Tragic for cricket and one of its greatest ever all-rounders

EDITORIAL

The situation faced by former Black Caps cricketer Chris Cairns is nothing short of a tragedy, both for him and his family and the game of cricket as a whole.

It is a complicated back story. In 2012 Cairns won a civil libel case against business mogul and former head of the Indian Premier League Lalit Modi, who accused him of taking money to fix matches.

A prosecution for perjury was then brought, but last week a jury found Cairns not guilty.

However Modi is also suing Cairns for $3.3 million in a civil claim for fraud arising from evidence given at his trial. Although a trial window has been set down for next March, Modi is said to be still considering whether to go ahead with it.

If he does he will rely on the evidence of present New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, disgraced cricketer and admitted match-fixer Lou Vincent, and his first wife Ellie Riley. Interestingly they are not compelled to testify in a civil case and McCullum, who would be by far Modi’s most credible witness, is ambivalent.

McCullum’s involvement in the trial obviously hurt Cairns who in an article on Sunday referred to McCullum’s “sharp-suited lawyer” Garth Gallaway sitting next to Modi’s lawyer during the trial. He is also hurt by “sections of the media” he says needed a villain and attributed the role to him.

Whatever transpires from here Cairns has been badly hurt, describing himself as “beat up, exhausted and penniless”.

It is a sad situation for a man who was one of the most exciting all-rounders to play the game, even exceeding the exploits of his father Lance who will always be a legend of New Zealand cricket.

Cricket itself has taken a major hit in the eyes of the sporting public. There have always been doubts about the integrity of the IPL because of the huge amounts bet upon various facets of the games, and the obvious risk of corruption that creates.

A section of the public will continue to believe, despite his acquittal, that Cairns took bribes and tried to recruit others to match-fixing. For him the pain will continue for a lifetime.

The situation faced by former Black Caps cricketer Chris Cairns is nothing short of a tragedy, both for him and his family and the game of cricket as a whole.

It is a complicated back story. In 2012 Cairns won a civil libel case against business mogul and former head of the Indian Premier League Lalit Modi, who accused him of taking money to fix matches.

A prosecution for perjury was then brought, but last week a jury found Cairns not guilty.

However Modi is also suing Cairns for $3.3 million in a civil claim for fraud arising from evidence given at his trial. Although a trial window has been set down for next March, Modi is said to be still considering whether to go ahead with it.

If he does he will rely on the evidence of present New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, disgraced cricketer and admitted match-fixer Lou Vincent, and his first wife Ellie Riley. Interestingly they are not compelled to testify in a civil case and McCullum, who would be by far Modi’s most credible witness, is ambivalent.

McCullum’s involvement in the trial obviously hurt Cairns who in an article on Sunday referred to McCullum’s “sharp-suited lawyer” Garth Gallaway sitting next to Modi’s lawyer during the trial. He is also hurt by “sections of the media” he says needed a villain and attributed the role to him.

Whatever transpires from here Cairns has been badly hurt, describing himself as “beat up, exhausted and penniless”.

It is a sad situation for a man who was one of the most exciting all-rounders to play the game, even exceeding the exploits of his father Lance who will always be a legend of New Zealand cricket.

Cricket itself has taken a major hit in the eyes of the sporting public. There have always been doubts about the integrity of the IPL because of the huge amounts bet upon various facets of the games, and the obvious risk of corruption that creates.

A section of the public will continue to believe, despite his acquittal, that Cairns took bribes and tried to recruit others to match-fixing. For him the pain will continue for a lifetime.

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