| Chris Cairns in Auckland, on Thursday. (Getty Images) |
Wellington: An emotional Chris Cairns Thursday said he was “100 per cent in the dark” about the International Cricket Council’s allegations of match-fixing against him and that he would co-operate with the anti-corruption unit’s investigators to come out clean.
New Zealand Cricket was rocked by allegations of match fixing with a report in the New Zealand Herald claiming that three cricketers — former all-rounder Cairns, fast bowler Daryl Tuffey and batsman Lou Vincent — are being investigated by the ICC for their role in fixing.
Cairns spoke publicly for the first time since the sensational fixing claims surfaced in the media and said his “heart sank” when he heard he had been linked to the ICC’s investigation.
In a lengthy and emotional interview to Fairfax Media, Cairns revealed that the allegations were taking a toll on his family.
He insisted he was in the dark about it and that his family, in particular his mother and father — former international Lance — were finding it “tough”.
“The hardest thing is the impact on my mum, my dad, my family,” Cairns said.
Cairns cut short his TV commentary duties with Sky during Wednesday’s play in the New Zealand-West Indies Test in Dunedin to fly back to Auckland and be with his family. But he was defiant, declaring he had nothing to hide and would co-operate with the investigators.
“I haven’t heard from anyone… I haven’t heard from anyone from the ICC, from the anti-corruption unit,” he said. “Honestly, I’m as much in the dark as you are,” he said.
Media in New Zealand reported that Cairns stated that “he felt like he was in recurring nightmare after having last year successfully defended in London’s High Court similar match-fixing allegations made by a prominent (former) Indian administrator… That he felt he had been ‘broad-sided’ by the ICC, given it had had no contact with him despite media reports that an investigator has been in New Zealand for the past four months.”
Cairns said the allegations had impacted significantly on his parents and wife and that he would co-operate with ICC investigators.
“I’m completely open to talk to anybody in any division of the cricketing world. I’m more than happy to speak to anyone,” he said.
He also questioned how the issue had become public before he’d been contacted by the ICC. “That’s the question burning in my head… If this is the ICC anti-corruption unit’s secretive investigation, how has the media got it? We’ve got a million questions.”
Vincent, however, on Thursday issued a statement, confirming that his role was being investigated.
“I wish to let everyone know that I am co-operating with an ongoing ICC 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,” he said further in his statement.
The New Zealand Herald had earlier reported that members of the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit have been in the country over the past four months investigating the participation of some New Zealand players in fixing “in more than one country.”
Cairns, Tuffey and Vincent last played together for ICL franchise Chandigarh Lions in 2008. The franchise was captained by Cairns.