Chris Cairns hits out at former team-mates, NZC

BLACK CAP LEGEND: Chris Cairns in action for New Zealand back in 2001.
BLACK CAP LEGEND: Chris Cairns in action for New Zealand back in 2001.

Chris Cairns has challenged any former New Zealand team-mates whispering behind his back to "man up" and go public with allegations he was involved in cricket match-fixing.

The former New Zealand allrounder called a press conference at Eden Park today to demand the International Cricket Council present some reliable evidence to justify its investigation, and took aim at senior figures in New Zealand Cricket for their lack of support.

Cairns and former team-mates Daryl Tuffey and Lou Vincent were named back in December as being under investigation by the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU).

Cairns said he'd spoken to Tuffey, based in Sydney, since news of the investigation broke. He'd tried to make contact with Vincent but hadn't heard back. 

Cairns was also yet to hear from other long-time team-mates and was aware of whispers behind his back.

"Go on record. Contact the ICC. If you're man enough to be saying it behind my back, say it to the people that you should be saying it to, or to me. I'm yet to hear any of those players come out and say that," Cairns said.

He also rounded on NZC, which continues to refuse to comment on the matter, as does the ICC.

"The thing that really irks me with NZC is from day one I've had the door shut in my face. You've got [board member] Martin Snedden, a lawyer, does he see this as a just process? Is this a proper way to conduct an investigation? Geoff Allott, a board member and successful businessman, as of tomorrow when this test is over I am unemployed, I don't have any work. How does he feel as a businessman with regards to where I'm going to be shortly?

"Sir Richard Hadlee as a board member, how would Sir Richard feel having his family name being dragged through the mud as mine is? And David White the chief executive, is he happy that somebody who gave 16 years of his life to this institution, over 250 games, is David White happy with the way this process is being done. I see NZC declined to comment. Why?

"I've had contact from nobody. That's NZC, players, the players' association, no contact whatsoever. The only person I've spoken to really is Daryl Tuffey."

Cairns' summer contract with Sky Television ends at the conclusion of the first test in Auckland as he wasn't originally rostered to work during the second test in Wellington. 

He hasn't commentated since the allegations were first reported during the West Indies test in Dunedin in early December. 

He thanked the network for its support, and was still being paid by Sky who had put him on "gardening leave" to be with his family.

He had an overseas contract on the table which he couldn't sign until he was cleared of any wrongdoing by the ICC, who were "recklessly tarnishing" his name.

"All I know is the ICC seem to be chasing smoke around the world. The ICC has to investigate if people are talking, but we're now into the 10th week and I've heard nothing and this is severely impacting on my providing for my family."

Cairns pointed out his name was cleared in the High Court in London when he successfully sued Indian cricket powerbroker Lalit Modi. 

Since December his life had been put on hold and he was totally in the dark about what he was being investigated for. The ICC was yet to question him on anything.

"I have heard there are English Police in New Zealand this week investigating the matter, but no one has contacted me, despite some people saying otherwise. 

"I know the ICC has also contacted my ex-wife Carin and were flying to South Africa to question her. I have been told that the ICC has now cancelled this trip after Carin told the ICC I had never been involved in match fixing.

"Perhaps the most telling point in all this was the reason why the ICC wanted to travel to South Africa. I was told it was to inquire about the rumours surrounding me and whether they were malicious and vindictive.

"The impact of this on my career and the professional opportunities in front of me is very serious.  My livelihood is directly linked to my reputation.  So, while this dark cloud hangs over me, my ability to work and provide for my family is almost non-existent."

Fairfax Media