Leave my ex-wife out of it, Chris Cairns asks

STANDING STRONG: Chris Cairns – pictured with wife Mel in their Auckland home – says ICC investigators approaching his ex-wife Carin in South Africa is "the final straw".
STANDING STRONG: Chris Cairns – pictured with wife Mel in their Auckland home – says ICC investigators approaching his ex-wife Carin in South Africa is "the final straw".

Chris Cairns says the International Cricket Council has "stooped to a new low" by contacting his ex-wife in South Africa to seek information about match-fixing allegations against him.

Cairns, one of New Zealand's greatest all-rounders who retired in 2006, said the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) had confirmed to him that he was under investigation for match-fixing.

But he says the anti-corruption team has ignored his lawyer's correspondence and refused his offer to be interviewed "anytime, anywhere".

Cairns is fuming after investigators approached his former wife, South Africa-based Carin van den Berg, last week.

"I think the way it has been handled is a disgrace, it's awful, " Cairns told the Sunday Star-Times.

"I cannot believe the recklessness with which my name and reputation is being handled. When the ICC contacted my ex-wife and said they want to interview her - and yet they have still not spoken to me or given me any information - that was the final straw.

"This simply can't be allowed to go on."

Cairns also strongly denied reports on social media yesterday that British police had been in New Zealand to interview him and former Black Caps team-mates Lou Vincent and Darryl Tuffey, who have also been under investigation.

"That's rubbish," he said. "The British police have not been in contact with me at all."

Cairns said his life had been in "limbo" since the ICC, without naming names, confirmed the investigation in early December. He stood down from cricket commentary duties with Sky TV and said other promising commercial projects were on hold because of the controversy.

He said his legal team contacted the ICC on December 5 after media reports linked him to the investigation but said it was almost two weeks before he received a reply.

The ICC initially declined to say if he was under investigation and would get in touch if need be.

"Since then they have said they are interested in me as part of a wider investigation, but no detail has been provided," he said.

Cairns said he was happy to co-operate with the investigation but eight weeks had now passed and the uncertainty was impacting on his family. "Sadly, the impact appears to be that I am guilty until proven innocent."

Cairns successfully sued former Indian powerbroker Lalit Modi in the English High Court in 2012 after he accused Cairns of match-fixing in the now defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL).

"I have never cheated in cricket," he said. "The ICC accepted this in November 2012 and once before that, in December 2009, when they were looking at the ICL."

Cairns said he had repeatedly told the ICC he would answer every question put to him and produce documents if needed but the organisation hadn't taken up the offer.

"Instead false rumours are allowed to be spread about me which have been hugely damaging.

"We went all the way to the High Court in England to clear my name."

Cairns said he had asked the ICC which games they were investigating but they would not respond. "I've been totally committed to this sport for most of my life. I feel hugely let down, including by New Zealand Cricket."

Neither the ICC nor NZC would comment yesterday.

The investigation comes at a time when the ICC is under attack worldwide after a proposal to redraft the organisation's structure in a way that would put almost all power in the hands of the Indian, Australian and English cricket boards.

Sunday Star Times