Cricket: 'Who's putting this in the media?'

By Dylan Cleaver

Chris Cairns vehemently denies claims of match-fixing. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Chris Cairns vehemently denies claims of match-fixing. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Chris Cairns has hit out at New Zealand Cricket for effectively abandoning him during an investigation into match-fixing allegations, as it was confirmed British police officers flew here to interview his former teammate Lou Vincent.

Cairns was named in December as one of three former New Zealand cricketers being investigated over claims of fixing in three countries - allegations that Cairns has vehemently denied.

Vincent and Daryl Tuffey earlier confirmed they would co-operate with the International Cricket Board's anti-corruption and security unit.

Speaking at Eden Park yesterday, Cairns said in the 10 weeks since the story broke he had yet to hear from the ICC. He felt the process was unjust, had allowed rumour and speculation to flourish and he singled out four NZC figures, saying the organisation should have done more to support him.

"The NZC board has a lawyer in its ranks in the form of Martin Snedden. Does he see this as a just process for someone to be exposed to in an investigation?

"Geoff Allott is another board member, a successful businessman. As of tomorrow, when this test is over, I'll be unemployed. How would Geoff feel if that was him?

"Sir Richard Hadlee is a board member, too. How would he feel having his family name drawn through the mud? Also David White as chief executive; is he happy for someone who gave 16 years of his life to this institution [NZC] and over 250 games for New Zealand to be treated this way. NZC has declined to comment. Why?"

The Herald contacted White, Hadlee, Allott and Snedden but none responded to requests for comment.

Since confirming an investigation was taking place involving New Zealander cricketers, NZC has stayed quiet on the subject, referring all inquiries to the ICC, who will also not comment. But it is understood that key NZC staff have been briefed by the ICC on the progress of the inquiry.

The Mail Online reported last night that Metropolitan Police officers flew to New Zealand to interview Vincent over allegations of match-fixing in Twenty20 competitions in India. He was also being questioned over allegations he fixed a 2011 county match between Sussex and Kent.

A source in New Zealand confirmed to the website the officers had spoken at length with Vincent and the possibility of an ICC tribunal in London was increasingly likely. Criminal proceedings could then follow.

But a Met police spokesman said: "Our position on this is that we neither confirm nor deny our officers have been in New Zealand this week."

Cairns said he had been made aware the ICC had contacted his ex-wife Carin but chose not to fly to South Africa to speak to her because she said he had never been involved in match-fixing.

His contract with Sky TV - for whom he has been on leave since the story broke - ended today.

He says he has been left in limbo by the investigation.

"My livelihood is directly linked to my reputation. So, while this dark cloud hangs over me, my ability to work and provide for my family is almost non-existent," Cairns said.

Cairns said he believed someone in New Zealand was leaking information to the media about the investigation, and suggested there could be a malicious element to the rumours.

"You have to ask, off the back of the leaks that continuously happen in New Zealand, are these malicious and vindictive?''

Appearing on TV3's Firstline this morning he slammed "all this rumour and speculation'' and said: "I just keep coming back to the point - who is putting this into the media?

"And for the life of me I don't know why, I don't know why people are trying to smear my name.''

He said he had been given no indication of how long the ICC investigation may take.

"I've got no problem with that but there must be a confidential nature involved with what's going on,'' he said.

"My name has been put out into the public domain, it's caused me huge damage, I'm in limbo employment-wise, and I just am trying to get a finality on what's going on here.

"But the whole process has been reckless and really disgraceful with the amount of leaks that have occurred during this investigation.''

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a1 at 18 Sep 2014 14:46:15 Processing Time: 1045ms