Cairns claims: Lou Vincent's ex-wife speaks

More evidence supporting Lou Vincent's allegations of match fixing has emerged. File photo / Richard Robinson.
More evidence supporting Lou Vincent's allegations of match fixing has emerged. File photo / Richard Robinson.

The former wife of Lou Vincent claims he called her in tears, saying he had cost Chris Cairns US$250,000 after Vincent's attempts to match-fix went wrong.

Eleanor (Elly) Riley made the allegation in a signed statement to International Cricket Council anti-corruption investigators and police last October, One News reported tonight.

The leaked document followed a statement from Cairns earlier today in which he said he was standing by his earlier comments on the match-fixing scandal and that the allegations against him are "a complete lie".

Ms Riley told investigators that Vincent had become involved in match-fixing in early 2008 after joining the Indian Cricket League's Chandigarh Lions, captained by Cairns.

She alleged Vincent told her Cairns was going to pay him US$50,000 a game for the fixing. Vincent said he was an ideal candidate for fixing because he was an unpredictable player.

According to Ms Riley's reported testimony, at one point her former husband received a briefcase full of money.

However, a short time later, "I got a phone call from Lou and he was crying, saying he had just lost Chris Cairns US$250,000 or something like that because he got things wrong".

She further alleged: "Lou and I kind of fell out about the whole ICL fixing thing, as I didn't want him to be involved, but Lou kept saying, 'don't worry, we're all doing it'. And that's why Lou was approaching other players."

Watch: Cairns named as 'player X'

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Ms Riley told investigators that following on from the ICL, English county games became a focus.

"Lou said the more players involved, the more that Chris Cairns would get. So if he had the whole team, then that's where he would get the most money, and this is why Lou was approaching other cricketers."

Ms Riley told investigators that she confronted Cairns during a 2008 night out in Manchester, telling him that she was "very concerned", and the number of players involved meant it was bound to leak out.

She alleged that Cairns' reply was that they were safe and everything was under control.

Read more:
Cairns is player named as Player X
Cairns denies allegations
Vincent gifted Dubai trip for fixes

One News said Riley's testimony also revealed cash pick-ups from laundrettes, mysterious texts and money laundering.

Cairns earlier said in a statement that he was aware that Vincent and New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has made a range of allegations to the ICC against a certain former international.

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

The former New Zealand allrounder, identified by the Herald today as the player being named as player X in the International Cricket Council inquiry, completely rejected the allegations - "and I will prove this".

"Everything I said yesterday stands," Cairns said.

Meanwhile, anti-corruption detectives in the UK have collected witness statements from three further people - one of them a current English county cricketer - supporting Vincent's fixing allegations.

The three statements add to the weight of evidence collected by the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption investigators in the wake of Vincent's explosive 42-page testimony, which was given in January and alleges fixing in five countries between 2008 and 2012.

McCullum, the current New Zealand captain, identified the same "ringleader" as Vincent in his own three-page signed statement to detectives, and revealed how he was twice approached to fix, firstly over a bottle of wine in a hotel in India, and then in a café in Worcester in 2008.

The Daily Telegraph in the UK has reported that three more individuals have issued statements corroborating Vincent's evidence. One of them is a former county team-mate of Vincent's in this country, another is a friend in New Zealand, while the third is involved in cricket but not as a player.

McCullum, who gave evidence in 2011 and then last year, also made the startling allegation that the ringleader, a player McCullum described as his "hero", told him that money made from match-fixing could be laundered through property deals brokered by an employee of the ICC. The ICC last night declined to respond to the allegation an employee might have colluded with fixers.

McCullum accused his hero figure of "trying to use me and put me into a situation that would have destroyed me".

Cairns, a former New Zealand captain, won a High Court libel trial in 2012 after Lalit Modi accused him of match-fixing. He said in a statement: "I am being asked whether I am player X [the fixing ringleader]. 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.

"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.

"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."

Further details have emerged about the allegations made by Vincent, who has informed investigators he had an accomplice within the Sussex team when he fixed a YB40 match against Kent in August 2011 and introduced him to the bookie who was running the scam.

He has also admitted approaching another Sussex player and offering him £20,000 to underperform in a Twenty20 quarter final against Lancashire on Aug 8, 2011.

The player turned down the offer, then asked for £50,000 before changing his mind again. Vincent claims that the Pakistani bookmaker who arranged the fix watched the match and spoke to the New Zealander during play to ensure the scam was going as planned.

After the match, which Sussex lost, the player who had decided not to participate in the scam "stormed around" in the dressing room because he knew the game was fixed, then reported Vincent to the club.

Vincent claims he panicked at this stage and stashed £45,000 in his house. His bookmaker contact arranged for the cash to be paid into a Dubai bank account and then transferred to an account in New Zealand. He also says he acted as a courier to ensure his fellow Sussex player, who no longer plays county cricket, received his £15,000 in cash. He became scared when his bookie contact began using his children's names.

Cairns took to Twitter this afternoon to defend his reputation and thank fans for their support:



Read the full statement from Chris Cairns here:

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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