Indian lawyer on cricket mission

By Dylan Cleaver

Lou Vincent's match-fixing confession has offered anti-corruption officers their richest source of information. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Lou Vincent's match-fixing confession has offered anti-corruption officers their richest source of information. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A lawyer for the former commissioner of the Indian Premier League has been in New Zealand gathering evidence related to the ongoing match-fixing investigation.

Rajesh Vyakarnam, a sports and media law specialist based in Dubai who acts for former IPL supremo Lalit Modi, visited in the past fortnight.

Mr Modi's involvement in the investigation adds another strand to an already complex web involving the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit, the Metropolitan Police and the three Kiwi cricketers under investigation - Lou Vincent, Daryl Tuffey and Chris Cairns.

Vincent recently received 11 life bans for his role in match-fixing in English county cricket's limited overs competitions. Cairns and Tuffey have consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Cairns won a libel case against Mr Modi in the High Court of London in 2010. Mr Modi had made a series of tweets suggesting Cairns' departure from the short-lived Indian Cricket League - he was captain of the Chandigarh Lions - was due to fixing.

The official reason was Cairns was removed for failing to disclose an injury.

Mr Modi is likely seeking redress for that verdict, either through a setting aside of the libel trial, or through civil proceedings essentially challenging the outcome of the 2010 trial.

Mr Vyakarnam said he could not comment on the aim of his visit, "save as to say proceedings are not imminent", nor even a certainty to happen. "Mr Modi is monitoring matters, and will allow any ongoing investigations [to] run their full course."

The ICC confirmed that Vincent, Cairns and Tuffey were under investigation last December. While Vincent's sorry tale was concluded this month after he admitted fixing matches across three continents and many competitions, offering anti-corruption officers their richest source of information to date, the fate of Cairns and Tuffey remains unknown.

Cairns was interviewed by Met Police in New Zealand and flew to London in May for further interviews. On his return, a defiant Cairns lashed out at his accusers, including Vincent and his ex-wife Elly Riley, and New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, accusing them of "despicable lies".

"Each and every allegation against me, that I have cheated at cricket or attempted to induce others to cheat at cricket, is false," Cairns said.

The Met Police have concluded their investigation, which has been handed to the Crown Prosecution Service. They are expected to decide by September whether Cairns will face charges.

The ICC and ECB anti-corruption units have indicated they will not do anything until the Met Police investigation has been resolved.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 27 Dec 2014 13:45:27 Processing Time: 432ms