New Zealand trio's link to India under scrutiny

Last updated 05:00 06/12/2013
Fairfax NZ

Several former Black Caps are being investigated for alleged match-fixing, but New Zealand Cricket boss David White won't name them.

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The International Cricket Council's investigation of Chris Cairns, Lou Vincent and Daryl Tuffey is believed to centre on the trio's activities since 2008 when the former Black Caps played together in a now-defunct Indian Twenty20 competition.

Vincent issued a statement saying he was co-operating with the ICC's anti-corruption unit following confirmation from New Zealand cricket boss David White yesterday that three ex-internationals were under investigation for alleged match-fixing.

Cairns, one of New Zealand's great allrounders, spoke with media upon his return to Auckland from Dunedin where he was on commentary duties with Sky TV, and said he was "100 per cent in the dark" about the allegations.

"It's really tough because I don't know what is happening . . .. it is really tough on my family," he said.

"We need to let the investigation by the ICC run its course."

Tuffey, a fast bowler who last played for the Black Caps in 2010, couldn't be contacted but his wife admitted being shocked about the allegations.

Cairns, Tuffey and Vincent last played together in the same team in 2008 in a season where rival leagues were trying to cash in on the T20 boom sweeping the Indian sub-continent. The trio played for the Chandigarh Lions who were captained by Cairns in the Indian Cricket League (ICL), which lasted only two seasons.

However, the ICC does not have the jurisdiction to adjudicate on non-sanctioned "rebel" leagues, meaning their investigation of the former Black Caps must come from subsequent events.

White yesterday emphasised the ICC's investigation did not involve any current Black Caps players, or games played in New Zealand "or under New Zealand Cricket's jurisdiction".

It has been reported the investigations relate to matches played "three or four years ago" and involved alleged offences in "more than one country".

Cairns retired as a player in 2008 while Tuffey's career continued across competitions in New Zealand, Hong Kong and for the Auckland Aces in India. Vincent has played in the Bangladesh T20 league, English county cricket, Zimbabwe and also for the Aces at the 2011 Champions League tournament in India.

"I wish to let everyone know that I am cooperating with an ongoing ICC Anti-Corruption investigation that has been made public," Vincent said in a prepared statement yesterday.

"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."

Cairns has been linked with alleged match-fixing before but cleared his name spectacularly last year in a London court case against one of the most powerful administrators in Indian cricket.

Lalit Modi, the former boss of the ICC-sanctioned Indian Premier League (IPL), made the allegations on Twitter in 2010 and they were reported by Cricinfo. Cairns successfully sued Modi for libel and Cricinfo settled out of court and apologised to him.

The former Kiwi star was awarded $174,000 in damages and Modi was dumped with his legal bills of almost $774,000 when the High Court in London ruled the Indian official was not able to prove his allegation.

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Tuffey, who retired from professional cricket last year and now plays for a Sydney club side, couldn't be reached for comment but his wife spoke to Fairfax and expressed her shock at the allegations.

"I'm actually not sure [if he will talk]. He's meeting different people and trying to see what's going on," Dearne Berry said. "This has all just come out of the blue."

Yesterday's news came as no surprise to NZC's former boss Justin Vaughan - the man who ran the organisation during the turbulent Indian T20 revolution.

"I wouldn't say I'm necessarily surprised but I'm disappointed, definitely," he said.

"You never want to think that a New Zealand cricketer would be involved in this type of investigation but the reality is it's a global sport and I guess New Zealanders are just as likely as any other nationality to be involved . . . There were certainly rumours [about alleged corruption in the ICL]. But never anything more than rumour.

"We never saw evidence and at the time, I believe, the ICC had felt because it was an unsanctioned event that it was outside of the scope of their anti-corruption unit." Fairfax NZ

- © Fairfax NZ News

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