Vincent's ex-wife gives evidence against Cairns

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 20:52 20/05/2014
Chris Cairns
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UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT: Former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns.

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Chris Cairns continues to protest his innocence amid more evidence against him being disclosed, this time from Lou Vincent's ex-wife, alleging he was a cricket match-fixing ringleader.

Cairns' name was publicly linked with sworn evidence to International Cricket Council investigators for the first time today, as the former New Zealand allrounder issued a second statement in a 12-hour period: ''I totally reject the allegations against me and I will prove this.''

The latest leaked evidence is a sworn 10-page document from Elly Riley, Vincent's ex-wife, that she provided to anti-corruption (ACSU) investigators last October. It follows leaks in the past week of former test opener Vincent's explosive 42-page testimony, and New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum's signed three-page statement, both of which are understood to name Cairns as a fixing ringleader.

Riley's evidence, reported by One News tonight, was that the fixing began at the Indian Cricket League in 2008, and that Vincent told her: ''Chris was going to pay him US$50,000 (NZ$58,000) a game for the fixing.''

Vincent was soon confronted by a stranger with a suitcase full of money, but two weeks later things went awry, Riley said in her evidence.

''I got a phone call from Lou and he was crying, saying he'd just lost Chris Cairns US$250,000 or something like that because he got things wrong.''

Riley alleged the fixing continued in English county cricket, and the more players that were involved, the more money Cairns would receive.

She confronted Cairns during a night out in Manchester in 2008. He told her they were safe, everyone did it (fixing) and no one would get caught.

''I said that you're involving so many players - you're involving the whole team and by doing that you're getting greedy. I just can't see how information on the fixing is not going to leak out to others and you're not going to get caught,'' Riley said in evidence.

''Chris said that I was right, but told me not to worry as he had it all under control. Chris just sort of laughed it off.''

Cairns, who won £90,000 (NZ$176,000) in damages in a 2012 libel case against Indian cricket powerbroker Lalit Modi, issued another statement this morning vowing to clear his name.

''I am 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,'' Cairns said.

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''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 later tweeted: ''Thanks for all the support out there and to all those who understand that there are bigger forces at play here...chat soon...cheers.''

McCullum is playing in the Indian Premier League and is scheduled to return to Christchurch on Thursday for the birth of his third child. His evidence, provided in 2011 and 2013, said a player he described as his ''hero'' approached him twice in 2008, in India and England, offering money to fix matches. He rebuffed the offers.

London's Daily Telegraph reported that three more individuals had provided statements to ICC investigators corroborating Vincent's evidence. One of them is a former county team-mate of Vincent's in the UK, another is a friend in New Zealand, while the third is involved in cricket but not as a player.

More details of Vincent's evidence was published today.

He informed investigators he had an accomplice within the Sussex team when he fixed a 40-over match against Kent in August 2011 and introduced him to the bookie who was running the scam.

He also admitted approaching another Sussex player and offering him £20,000 (NZ$39,000) to underperform in a Twenty20 quarter final against Lancashire the same month.

The ICC remained silent but is expected to release a statement to clarify some matters. ICC president Alan Isaac declined to comment, saying chief executive Dave Richardson would be speaking on the topic.

It is understood Richardson was trying to contact McCullum and Vincent to reassure them over the leak of their confidential statements. The ICC believe none of its staff were the source of the leaks, but because the allegations cover a number of jurisdictions, more people had access to the statements.

- Stuff

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