Brendon McCullum stands by his testimony
New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum this morning avoided commenting on match fixing accusations against Chris Cairns, but said it could be a ''tough few years''.
McCullum fronted the media in Christchurch, flanked by New Zealand Cricket boss David White and New Zealand Players' Association boss Heath Mills, after a week in which parts of his evidence to the International Cricket Council (ICC) about match fixing allegations was leaked.
Fellow New Zealand star Chris Cairns has denied involvement in match fixing and has said if he was the much touted "Player X" referred to in reports then the match fixing allegations were lies.
McCullum said he could not ''go into the specifics of the investigation or his involvement in it".
He replied "no comment" when asked whether Cairns was "Player X".
McCullum said he stood by everything he had told the ICC in private and he had no regrets about the testimony he gave.
It had been stressful, but he had confidence in cricket's governing body despite the leak of his evidence. He thanked people from around the world for the support he had received since the controversy erupted earlier this week.
He then said there was '"a long way to go", and it was likely to be a "tough few years".
NZ Cricket chief executive David White said it was disappointing McCullum's testimony had been leaked, but it was "courageous" for him to come forward and speak.
Earlier, McCullum's lawyer, Garth Gallaway, said the star player was disappointed with the leak of his match fixing evidence, though he would happily continue to cooperate with anti-corruption investigators.
He was not aware of any further requirements on his client to meet with the ICC's anti-corruption unit, but the leak would not stop him cooperating further, Gallaway told Radio Live.
Since the leak, it has been reported the anti-corruption documents show former teammate Chris Cairns allegedly twice approached McCullum to fix matches in 2008. McCullum rebuffed these approaches.
The Black Caps skipper was understood to have given the evidence in 2011 and 2013. Cairns has denied any wrongdoing.
McCullum was not under investigation. ICC chief executive Dave Richardson has apologised to McCullum for the leak.
''He's in a position he shouldn't be in,'' Gallaway said.
McCullum returned to New Zealand this morning from the Indian Premier League for the birth of his third child.
'NOT IN NEW ZEALAND'
New Zealand Cricket CEO David White said he was comfortable the corruption has not come out of New Zealand.
"What we're dealing with now is historic, but that does not mean we should rest on our laurels," White said.
New Zealand was co-hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup with Australia early next year and White was "reasonably comfortable with" controls and processes in place ahead of the event.
He believed the risk for cricket was corruption in the domestic game, rather than internationally.
He said there was a need to work even harder to "eliminate corruption from the game".
New Zealand Players' Association boss Heath Mills said the biggest issue in sport was corruption, but it was not a new problem.
It was "a very sad thing" there was an investigation taking place in New Zealand, and there would be "negative connotations" of that, he said.
Mills said cricket was leading the way in solving corruption problems, "when they come to light".
CAIRNS PROFESSES INNOCENCE
Cairns proclaimed his innocence and vowed to clear his name in two statements this week, and Daryl Tuffey, who was also named in December as under investigation, followed suit yesterday.
Sydney-based former international Tuffey broke his silence via a statement from his legal team, to issue an unequivocal denial of any involvement in fixing.
''Since the commencement of this matter earlier this year to date, Mr Tuffey or his lawyers have not been presented with a single scintilla of evidence to substantiate these claims.
"Mr Tuffey is naturally frustrated by the unsubstantiated attacks on his good name levelled by a few self-interested individuals. He does, however, remain committed to continued co-operation with the authorities regarding this matter and is confident that he will ultimately be cleared of any wrong-doing.''
The ICC also broke its silence as chief executive Dave Richardson expressed ''deep regrets'' that McCullum's confidential statement was made public.
It was understood ICC employees were cleared of leaking, but suspicion fell on some ICC member nations who were privy to the statements as part of the wide-ranging investigation across several jurisdictions.
"We are taking all steps available to us to urgently investigate how certain information in the form of statements has come to find its way into the media, so that we can provide reassurances to the stakeholders within the sport so that they can continue to place their trust in the hands of the ACSU,'' said Richardson, emphasising McCullum was not under investigation.