Chris Cairns has spoken publicly for the first time since sensational corruption claims linking the former Black Caps star and two other ex-New Zealand test cricketers to an International Cricket Council (ICC) investigation.
Shortly after news broke this morning of the ICC investigation into three former Black Caps for alleged match-fixing, Cairns spoke with Fairfax Media.
"We need to let the investigation by the ICC run its course," Cairns said in the only statement he was prepared to release to the media before conferring with lawyers.
Former test batsman Lou Vincent, meanwhile released a statement this afternoon confirming he was one of the three players at the centre of the ICC's anti-corruption investigation and that he would co-operate with officials.
"I wish to let everyone know that I am cooperating with an ongoing ICC Anti-Corruption investigation that has been made public today," Vincent said.
"This investigation is bound by a number of rules and regulations that mean I am unable to make any further public comment.
"I will personally talk to the public when I am able to. In the meantime I cannot comment. Please respect me and my family's privacy until such time."
Cairns, Lou Vincent and Daryl Tuffey are the three players who have been named throughout the national and international media as the subjects of the investigation by the ICC's anti-corruption unit.
Cairns, regarded as one of New Zealand's greatest allrounders, has previously successfully defended match-fixing allegations.
He sued powerful Indian cricket official Lalit Modi in the London High Court last year after Modi tweeted in 2010 an 'unequivocal allegation'.
The tweet related to a match in the now defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL) and was reported by leading cricket website Cricinfo who later withdrew the report, paid damages and apologised to Cairns.
Cairns, Vincent and Tuffey all played for the Chandigarh Lions in the ICL which was battling for supremacy against the rival and ultimately successfully Indian Premier League, run by Modi.
Cairns won a settlement of $NZ174,000 in March last year. The judge also ordered Modi to pay Cairns' legal bill of $774,000. Modi was then unsuccessful in appealing the ruling in October last year.
Earlier today, New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White confirmed he knew the identity of the three players had known about the investigation for "months". He wouldn't reveal the players. The NZ Cricket Players' Association took a similar stance.
But White did reveal the matches under investigation had happened "three or four years ago". Cairns retired as a player in 2008.
His last matches were in Twenty20 for Nottinghamshire, shortly after the ICL wound up.
White also said the allegations spanned more than one country.
Vincent retired last season. In recent years, he has played in the Bangladesh T20 League and other international T20 competitions.
Tuffey now plays club cricket in Sydney and was not returning calls from Fairfax Media.
Vincent also couldn't be contacted. The former top order batsman recently shut down his Twitter account.
At his libel trial against Modi, an emotional Cairns revealed his devastation over the tweeted match-fixing allegations.
"The defendant's allegations have also had a profound effect on my personal and private life. It put a strain on my marriage. It hurts that my wife may think that I am not the man she thought I was," Cairns said at the trial.
"It hurts me too that friends, many of whom are former cricketing foes, will question my integrity as a man and a sportsman and that all I achieved in the great game of cricket is dust."
The judge said that Modi had 'singularly failed' to provide any reliable evidence that Cairns was involved in match-fixing or spot-fixing, or even that there were strong grounds for suspicion that he was.
He said: 'It is obvious that an allegation that a professional cricketer is a match-fixer goes to the core attributes of his personality and, if true, entirely destroys his reputation for integrity.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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