Chris Cairns denied receiving more than US $250,000 from a diamond dealer in Dubai as payments for fixing games of cricket, a court has heard.

In his second day on the witness stand at Southwark Crown Court, during which there several tense exchanges between him and the prosecutor, Cairns said the payments were negotiated into his contract with Vijay Dimon, a diamond trading company owned by the Shah family from India, where he was seeking to build a career beyond cricket.

Cairns, 45, explained that he was paid US$100,000 to relocate to Dubai, to pay a deposit and a year's rent in advance, as well as two further payments of US$75,000. This was a retainer for Cairns to work in public relations for Vijay Dimon as an ambassador at private functions, working with clients and eventually move into handling diamonds as a trader.

Asked by Sasha Wass QC to explain how many speeches he had given, or how often he visited the office in Dubai, Cairns said he could not remember those details but Vishal Shah "had me on call, if you like".

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Chris Cairns was cross-examined by Sasha Wass QC. Photo / Chris Gorman
Chris Cairns was cross-examined by Sasha Wass QC. Photo / Chris Gorman

"He could choose to use me no times, he could choose to use me 50 times ... The main attraction for Vishal was the Indian connection. If I was there, it was a good thing," said Cairns, referring his presence at client functions.
He had previously explained he was well-known in India for his cricketing prowess.

Cairns accepted Vijay Dimon paid for the flights of Cairns, Daryl Tuffey and Lou Vincent for a holiday in Dubai. This trip was described by Ms Wass as a reward from the "paymaster" of the match-fixing trio at the Chandigarh Lions in the Indian Cricket League.

Cairns denied this. Asked why he did not ask the Shah family to corroborate the legitimacy of his employment as a witness at the trial, Cairns said his reputation was "toxic". They had declined and he understood why people did not want to support him.

Libel action

Ms Wass had earlier started her cross-examination by asking Cairns if he was a "most unfortunate individual" who was falsely accused of match-fixing "not once, not twice, but three times".

The first occasion was Cairns being dismissed from the ICL for match-fixing allegations, said Ms Wass, according to the evidence of Andrew Hall yesterday.

The second was the High Court libel case against Lalit Modi in 2012 and the third occasion was the current trial on charges of perjury and perverting the course of justice.

Cairns responded that Andrew Hall, who played with him for the Chandigarh Lions, omitted the match-fixing allegation from his statement in support of Modi in the 2012 trial.

"He said it yesterday," said Ms Wass, "and it's extremely damaging to your case."

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Cairns replied: "Not to my case, but to the truth."

Ms Wass then asked: "Do you agree that perfectly reasonable sane people do not make up false allegations without a motive?"

That would be an opinion, said Cairns, and he was there to give evidence.
Cairns pointed out he won the libel case against Modi, following the tweet which he described as a "death sentence" in the world of cricket. He wanted an apology, not money, in order to restore his reputation built up over 17 years which had been destroyed in a moment.

The jury was also told about an email sent between investigators at the International Cricket Council titled "tainted ICL players".

The name of Chris Cairns, alongside the words "arranged match fixing", was among a list of 11 players supplied by Howard Beer, the security manager for the Indian Cricket League. "How on earth did your name get on that list?" asked Ms Wass.

Cairns said Mr Justice Bean, the judge at the libel trial in 2012, was not "overly flattering" of Mr Beer's work. "I'm not asking Mr Justice Bean questions, I'm asking you questions," said Ms Wass.

He agreed that Mr Beer had "blackened" his name and the allegation was not fair, or true.

Ms Wass also asked why Vincent would falsely implicate Cairns in match-fixing. Cairns referred to the evidence of Vincent's former wife Ellie Riley. She told the jury Vincent told her that handing over a "big scalp" to the ICC would help him escape punishment for his own corrupt activity.

'Conspiracy theory'

The QC asked Cairns to summarise his "conspiracy theory", which she suggested included Vincent confessing to more match-fixing to falsely implicate Cairns in order to escape punishment for other match-fixing. "I don't want to get on a soapbox," said Cairns.

Two witnesses, Phil Hayes and Steve Pearson, told the court about separate confessions from Lou Vincent which included his account of a 6 and a 4 he mistakenly scored.

"You mean the good shot to long on and the late cut? The two good shots," said Cairns.

"The account Lou gave of those two shots, is incorrect, they were not mistakes. "

If so, Ms Wass suggested Vincent was an "extremely clever young man" who confessed to two friends to lay the "foundations very well, to set you up", two years before he went to the authorities.

The prosecutor then moved on to Brendon McCullum's evidence, whom she suggested Cairns tried to recruit after realizing Vincent was liability in his match-fixing ring. Cairns denied this and said the meeting with McCullum in Kolkata was an "innocent conversation", although he could not recall the exact business proposal.

"Are you referring to his first, second or third statement," asked Cairns, referring to discrepancies in McCullum's different accounts.

If it was an innocent conversation, Ms Wass asked why McCullum would give false evidence in court to "stitch you up". "Brendon is doing what is best for Brendon," said Cairns.

He did not elaborate on what Ms Wass described as a "conspiracy theory", in which three people gave direct evidence of match-fixing and six others were indirect witnesses.

Cairns said he would "stick to the rules" and give evidence, rather than a speech, and his lawyer, Orlando Pownall QC, would make submissions on his behalf.

Under further questioning by Mr Pownall, Cairns said the "taint" of the match-fixing allegations had taken its toll on his family in New Zealand.
His father Lance Cairns, a "folk hero" in New Zealand cricket, was snubbed as an ambassador for the Cricket World Cup in 2015 and invited only to one game as a guest of New Zealand Cricket.

Cairns was working as a commentator for Sky Television but that work had stopped when the allegations broke in December 2013.

Asked what he had been doing to earn a living, an emotional Cairns struggled to answer. "Ummm, I don't have any skills outside the media...this was a scorched earth scenario for me. I was labouring, just trying to make a buck."
The case continues.