Cairns: If I'm 'Player X' then McCullum is lying
Chris Cairns ''totally rejects'' allegations made today he is 'Player X' - the renowned cricketer named in evidence given to match fixing investigators.
In a statement made to Stuff last night, Cairns said if he was 'Player X' then what New Zealand ex-teammates Lou Vincent and Brendon McCullum had said to the ICC anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU) was a ''complete lie''.
In recent days the UK's Daily Mail newspaper has leaked ACSU accounts from Vincent and McCullum. But the Daily Mail chose not to go as far as revealing the identity of the player the Kiwi pair were fingering, instead calling him 'Player X'.
In their reports, McCullum was said to have told investigators that a star international player had twice approached him in 2008 to request he fix matches, and said he could earn over $200,000 per match. McCullum said he rejected the offer.
The New Zealand Herald today claimed it had been told by multiple sources that Cairns had been named in testimony to the ACSU. He has since responded.
"Everything I said yesterday stands. I totally reject the allegations against me and I will prove this,'' said Cairns.
"However, I think it is very dangerous to try to do this through the media and court of public opinion, where it is impossible to present all the information and facts.
"I am therefore committed to concluding my interview with the Met Police as soon as possible and will work through the proper channels to, once again, prove my innocence.
"I just ask people to remember that, as yet, the ICC have still not so much as interviewed me and that what is circulating in the public domain is barely one side of the story. There is a long journey ahead."
Cairns maintained his innocence and insisted "dark forces" were at play.
"I am aware that former cricketer Lou Vincent and current New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum have made a range of allegations against a cricketer dubbed Player X," Cairns' statement said.
"It is well known that the ICC/ACSU has been investigating allegations of corruption and my name has been linked by others to these allegations. I am being asked whether I am Player X.
"Based on the limited information I have received during this investigation, I believe it is being alleged that I am that player. These allegations against me are a complete lie."
Vincent's interview with the ACSU was also made public last week, when the former New Zealand opener admitted he and others were involved in fixing matches across several countries.
Cairns said he had repeatedly asked the ICC/ACSU to produce copies of Vincent's and McCullum's statements so that he can respond.
"They decline to do so but seem happy to leak information to the media which they deny to me.
"As for Lou Vincent he appears to have confessed to match fixing in respect of games played in numerous countries around the world, most of which I have had no connection to. He is in a desperate position. He faces potential prosecution and in trying to negotiate a plea bargain he appears to be willing to falsely accuse me of wrongdoing.
"As for Brendon McCullum I have no understanding why he would say the things he is alleged to have said. To be clear, I have never approached Brendon, or anyone else, about match fixing or any other improper activity. I am doing everything I can to get to the bottom of these allegations."
Cairns said he was yet to be interviewed by the ICC since his name was first publicly linked to this fixing allegation in December last year. The full extent of his involvement, he said, was a half day interview with the UK Metropolitan Police in New Zealand which wasn't completed because the police had to return to the UK.
"I ask that people reserve judgment until all the facts are brought to light. I have nothing to hide. I have been to court to demonstrate conclusively that I am not a match fixer before. I will have no hesitation in doing so again.
"I conclude by saying that I believe there are dark forces at play. These forces have long arms, deep pockets and great influence. I acknowledge that recently I have upset some powerful people in the world of cricket, including raising my own concerns about the health of the game. I believe I am paying the price for that now."