Cricket

Cairns attacked in UK court

2012-03-15 12:33
Chris Cairns (File)
London - Chris Cairns is a cricketing "colossus with feet of clay" who had blackmailed young players, the High Court in London heard.

According to the stuff.co.nz website, former New Zealand cricketer Cairns has taken a libel action against Indian Premier League founder Lalit Modi for Twitter comments suggesting that Cairns fixed matches in the Indian Cricket League (ICL) in 2008.

Cairns gave up $700 000 of a $1m contract to play for the ICL in October 2008 after ICL executives confronted him about match fixing allegations.

Modi's counsel Ronald Thwaites QC, in his closing comments on the seventh day of the case, said: "The case sadly charts the downfall of a once great player. There is clear evidence he was involved in match fixing and he has been found out."

Thwaites contended that Cairns had been part of "a diabolical scheme that involved blackmailing young players", referring to six Indians who were captained by Cairns in the 2008 ICL Chandigarh Lions team.

He said Cairns told them to bowl loosely, to bowl no balls, to squander the wickets and to bat slowly through a "conspiracy plot" with intermediary Dinesh Mongia in order to profit from a local bookmaker.

Cairns maintains his money was earned through diamond trading work. Thwaites also questioned the non-appearance in court of Cairns's diamond trading bosses.

Cairns's counsel Andrew Caldecott QC only had 20 minutes left of the day's hearing to begin his summing up.

Caldecott said that Cairns was not in financial hardship, that young Indian players Cairns captained were frustrated about being in and out of the team and that fixing matches would "not only be destroying the past but also destroying the future" for his client.

Modi spent much of the afternoon out of court. Cairns did not comment as he left court.

The hearing will resume on Friday with the rest of Caldecott's closing comments. Following that the judge will retire to make a decision within the next few weeks.

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