NZ cricketer Chris Cairns to face perjury charges
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns says he will fight to clear his name after being informed by London’s Metropolitan Police he is to be charged with perjury.
The charges relate to the 2012 libel trial in London’s High Court in which Cairns successfully sued Indian Premier League boss Lalit Modi over allegations he had been involved in match fixing.
Cairns told New Zealand’s Fairfax Media on Friday “I have now been notified by the Crown Prosecution Service in the U.K. that it is their intention to lay charges against me on 25 September for perjury.”
He but told Fairfax media “at least there will now be an opportunity to face my accusers in an open forum...so that I can clear my name once and for all.”
Cairns had previously described allegations of his involvement in match fixing as “despicable lies.” He was named by former New Zealand test batsman Lou Vincent as Mister X — the former star player that lured Vincent into match fixing with promises of substantial cash rewards.
Vincent has since admitted manipulating the outcome of matches in 12 countries and has received 11 life bans from cricket for those activities.
Cairns responded to Vincent’s allegations by saying “I have never match-fixed or sought to have others match fix.” He said Vincent was a cheat “who now seeks to portray himself as a whistleblower. He is nothing of the sort.”
He was also reportedly implicated by current New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum in testimony given to anti-corruption officials and leaked to England media. Cairns questioned the credibility of those allegations, saying McCullum had waited three years before raising the alleged approach with investigators.
“I hope that, through this forum, significant additional information will be flushed out that will help people to better assess the situation, as well as the character and motives of the parties involved,” Cairns said.
“Having been to Court before, I know what lies ahead and how grueling it will be and how tough it is on my family but I have nothing to hide and I will do whatever it takes to once again prove my innocence.”
Cairns won 90,000 pounds ($146,000) in damages from Modi for saying in a Twitter posting that Cairns was forced out of the Indian Cricket League in 2008 because of his involvement in match fixing.
In his libel action against Modi, Cairns said he had been sacked by his ICL team, the Chandigarh Lions, for failing to declare an ankle injury.
Cairns’ lawyer and friend Andrew Fitch-Holland, who gave evidence on his behalf 2012 trial, was arrested and bailed in March on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.
Now 44, Cairns is regarded as one of the finest cricketers New Zealand has produced. He followed his father, Lance, into the New Zealand team and in 62 tests, scored 3,320 runs with five centuries at an average of 33.5 and took 218 wickets at 29.4.
He played 215 one-day internationals, scoring 4,950 runs and taking 201 wickets.