When it comes to sport and New Zealand, there are just two words: Rugby Union. Make that five words if you include “The All Blacks”. It is ironic then that while the 2015 Rugby World Cup is reaching the final stages there is a very interesting and important off field event centering on a well-known New Zealand cricketer. Former Black Cap all-rounder, Chris Cairns is on trial for perjury in London. This is a very serious matter and if found guilty, Cairns will receive more than a slap on the wrist.
Chris Cairns is an iconic name in New Zealand cricket. A legend of the game. Perhaps he is not on the all-time greats list of World cricket but he would be on the next wrung down. He is in an elite group of Test cricketers that have scored more than 3000 runs and taken more than 200 wickets. He achieved even more than that in ODI cricket with almost 5000 runs and 200 wickets. Cairns was a lively medium pace bowler and a big hitter of renown. It was his explosive batting that made him something really special.
It is tragic that things are where they are at now.
This is what has happened:
- IPL founder, Lalit Modi, made comments on Twitter in 2010 to the effect that Cairns was a cheat (i.e. was involved in match fixing)
- Cairns sued Modi for libel
- Modi’s defence was that his remarks were true and that Cairns was involved in match fixing in the ICL in 2008
- Modi could not substantiate these claims and Cairns was awarded 90,000 pounds in damages.
Modi has now brought a case against Cairns for 2.4 million pounds in legal costs and damages.
Things are not shaping up well for Chris Cairns. Lou Vincent who was in 2014 convicted for match-fixing and then released a statement admitting it all (without naming names) has taken the stand. He has had to testify against his hero, Chris Cairns. Even Brendan McCullum is testifying. He had been approached by Cairns to fix matches. While he declined he did not report the matter because “he didn’t want it to be true”.
If the testimony given so far is believed then Cairn’s goose must be cooked. If he is convicted he will be bankrupt, he will go to gaol and will lose everything including his reputation. It is a sad state of affairs and highlights to me the dangers of T20 cricket and the susceptibility to corruption of that form of the game. This is especially the case but not limited to unsanctioned competitions such as ICL. Not that I am making excuses for Chris Cairns. Who knows how many have committed the same crimes and got away with it?