Where do I sign?

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  13. JMS (369 comments) says:

    20/20 and match-fixing have improved an otherwise painfully boring game.

    Speed and intrigue, how can anyone complain about that?

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  14. Bob R (1,420 comments) says:

    It’s fascinating seeing these things play out where everyone believes someone who is accused of wrongdoing, but then opinion slowly starts to shift. In the case of Armstrong many people refused to believe it until he actually admitted it.

    In Cairns’ case, major alarm bells probably started ringing when his key witness in the libel trial, Fitch-Holland, was arrested a couple of months ago. Vincent’s evidence I’d take with a grain of salt, but there seems no reason for McCullum to be making up his account.

    All in all, it’s really sad to see it come to this for a player who brought a lot of enjoyment to cricket fans. Also sad for the game of cricket. I think they need to be far more pro-active in their investigations too – it seems this has taken an incredible time to prosecute. That is probably one of the reasons for the leaks – to bring things to a head.

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  15. GPT1 (2,021 comments) says:

    Deeply sad for the game that I love. Of course nothing is proven against anyone at this stage (although Vincent appears to have put his hand up and it is clear that the ICC ACU leaks like a sieve which is an utter disgrace) but these are troubled times indeed. Makes me sick to my stomach.

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  16. dime (10,213 comments) says:

    for what its worth. Dime would take the cash.

    “how many no balls do ya need sanjay?” “6 it is!, in a row?”

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  17. Bill Ted (93 comments) says:

    Cairns probably feels he has no choice but to maintain his innocence for life. If he’s a ring leader then he knows the names of the big dogs financing the fixes and that ultimately means a bullet in the head if he turns evidence. Or more likely a suspicious plane crash, or unexplained heart attack. I have zero sympathy for him if he’s guilty though. Feathered his own nest well and truly.

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  18. Prince (109 comments) says:

    Also feel sorry for Lance, and a greater appreciation for Glenn Turner and Lee Germon.
    They suffered from Chris Cairns’ temper tantrums and lack of respect for the game or his team.
    During the 1996 tour of the West Indies tour manager Glen Alabaster feared for his life as Cairns went berserk in his hotel room while being disciplined for contravening team rules. Cairns walked out on the team ‘with an injury’, and played county cricket.
    Next season NZ Cricket ditched Turner and Germon and promoted Cairns as the new face of the game. Now reaping the harvest for that.

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  19. Yogibear (375 comments) says:

    Ashley Schafer – good point

    Cairns needs to study closely the words and actions of Armstrong prior to coming clean, There is an uncanny resemblance.

    If (because nothing is proven yet) Cairns is innocent, he needs to change the hyperbole because its pretty much word for word out of the Armstrong playbook.

    Armstrong called Landis a confessed drug cheat and a liar who is trying to cut a deal

    Cairns just yesterday said that Vincent “appears to have confessed to match fixing in respect of games played in numerous countries around the world, most of which I have had no connection to.

    “He is in a desperate position. He faces potential prosecution and in trying to negotiate a plea bargain he appears to be willing to falsely accuse me of wrongdoing.”

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  20. Keeping Stock (9,380 comments) says:

    The ICC has effectively said that Brendon McCullum has told the truth about his dealings with Cairns. Given that both Cairns and McCullum can’t have been telling the truth when their versions of events are at opposite ends of the scale, it looks ominous for Cairns.

    But like GPT above, I’m sick over what this is doing to cricket. I’ve followed and participated for more than 50 years, and the current revelations are heart-breaking.

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  21. JMS (369 comments) says:

    Armstrong called Landis a confessed drug cheat and a liar who is trying to cut a deal

    I never really liked Armstrong until I heard he had used drug-enhancements and gotten away with it for so long.

    When it became clear how nasty he was towards others, I lost that briefly held respect again.

    The sooner sports become a steroid hormone GE free-for-all the better.

    Bring on the Battle of the Labs!

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  22. Yogibear (375 comments) says:

    It sucks that there are cheats and matches are fixed (I will long remember Bangladesh’s victory over Pakistan in a world cup in England a few years back). Sports should do everything in their power to stamp it out too.

    But if you think about any sport too hard you soon realise that cheating, drug taking and match fixing is rife. Rugby, tennis, football, league, hell, even the gentleman’s sport of Eventing (which if I recall correctly had one of the highest drug test failures in the last Olympics) are all full of cheats in one form or another.

    Enjoy the contest, have your heroes but remember, as David Millar, former Wold Champion cyclist once said “Sport is full of exceptional human beings behaving very ordinarily”

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  23. Jack5 (5,278 comments) says:

    The People’s Flag posted at 11.31:

    Cricket used to be the one last bastions of the thinking man

    Who is right? The People’s Flag with his thinkers or Kipling with his “flannelled fools at the wicket”.

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  24. Yogibear (375 comments) says:

    @ JMS – I used to agree.

    The libertarian in me says people should be able to destroy themselves freely, provided they know what they are doing and are fully informed of the risks. Most cheating in top sport is a matter of tiny percentages and I personally see very little difference between a newer, lighter running shoe and a bit of HGH to aid in lean muscle growth.

    But then I “Think of the Children” – Where fricken kids are already being pumped full of stuff because in some sports, if you haven’t got onto the right development programme by the time you’re 15/16 you are toast (we even see it in our rugby academies here in NZ). Most of these kids are either out and out lied to, or just do what they are told.

    The free for all is not the answer.

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  25. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    Can any of the lawyers please explain – is fixing a cricket match (or any sporting fixture) actually a crime?

    If so, what crime is committed, against whom?

    (And FFS, New Zealand are shit at cricket. How could a New Zealand cricketer hope to make money off throwing matches? Or is the scam to throw most matches, and then pull one out of the bag when it’s least expected?)

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  26. Yogibear (375 comments) says:

    RRM – Not sure of the situation in NZ, but many European countries have a catch-all law around what can loosely be termed “sporting fraud”

    Where a sporting fraud law doesn’t apply, it is either down to the sport’s governing rules (which makes it a civil issue) or applying applying broader laws to a sporting situation. For example, Lance Armstrong’s drug taking wasn’t illegal in the US, but taking bikes bought with US Postal Service sponsorship $, selling them on eBay at the end of the season, and using the proceeds to buy EPO, which is what was alleged, triggered federal racketeering and postal fraud investigations.

    In the cricket situation – I am led to believe because the betting that is being undertaken is illegal, the fixing of a match (which is rarely to do with the result, its more micro events in a game) is aiding and abetting an illegal activity

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  27. Zapper (1,048 comments) says:

    RRM, there are currently no laws for the actual fixing. He lied in court in the UK in his libel case though, that will screw him, and they may get him on money laundering or fraud if they try real hard.

    It’s mostly not fixing matches, it’s fixing certain events, like getting out in a certain over. Illegal bookies in India even take bets on the number of players wearing hats when they walk out.

    A sane person would never bet on these options as they are all fixed. Someone trying to launder their illegal gains who knows the outcome may bet on these options though.

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  28. RRM (10,099 comments) says:

    Thanks Yogibear & Zapper.

    In this era of professionalism where sport is basically the biggest stage show in town, I could imagine the terms of the player’s contracts being such that deliberately going out in the 7th over (or whatever) would constitute breach of contract or even fraud – possibly even mega fraud against some of the huge money sponsors and supporters of high profile sport?

    But the legal nuts & bolts of it are never discussed in the news, it is always just Blue-Eyed Boy X has been “linked to” Shady Character Y in fresh “allegations of MATCH FIXING”…

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  29. gump (1,683 comments) says:

    @RRM

    “Can any of the lawyers please explain – is fixing a cricket match (or any sporting fixture) actually a crime?”

    “(And FFS, New Zealand are shit at cricket. How could a New Zealand cricketer hope to make money off throwing matches? Or is the scam to throw most matches, and then pull one out of the bag when it’s least expected?)”

    ——————–

    It depends where in the world the offense is committed, and the reason why the match was fixed.

    The NZ government has just introduced new legislation that will criminalise NZ athletes and officials who deliberately influence a sporting event for betting purposes. It will likely be passed into law before the upcoming election.

    And to answer your second question, the issue facing the NZ cricket team is spot fixing. At certain points of the game the players score slowly or bowl badly (so that bets placed on the outcome of a particular period of play will pay out).

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  30. Redbaiter (10,417 comments) says:

    More unicorns for police to chase.

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  31. mikenmild (12,370 comments) says:

    Only a police matter where fraud is involved. Usually to be dealt with by the sport’s governing body.

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  32. muggins (3,828 comments) says:

    It seems there is no doubt Cairns has been up to something, ie spot fixing.
    But what I would like to know is were the results of any matches actually fixed.
    I mean we know parts of what happened in certain games was fixed, like 3 no-balls in an over, but did any team actually play to lose?

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  33. mikenmild (12,370 comments) says:

    Much harder to organise a whole team to lose, which is why the spot fixing seems to be the preferred method.

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  34. gump (1,683 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter

    “More unicorns for police to chase.”

    ——————–

    Match fixing is the sporting equivalent of insider trading on financial markets.

    What’s your view on insider trading? Should it also be a crime?

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  35. Redbaiter (10,417 comments) says:

    Its not the same.

    As usual Progs apply delusion in place of reason.

    As for insider trading- no, I wouldn’t prosecute.

    Caveat Emptor.

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  36. mikenmild (12,370 comments) says:

    Redbaiter is a proponent of a small government limited to defence, courts to enforce private contracts and stoning for homosexuals.

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  37. dime (10,213 comments) says:

    “Redbaiter is a proponent of a small government limited to defence, courts to enforce private contracts and stoning for homosexuals.”

    piss off.

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  38. mikenmild (12,370 comments) says:

    No, I won’t.

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  39. Longknives (4,954 comments) says:

    IPL and T20 ‘Hit and Giggle’ nonsense has fucking ruined cricket- the corruption is a hundred times worse since it’s inception.
    I don’t buy that mercenary McCullum’s ‘Holier than Thou’ bullshit either..He has chased the almighty dollar (often at the expense of the NZ team) for much of his international career..
    *I’m with Keeping Stock- as a lifelong cricketer I have had a gutsful of the dodgy International scene

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  40. Akaroa (613 comments) says:

    Sadly, I believe this was all bound to happen – the adulteration by match-fixing of the great and historic game of cricket I mean.

    And do you want to know when the die was cast/the writing was on the wall/the inevitable slide to criminality began?

    It was when cricket became just another sport – like greyhound racing for instance – on which bets may be placed.

    Professionalism may be marginally acceptable to most people, but sports betting is a definite no-no in the book of anyone who cares about the true sporting nature of cricket and cricketers.

    Who will ever in the future watch a professional cricket match without wondering if………………….?

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  41. ross411 (905 comments) says:

    Unless there’s evidence to prove Cairns is a cheater, I’ll reserve judgement.

    I hope the leaker will be along shortly with solid proof. I wouldn’t be surprised if the crickets body were hiding these sorts of things though, if you own the money tree you don’t tell people it’s poisoning the local water supply.

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  42. Scott1 (591 comments) says:

    I think there is quite a lot of circumstantial evidence out there. More than it would take for us to make up our mind on just about any other issue.

    People have just been scared of being sued for so long…

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  43. Johnboy (17,028 comments) says:

    I’ll wait till the ICC commences court proceedings before spouting shit! :)

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