Ponting testifies in Cairns trial

2015-10-20 17:04
Ricky Ponting (Getty)

London - Former Australia cricket captain Ricky Ponting testified in a London court on Tuesday to confirm he was there when Brendon McCullum received a phone call from Chris Cairns about a business proposition that has since been linked to match-fixing.

Ponting and McCullum were teammates in an Indian Premier League team in 2008, and were together at a hotel in Kolkata when the current New Zealand captain received the call.

Giving evidence from Australia via video link to London's Southwark Crown Court, Ponting said the pair was having a drink when McCullum had about a five-minute conversation on the telephone.

"He put the phone down, hung up and said it was Cairnsy and he 'just made me a business proposition,'" Ponting said. "We stayed together for a short time. I didn't ask any more questions ... As soon as I heard it was about business, I wasn't interested anymore."

Ponting said he never spoke again to McCullum about the phone call.

Cairns is accused of lying during a libel action against Indian Premier League founder Lalit Modi and is facing charges of perjury and perverting the course of justice.

McCullum last week testified that the 45-year-old Cairns approached him with a "business proposition" that involved match-fixing in April 2008. He said he was shocked when Cairns later laid out the plan, saying he thought of the former New Zealand allrounder "as a friend I looked up to and someone I trust."

In 2010, Modi used a social media account to accuse Cairns of fixing a game in the now defunct Indian Cricket League, a rival Twenty20 competition to the IPL, in 2008.

Cairns sued Modi in London for libel and was awarded damages, but is now subject to the perjury action.

Leanne McGoldrick, who was an agent for McCullum and Cairns, also testified that McCullum had raised the issue with her.

"He said he had had an occasion in England during the New Zealand cricket team tour, that he had met with Chris ... and Chris had asked him whether he knew how to spot fix," McGoldrick said, according to a British Press Association report. "He said that Chris said it was easy to manipulate a result, and it was easy to do."

McGoldrick said McCullum insisted he told Cairns "no," and she advised him to report the incident.

"I asked him if he had reported it and he said he was going to, and he said he had told Dan Vettori - who was his captain," McGoldrick said.


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