Cairns is player named as Player X

By Dylan Cleaver, Andrew Alderson

The Herald can reveal that the player being named as Player X in evidence to the international cricket inquiry is New Zealand legend Chris Cairns.

The Herald has been told by multiple sources that the former allrounder has been named in testimony to the ICC's anti-corruption unit (ACSU), referred to as Player X, by Lou Vincent and current captain Brendon McCullum.

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He is alleged to have attempted to manipulate games, including in India when he was captain of the Chandigarh Lions in the short lived Indian Cricket League.

Cairns was let go by Chandigarh, due to what he described as an ankle injury.

In recent days, testimony from Vincent and McCullum has been leaked into the public domain, including alleged meetings between those players and Cairns.

When asked by the Herald on Sunday whether he was Player X, Cairns said he did not want to "speculate" but last night told Fairfax - Cairns was recently a columnist for the Sunday Star-Times - the allegations were false.

He said: "I am aware that former cricketer Lou Vincent and current New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum have made a range of allegations against a cricketer dubbed Player X," Cairns' statement said.

Lou Vincent. Photo / Richard Robinson

"It is well known that the ICC/ACSU has been investigating allegations of corruption and my name has been linked by others to these allegations. I am being asked whether I am Player X.

"Based on the limited information I have received during this investigation, I believe it is being alleged that I am that player. These allegations against me are a complete lie."

"As for Lou Vincent he appears to have confessed to match fixing in respect of games played in numerous countries around the world, most of which I have had no connection to. He is in a desperate position. He faces potential prosecution and in trying to negotiate a plea bargain he appears to be willing to falsely accuse me of wrongdoing."

Read more:
Vincent gifted Dubai trip for fixes

McCullum was interviewed by the ACSU, as revealed in the Herald on Friday. He told of a double-pronged approach by a "former international star" in 2008, which included advice to launder money gained from match-fixing through the purchase of Dubai property.

McCullum's testimony has been leaked to cricket corruption expert Ed Hawkins, author of Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy, who has published it in the UK's Daily Mail, much to the chagrin of cricket bosses here.

Hawkins told National Radio this morning the same player was named by both McCullum and Vincent.

McCullum met somebody he described as his "hero" in the lobby of a hotel on the eve of the inaugural Indian Premier League to discuss a business opportunity. The player explained to McCullum the intricacies of spread betting. McCullum was told he could secure up to $210,000 a game.

"I ask that people reserve judgment until all the facts are brought to light. I have nothing to hide. I have been to court to demonstrate conclusively that I am not a match fixer before. I will have no hesitation in doing so again," Cairns' statement said.

"I conclude by saying that I believe there are dark forces at play. These forces have long arms, deep pockets and great influence. I acknowledge that recently I have upset some powerful people in the world of cricket, including raising my own concerns about the health of the game. I believe I am paying the price for that now."

Match-fixing investigation timeline
Dec 5: Trio of cricketers under investigation revealed
Dec 5: 'My heart sank' - Cairns
Dec 6: Cairns' legal team strikes back
Dec 8: Fixing won't die off - Modi
Dec 9: Cairns: I'm still in the dark
Dec 14: ICC probes Aces match in South Africa
Feb 9: Cairns hits back
Feb 10: 'Who's putting this in the media?' - Cairns
Feb 16: Experts say loss of income sparks Cairns counter
Feb 27: Vincent admits approach by bookmaker
Mar 27: Cairns' lawyer arrested
May 15: NZC confirm investigation into Auckland games
May 16: McCullum said no to fixer
May 16: Vincent offered cash and a woman to fix
May 17: O'Brien unsurprised at Vincent revelations
May 18: Friends fear for Vincent

- NZ Herald

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