The only thing Chris Cairns is guilty of is not "keeping his trousers zipped up", according to one of his close friends.

Cairns told Andrew Fitch-Holland rumours of match-fixing was "pub talk and bullshit".

"Not a single one of the many cricketers I know has ever suggested to me, by phone or to my face, that Chris Cairns has done anything corrupt," Fitch-Holland told the jury from the witness stand.

Fitch-Holland is jointly charged with Cairns of perverting the course of justice and gave evidence in his own defence overnight in the Southwark Crown Court. Cairns also faces a charge of perjury.


The 50-year-old is a barrister by profession but also passionate about cricket and organized a number of charity and festival matches.

Eventually Fitch-Holland became involved in the management of the Lashings team, described as the "Harlem Globetrotters" of cricket, where recently retired professionals would play exhibition matches against various teams.

This was how Fitch-Holland first met Cairns, who agreed to play for Lashings in 2006, and he agreed he was initially "star struck" by the "legendary man".

But he told the jury how the pair became very close friends - as did their families - and Fitch-Holland often advised the cricketer on contracts and business deals.

One project was a reality television proposal, referred to as The Eleven, which Fitch-Holland described as "X Factor" type show for cricket and some "heavy hitters" were involved.

Fitch-Holland also described his disappointment at Cairns leaving his wife Carin for Mel Croser, in 2008, whom he later married.

He thought that was "pretty shabby" behavior.

In October 2008, Cairns left the Indian Cricket League where he was playing for the Chandigarh Lions.


Fitch-Holland said Cairns called him shortly after the meeting where he was dismissed.

Cairns said there were "politics" in the decision which related to an undisclosed ankle injury affecting his performance on the pitch, said Fitch-Holland.

Over the coming weeks, there were rumours on the internet that match-fixing was the real reason for Cairns' dismissal.

Fitch-Holland asked Cairns whether there was any truth to the rumours.

Cairns told him "it's all pub talk and bullshit" and Fitch-Holland was satisfied with the answer.

However, he said there were allegations against other players in the ICL and commented that T20 cricket was "tailor made" for spot-fixing.

"Not a single one of the many cricketers I know has ever suggested to me, by phone or to my face, that Chris Cairns has done anything corrupt."

Fitch-Holland also gave evidence about a cricket match between Bromley and Lashings, an annual festival match which included a "massive lunch" for 1000 under a large marquee.

Chris Harris, the former New Zealand cricketer played for Lashings, and has previously given evidence at trial about the lunch in 2010.

Fitch-Holland joined a conversation at the lunch, said Harris, and someone else said words to the effect of "Poor Cairnsy, what's about Cairnsy?"

Harris said Fitch-Holland responded: "Oh he's guilty, Cairnsy's guilty."

He thought the match-fixing defamation case against Lalit Modi was the context of the "Cairnsy's guilty" comment from Fitch-Holland.

In giving evidence overnight, Fitch-Holland said he was "plastered" from drinking alcohol and could not remember saying those words.

Under questioning from his defence barrister Jonathan Laidlaw QC, Fitch-Holland said he could have said "Cairnsy's guilty" but in the context of his personal life, not match-fixing.

"I would have said the only thing Chris Cairns is guilty of is not keeping his trousers zipped up."

Fitch-Holland had an "extremely clear" recollection of a phone call he received from Cairns after Lalit Modi posted a tweet in January 2010 alleging Cairns was involved with match-fixing.

The CricInfo website, described as the "Bible" of cricket news by Fitch-Holland, had written a story based on the tweet and a further comment from Modi.

Cairns was "freaking out" and said Modi has "f***ed me...I'm done in cricket," said Fitch-Holland.

The barrister called the editor of CricInfo, who removed the story from the website.

CricInfo later apologized to Cairns and reached a confidential settlement.

Cairns also took legal action against Modi and Fitch-Holland said his friend wanted an apology, not money.

He was keen for Cairns to settle out of court, rather than go to trial as no matter the outcome, his name - and the reputation of cricket in general - would be dragged through the mud.

A settlement was nearly reached on several occasions but the money offered by Modi was not enough to pay Cairns' mounting legal costs. Cairns would be bankrupted if he tried to meet the shortfall, said Fitch-Holland.

So the case was heading to trial which Fitch-Holland described as a "David and Goliath situation" where Cairns was taking on one of the most powerful individuals in cricket.

Cairns would need fellow players to support him and give evidence in court, which Fitch-Holland said carried a risk as they would be reluctant to align themselves against Modi.
He had immense wealth and influence on the Indian Premier League, the newly formed T20 tournament, which Fitch-Holland described as the "golden goose of cricket where players could line their pockets".

The Crown case against Fitch-Holland hinges on a Skype call between Lou Vincent and Fitch-Holland, which Vincent recorded.

Cairns wanted Vincent, a team mate at the Chandigarh Lions, to provide a statement to support his libel case against Modi.

Vincent had agreed to meet Rhory Robertson, Cairns' solicitor, but pulled out.

Mr Robertson emailed Fitch-Holland and said Vincent seemed to fear for his career and it was "essential" to get a statement from him.

Fitch-Holland told the jury he was unaware Vincent had implied to Cairns that he wanted money in return for his co-operation.

He was also unaware that Vincent was involved in match-fixing.

"I had no reason to believe he was anything other than an honest and decent chap," said Fitch-Holland.

Nor did he have any reason to suspect Cairns was corrupt - then or now.

However, at the time of the Skype call, Fitch-Holland did believe some of the Indian players in the Chandigarh Lions were involved in match or spot fixing.

He was also aware some of the international players in the ICL had not been paid.

The Skype call was then played to the jury including one sentence in which Fitch-Holland said: "I mean between you and I, we all know, some of what is being said are clearly true."

In giving evidence, Fitch-Holland said he was referring to the view of Cairns' legal team that a number of local players in the ICL were "clearly" corrupt, not Chris Cairns.