OPINION: When I walked out of the High Court in London last year with the cricketing world knowing I was an innocent man, I truly believed my nightmare was over.
Twenty months ago, I gave up two years of my life to fight one of the richest and most powerful men in world cricket at the time because I was not prepared for my name to be smeared by lies and cowardly rumours.
The High Court in London rejected claims that I had been involved in match or "spot" fixing.
I was vindicated.
But the experience was brutal and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone.
It put my life under the microscope for all to see. For me and those close to me it was a painful ordeal. But we came through it, the truth won out and Mr Justice Bean told the world in his judgment that not only was there no credible evidence against me but there were " no reasonable grounds" to even suspect me.
I left those proceedings with my credibility and reputation intact.
I thought I could start to rebuild my life, seek gainful employment and start again. I recently returned home to New Zealand with my family where an opportunity became available to get back and involved with cricket again.
Can you begin to imagine how sickening it feels to be the subject of yet more rumour and press speculation now as I am embarking on a media career that is potentially in ruins?
I'm realistic. I know there will be people out there who say "no smoke without fire" but is that really what we've come to? Should anyone's reputation, their family, their livelihood, be dragged through the mud on the basis of media stories without any open official information being put out there?
What do I say about the allegations? I say what allegations?
As I pen this article, no one from the International Cricket Council or NZ Cricket has approached me about this investigation. Yet I am named around the world as one of three NZ cricket players involved in it. But until I am notified by the ICC that I am involved in this investigation, how are media around the world allowed to print such an incorrect account of the current facts?
My position is that I have always said and continue to say that I will fully co-operate with all enquiries and that if it is alleged against me that I have match fixed this is wholly, completely and totally untrue, accepting, of course, that if allegations are made they must be fully and properly investigated.
Of course corruption in sport is a serious issue. It's right that the authorities investigate but there are rules and procedures to follow that protect those people involved in any investigation, so why should this investigation be any different?
We don't have trial by media or by innuendo. The ICC have not named me and NZ cricket say they have to keep this all confidential. So why is my name and my photograph plastered all over the sports pages and the internet around the world? Just who put my name out there and what's their agenda?
This is a matter I will get to the bottom of.
It's good to be home in New Zealand. We play our sport hard but fair and we are respected the world over for that. And that's all I'm asking for. Not special treatment. Just a hope that those who wish to challenge my integrity have the guts to do so to my face.
Of course I want this garbage to stop, and stop quickly. But I never hid on the cricket field and I'm not hiding now. I'm proud of my reputation and I'm proud of my family name. My "accusers" know my name even if I don't know theirs. They are the ones hiding.
My name is Chris Cairns, former Black Cap and proud holder of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Hello International Cricket Council, I am not a cheat and you know where to find me.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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