Frustrated Cairns waits in limbo

LAURA BASHAM
Last updated 12:00 04/01/2014
Chris Cairns
Getty Images
SPEAKING OUT: Former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns talks to the media at Auckland airport after returning from Dunedin.

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It's been a tough Christmas, says a frustrated Chris Cairns.

Wanting to find out what the next development will be in the International Cricket Council's investigation into match fixing and cricket corruption has been taking its toll on the former Black Caps allrounder.

Speaking in Nelson, he said his future plans were on hold while he waited, not knowing. "We're not sure what's happening, everything is in limbo.

"A few things I had planned are on hold," said Cairns, who learnt last month through global media that he, former test batsman Lou Vincent and seamer Daryl Tuffey were all being probed by the governing body's anti-corruption unit.

Cairns had thought his nightmare was over in 2012 when he successfully sued Indian administrator Lalit Modi for defamation over claims of corruption in the now defunct Indian Cricket League. The High Court in London rejected claims that he had been involved in match fixing, and Cairns declared he was vindicated.

Cairns said last night he was still in the dark and had heard nothing official from the ICC yet.

"We have to wait, that's what we are going through. It's been a particularly tough Christmas - that's the environment we are in and it is not nice to have that happen just before Christmas, which is often a good time to have family and friends around like you do, it's been tough."

Cairns was in Nelson, with his "living legend" father Lance, to speak at Nelson College for a public fundraiser for the college's cricketing programme.

However, Cairns was not at today's one-day match between the Black Caps and the West Indies in Nelson, returning to Auckland to travel north for a pre-planned holiday.

He said it was not a case of staying out of the public eye. He had been upfront since the December announcement and he would continue to be so.

He came to the college to honour an agreement he had with friend and former coach Garry MacDonald, who is the college's cricket director.

MacDonald told more than 20 at the college hall: "They have come here free of charge to help us, it has been massive."

Cairns made time on his way to the function to look at Saxton Oval, the venue for today's international match, which will also be the venue for World Cup cricket matches next year.

He said it was exciting for Nelson to gain ODI status, and congratulated those who had put in the hard work to make it happen.

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Having an international venue with world class players would be an inspiration to young cricketers.

He cautioned that patience was needed with the new international venue.

"Sometimes I have found with grounds that are new into the environment, they try too hard with the pitch . . . and it is best not to overdo it.

"Hopefully it is conducive to runs (today) and will receive more games in the future."

Cairns said a New Zealand victory today was critical to put them in the box seat for the final game in the series, in Hamilton on Wednesday.

He was also full of praise for Corey Anderson, who set a world record for the fastest ODI century, in just 36 balls, at the Queenstown match midweek.

"The biggest compliment I could give Corey Anderson is I wish I could hit the ball like him," said Cairns. "That was some of the most phenomenal hitting I have seen. It was very special."

Some have likened 23-year-old Anderson to Cairns, but Cairns said he would never draw comparisons.

"The way he hit the ball the other day was superb. I think he is a special talent. He is only in his seventh one-day international - we need to give him breathing space and time.

"The fact that cricket now has an athlete like him I think is a wonderful advertisement for the game . . . but let him play, don't have too many expectations."

Lance Cairns is involved in scouting for New Zealand cricket but Chris Cairns said Anderson "had picked himself" with his talent.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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