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Chris Cairns (L) and Lou Vincent (R)

Cricket Icon ‘Orchestrated’ Match-Fixing

WT24 Desk

Former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns ordered a teammate to fix a series of matches in an Indian Twenty20 cricket league, offering $50,000 (£32,500) for each game that was manipulated, a court has heard, Agencies, Sky News report.

Lou Vincent told a jury at Southwark Crown Court that Cairns recruited him to take part in fixing while playing for Chandigarh Lions in the Indian Cricket League in 2008. Vincent said Cairns, who was captain of the team “was the orchestrator and recruiter of fixing” for the team.

Vincent, a New Zealand international at the time, described attempting to fix matches on five occasions, and told the court Cairns threatened with him a bat after an attempted fix had gone wrong and “cost him millions”.

“I was under direct orders from Chris Cairns to be involved in match-fixing,” Vincent told the court. He also described being offered a bundle of cash and access to a prostitute when he was first approached by an Indian bookmaker who he assumed was recruiting him to fix.

Cairns is accused of lying in a statement to win a match-fixing libel action at the High Court, and of inducing Vincent to provide a false witness statement for the same case. Vincent told the court that Cairns was an “icon” in New Zealand cricket and had been a hero to him when he was first called up to the national team in 2001.

He described how being dropped from the national team in 2007 led to mental health problems, and said that he had begun using anti-depressants and cannabis. After being dropped, Vincent was approached to play for the Chandigarh Lions in the Indian Cricket League, a rebel league set up outside the controls of the International Cricket Council.

Vincent told the court that shortly after arriving in India he was approached by a bookmaker called Varoon Gandhi, who said he wanted to offer him a sponsorship deal.

At a meeting in Gandhi’s hotel room Vincent was offered a bundle of cash and told that a woman present in the suite was there to keep him company. “I was aware that she was available for sex…that was when the penny started to drop.”

Vincent left the money in Gandhi’s safe and reported the approach to his agent. He also went to tell Cairns, who he said then recruited him to his own fixing operation.

“‘You have done the right thing (reporting the approach). Right, you are working for me now, that will act as good cover’. That was how the whole introduction of being asked to match-fix for Chris Cairns happened.

“There was discussion of the tournament, he said every game is going to be fixed and we needed to get a piece of the pie. He said he would pay me $50,000 for every game I fixed for him.”

Cairns denies charges of perjury and perverting the course of justice. His barrister in the libel action, Andrew Fitch Holland, denies a charge of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

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