Cricket's anti-corruption inquiry: Probe into games in three countries

By Dylan Cleaver

Cairns says he knew nothing of inquiry and his heart sank when he heard yesterday

Chris Cairns arrives at the Auckland Domestic Airport. Photo / Richard Robinson
Chris Cairns arrives at the Auckland Domestic Airport. Photo / Richard Robinson

The International Cricket Council anti-corruption panel is believed to be looking at matches involving New Zealand players that took place in India, South Africa and England, raising the possibility that criminal charges could follow if any are found guilty.

While match- and spot-fixing is not illegal in all countries, it is in England, where recently Pakistani and English players have been jailed for accepting money to manipulate results.

Last night, the Herald sought clarification from the ICC on the location of the matches in question, but a spokesman said it would not be adding to a statement yesterday morning.

Read also
Fellow cricketers shocked by inquiry
If true, this tears at heart of integrity, says lawyer

In that release, the ICC said: "Following the publication of an article in a leading New Zealand newspaper earlier today ... the ICC confirms that it has indeed been working closely over the past few months with its colleagues in the domestic anti-corruption units of member boards to investigate these and related matters."

Lou Vincent yesterday admitted he was talking to the ICC in relation to an investigation into match-fixing.

He is one of three players under the spotlight of the anti-corruption unit. The others are bowler Daryl Tuffey and Chris Cairns, one of New Zealand's all-time great all-rounders.

"I wish to let everyone know that I am co-operating with an ongoing ICC anti-corruption investigation that has been made public today," Vincent said in a statement.

Video

"This investigation is bound by a number of rules and regulations that mean I am unable to make any further public comment. I will personally talk to the public when I am able to. In the meantime I cannot comment. Please respect me and my family's privacy until such time."

Cairns, speaking last night at Auckland Airport, said he hadn't been aware of the allegations against him until earlier yesterday.

Video

He said he had had no contact with any ICC investigators and "my heart sank" when he found out about the claims.

"At the moment it's about waiting to see what unfolds and honestly, as I've said, I've yet to be contacted. I'll be taking the relevant advice and going from there. But as I said, I'm very much in the dark.

"With regards to what's happened, I've said I've been through a very arduous process in England last year, that's on record, and I stand by that, and with regards to what's occurred now, I'd just like to reiterate the fact that I've spoken to nobody."

He was referring to his successful defence of match-fixing allegations. The New Zealander sued Indian cricket official Lalit Modi in the London High Court over a tweet. He won a settlement of $174,000 in March last year and Modi was ordered to pay Cairns' legal bill. Modi unsuccessfully appealed the ruling.

Cairns, in a statement issued later last night, noted the judge ruled that his accuser had "singularly failed to provide any reliable evidence that Cairns was involved in match-fixing or spot-fixing, or even that there were strong grounds for suspicion that he was".

Modi tweeted from London last night: "NZ fixing story ... is a big one as i said for the game ... completely shocking ... will wait for legal advise on next steps."

Cairns had been in Dunedin as a commentator for Sky, but left the ground when the news broke.

The Herald could not reach Tuffey for comment but TVNZ's Australia correspondent, Steve Marshall, tweeted that Tuffey hadn't been aware of the inquiry until yesterday.

Last night, New Zealand's best bowler on day three of the test against the West Indies, Tim Southee, said it was disappointing to wake up to the story that former New Zealand players were under the microscope.

"There were a few conversations going around but it is out of our hands; there's nothing we can do about it."

The Herald yesterday broke the story that the ICC's anti-corruption and security unit had been in New Zealand several times over the past four months, investigating claims the players had been involved in match- and spot-fixing.

Match-fixing is the manipulation of results, and spot-fixing is the manipulation of events within a game, to aid bookmakers who can make millions on the gambling blackmarket.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White spoke to media yesterday, but would not comment later after the names became public.

He said NZC was "shocked and surprised" by the allegations.

Concerning Cairns wasn't aware of investigation - Mills

This morning, players association chief executive Heath Mills said it would be "really concerning'' had Cairns not been told he was being investigated.

"I sincerely hope that he's spoken to if he is concerned with the inquiry,'' he told TV3's Firstline, before adding: "It's not for me to say who is involved or not.''

Mills called on the ICC to release a statement "sooner rather than later'' providing more details about the inquiry as New Zealand organisations and the players are "bound by confidentiality''.

"The ICC is the organisation that really needs to respond to questions about who the investigation concerns and when it's likely to conclude and the details of it,'' he said.

"I think it's really difficult for all concerned when there's lots of speculation, and it's a difficult situation for New Zealand Cricket and the likes of our organisation because we can't comment, we've been given very clear instructions about that, it's highly likely New Zealand Cricket are subject to that code as well.

"I just hope the ICC can come forward with some more information sooner rather than later for everyone's sake.''

- Additional reporting: Ben Irwin and Patrice Dougan

Illustrious careers of the trio at centre of controversy

Daryl Tuffey, 35 - A bowler who has played for the Black Caps at test and one-day level, Auckland, Chandigarh Lions, ICL World XI, Northern Districts.

Daryl Tuffey. Photo / APN
Daryl Tuffey. Photo / APN

He played his first full test series at home against Pakistan in 2000, and got 16 wickets in the series. His career was disrupted by injuries but he still managed to get 77 test wickets and 110 ODI wickets in 123 international matches.

He was dropped from the Black Caps for a spell, but he returned to test cricket in 2009 against Pakistan. He retired from all cricket in September 2012.

Chris Cairns, 43 - The son of former New Zealand cricketer Lance Cairns.

He played for both the test and one-day side, captaining the side on several occasions. In 2000 he was named one of five Wisden Cricketers of the Year.

Cairns was widely regarded as one of the finest all-rounders in the world and became the sixth man to achieve an all-rounder's double of 200 wickets and 3,000 runs in March 2004.

Chris Cairns. Photo / NZPA
Chris Cairns. Photo / NZPA

He retired from the test side in 2004; two years later he stepped down from the one-day side.

In 2012 he won a court case against former Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi for libel. Modi alleged he'd been involved in match-fixing. A court awarded him costs and damages.

Cairns later said he felt "great relief that I am able to walk into any cricket ground in the world with my head held high".

Lou Vincent, 35 - Vincent has represented New Zealand in test matches, one-day internationals and Twenty20 international cricket. He has also played for Auckland in New Zealand domestic cricket and in English domestic cricket for Worcestershire and Lancashire.

Lou Vincent. Photo / NZPA
Lou Vincent. Photo / NZPA

He had a very strong debut, scoring a century and a half-century in his first test series, but struggled to repeat that in later years. He became only the sixth New Zealander to make a hundred on debut, and only the second to achieve the feat on foreign soil - in 2001, in Australia.

His career took a turn for the worse after poor form in 2007 during the tour of South Africa and the Chappell-Hadlee Series that followed. After he was dropped for the tour of Bangladesh, he said he was suffering from depression.

He lost his contract with New Zealand Cricket after joining the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a5 at 31 Jul 2014 08:05:15 Processing Time: 774ms