31 May 2014

Chris Cairns scathing of Black Caps skipper

7:45 am on 31 May 2014

Former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns says it is extraordinary that Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum took three years to report a conversation in which he claims Cairns tried to involve him in match-fixing.

Cairns continues to deny any involvement in match-fixing claims and made the comments to waiting media at Auckland Airport on Friday after a trip to London where he was interviewed by the Metropolitan Police, the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit and the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Kim Dotcom.

Kim Dotcom. Photo: RNZ

Cairns said that he requested to be interviewed following allegations of match-fixing by his former teammates Brendon McCullum and Lou Vincent.

McCullum has told investigators he was approached by a former top player to fix matches. It has been reported he has alleged that Cairns tried to involve him in match-fixing in 2008, but did not report this to anti-corruption investigators until 2011.

In 2012, Chris Cairns won a libel trial against Indian cricket promoter Lalit Modi, who had accused him of match-fixing, and on Friday said it is surprising that McCullum did not speak up to the Anti Corruption and Security Unit then.

"It is extraordinary that Mr McCullum told the ACSU in February 2011 that three years previously I approached him to match-fix, yet neither he nor the ACSU petty corruption officer who took his statement Mr John Rhodes, took that information to the ICC or informed Mr Modi or anyone else of this startling revelation."

Brendon McCullum.

Brendon McCullum. Photo: AFP

On Friday, Cairns named three more New Zealand players who have given evidence to the ICC's inquiry as former skippers Stephen Fleming and Daniel Vettori, as well as Kyle Mills, but said none of them have made direct accusations against him.

Cairns said two of those players made statements to the ICC saying they recalled Brendon McCullum telling them he was approached by Cairns in 2008, while the third did not make a statement as his memory is foggy.

Of Lou Vincent, Cairns said he was not a whistle-blower but had been caught cheating, and was now seeking to mitigate that by blaming others. He said the allegations made against him by Vincent and Vincent's former wife are "despicable lies".

Cairns described the match-fixing claims as absurd, bizarre and scary and told reporters he has never fixed games, nor sought to have others do the same.

"Whatever happens, I am hopeful that proper process will be followed and that I will be cleared of these allegations. I have never match-fixed or sought to have others match-fix or otherwise played the game of cricket in anything other than the spirit it so richly deserves to be played in."

New Zealand Cricket said on Friday it is unable to make any comment on Chris Cairns and his interviews with British police and the ICC.

Chief executive David White said many of the points Cairns makes are, or may be, matters of evidence and it would be inappropriate to discuss them ahead of any relevant hearings and investigations.

Fleming, Vettori and Mills couldn't be reached for comment on Friday.