Former NZ cricketer Chris Cairns talks on his cellphone Day
three of the first test match between New Zealand and the
West Indies at University Oval. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Black Cap Chris Cairns yesterday denied match-fixing or
spot-fixing after revelations three former New Zealand
cricketers are being investigated for corruption.
Cairns, who was speaking last evening at Auckland airport
after returning home early from his cricket commentary duties
in Dunedin, said he had not been aware of the allegations
against him until yesterday.
He said he stood by his word he had never carried out match-
referring to the libel case he won in Britain after
allegations were made against him previously.
Cairns said he had had no contact with any International
Cricket Council investigators and ''my heart sank'' when he
found out about the allegations yesterday.
He was named yesterday by New Zealand and international media
as one of the three players - along with Lou Vincent and
Daryl Tuffey - under investigation.
In a statement last night, Cairns said: ''No representative
of the ICC, New Zealand Cricket or the New Zealand Players
Association has contacted me in regard to any connection by
me to an investigation into alleged fixing.
''I have no information, and was therefore shocked and
dismayed to discover the speculation in today's media.
''Twenty months ago, the High Court in England ruled that
I've done nothing wrong - which is on record for everyone to
''After an exhaustive trial process, the judge ruled that my
accuser had 'singularly failed to provide any reliable
evidence that Cairns was involved in match-fixing or
spot-fixing, or even that there were strong grounds for
suspicion that he was'.
''Like you, I will be looking for answers.''
Vincent earlier released a statement, saying ''I wish to let
everyone know that I am co-operating with an ongoing ICC
anti-corruption investigation that has been made public
''This investigation is bound by a number of rules and
regulations that mean I am unable to make any further public
comment,'' Vincent said.
''I will personally talk to the public when I am able to. In
the meantime, I cannot comment. Please respect me and my
family's privacy until such time.''
Attempts to speak to Tuffey at his home in Sydney were
unsuccessful yesterday. Campbell Live reported the programme
was told he was in Adelaide.
Yesterday morning Cairns, who was in Dunedin commentating on
the first test between New Zealand and the West Indies at the
University Oval, said he would not comment when approached by
the Otago Daily Times.
He said then it was an ICC matter and he was not prepared to
say anything until the investigation ran its course.
Sky Television spokeswoman Kirsty Way confirmed Cairns took
himself out of the commentary position shortly after he was
named as one of the trio.
She said Cairns wanted to be back in Auckland to be with his
family - Sky did not force him to go off-air.
Cairns only recently returned to live in New Zealand, and is
in his first season as a cricket commentator with Sky.
Cricket commentator Simon Doull was also approached by the
ODT for comment on the issue yesterday morning. Doull said he
had been gagged by Sky from discussing the matter.
Ms Way later denied that was the case.
New Zealand Cricket Players' Association chief executive
Heath Mills said the incident was not the tip of the iceberg.
''This is a sad day for all of us, but people need to
remember that 99.99% of those playing and working in cricket
are hard-working, dedicated and honest folk,'' he said.
National sporting organisations, not just cricket, needed to
work harder to ''ensure our people are safe when they travel
to overseas environments'', Mills said.
The ICC's Anti-corruption and Security Unit is investigating
allegations of match-fixing and spot-fixing in matches.
Earlier, New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said
he was disappointed but offered little on what the
allegations amounted to.
New Zealand Cricket had been aware of the investigation for a
number of months and was shocked and surprised by the
allegations, Mr White said.
''We support the ICC investigation, as corruption has no
place in our sport,'' he said.
No current New Zealand players were being investigated, no
games being played in New Zealand were being investigated and
no games under the jurisdiction of New Zealand Cricket were
being investigated, he said.
He declined to comment on whether the players knew they were
He knew who the three players were, but declined to name
them, as it was an ICC investigation.
Prime Minister John Key said yesterday it would be ''very,
very serious'' if match-fixing allegations against three
former New Zealand cricketers were proved true.
''New Zealand is a country that sees itself as a very
above-board, honest place both to do business and to play
sport so it would be deeply concerning if this was factually
correct,'' he told APNZ.
''New Zealanders expect sport to be played fairly and they
expect sports men and women to perform - in a way which
upholds the ethics of their sport and not to be doing it to
make money in an underhand way.
"It would be a very, very serious issue indeed if it is
proved to be correct.''