Home » Sport » Cricket »

Ex-captains dragged into match-fix scandal

Three more New Zealand cricketers, including former captains Stephen Fleming and Daniel Vettori, have been drawn into the international match-fixing scandal involving ex-allrounder Chris Cairns.


Home to Roost 4Cairns, who denies being corrupt, told reporters Fleming, Vettori and current Black Cap Kyle Mills had been asked by investigators about an alleged approach he made to current New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum in 2008.

The 43-year-old said two of those questioned this year by the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) anti-corruption unit had stated that McCullum had told them of an approach but the third could not confirm the details. He did not say which players had backed McCullum.

Cairns read a statement at Auckland Airport after returning from the UK where he had spoken to London’s Metropolitan Police, the anti-corruption unit and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) after he was linked to an international match-fixing scandal.

He said the allegations made against him were false and had made the journey to London of his own volition to make that point to the authorities.

“I have nothing to hide,” he said.

“I repeated that each and every allegation against me – that I have cheated in cricket or attempted to induce others to cheat at cricket – is false.”

Fleming, Vettori and Mills are the latest New Zealanders to be drawn into the ICC investigation after testimony from McCullum and former teammate Lou Vincent in an ICC match-fixing probe was leaked recently to British media.

Both alleged an unnamed former international, known only as “Player X”, was involved in fixing matches.

Cairns believes he is the person alleged to be “Player X”, mentioned by Vincent and McCullum.

In the leaked testimony, Vincent said Player X lured him into getting involved in fixing across several countries.

McCullum said he rebuffed two approaches by the same player, who he described as a “hero”, to fix games.

Cairns on Friday said Vincent had betrayed the friendship he offered him in 2008 when Vincent was battling personal issues.

“He is not a whistleblower. The truth is he has been caught cheating and seeks to mitigate his sins by blaming others,” Cairns said, adding that allegations by his former wife, Elly Riley, were also false.

He was also critical of the almost three-year delay by McCullum before reporting the alleged approach to the ICC.

Cairns said he had not been arrested or charged with any offence and was disturbed by the path of the investigation.

“I find the situation truly absurd, bizarre and scary.

“Whatever happens, I hope proper process will be followed and I will be cleared of these allegations.

“I have never match-fixed, sought to have others match-fix or otherwise played the game of cricket in anything other than the spirit it so richly deserves to be played in,” he said.

Cairns, who had previously said he believed “dark forces” were at play, said his trip had not persuaded him to think any differently.

The ECB is bringing 14 charges against Vincent, 35, and six against Pakistan A pace bowler Naveed Arif, 32, for fixing offences while playing for county side Sussex.

Vincent, Cairns and Darryl Tuffey were revealed in December to be players involved in an ICC probe into alleged match-fixing.

Tuffey has also denied any wrongdoing.

Satirical Toon by Mark Winter, an award-winning New Zealand cartoonist, designer and film maker and his pen name, Chicane, signifies a deceptive bend. He is currently living in London.  Mark is always available to take commissions for artwork, caricature, cartoons or illustration projects. If you would like to discuss this further please get in touch on Twitter (@ChicanePictures) or at www.chicanepictures.com