Vincent claims he was lead player in fixing matches for ICL team Lions

Sport360 staff 07:37 13/10/2015
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  • Switch hit: Vincent says Cairns did not pay him the money that was promised.

    Former New Zealand opener Lou Vincent admitted he was involved in match fixing but claims he was acting under “direct orders” from his captain, a court has heard.

    Retired Vincent, 36, said his former leader and “role model” Chris Cairns convinced him to take part in fixing while they were both playing for the Chandigarh Lions in India. He described Cairns as “the main player” for the New Zealand national side when he started playing for them in around 2001.

    “I was a young player who watched Chris Cairns play for New Zealand years before making the team,” he added. “He was the biggest icon player for me growing up and watching New Zealand play.”

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    Giving evidence at Southwark Crown Court in London yesterday where Cairns is on trial for perjury, Vincent said: “I was under direct orders from Chris Cairns to get 
    involved in fixing.”

    Vincent said he had a “meltdown” when he was dropped from the team in 2007. He told the jury he suffered from depression and mental health issues and began taking cannabis. “It was my heart and my life, it (being dropped) hurt my heart,” he added. 

    In 2008 Vincent signed up to play with the Chandigarh Lions, captained by Cairns. He said he turned down an offer of cash and a prostitute from an Indian man to get involved in fixing but when he told Cairns what had happened he rep-lied: “You work for me now.”

    “I was under Chris’ wing and now never have to worry about money again,” he added.

    Cairns allegedly agreed to pay Vincent $50,000 (Dh183,635) per game to underperform. Vincent told the jury he deliberately underperformed in four games in 2008.

    In 2010 Cairns was accused by the chairman of the Indian Premier League, Lalit Modi, on Twitter of match-fixing while he was playing for the Lions in the Indian Cricket League two years earlier. 

    He brought a libel action against Modi and successfully sued him for £1.4m. But he had been involved in match-fixing and lied about it under oath, the court was told. His co-accused Andrew Fitch-Holland, a barrister and his “lead adviser”, allegedly approached Mr Vincent to get him to lie in the libel case.

    Cairns, 45, is charged with perjury and perverting the course of justice, while Fitch-Holland is accused of perverting the course of justice. They both deny the charges.

    Vincent described Cairns as the “orchestrator and the recruit for fixing at the Lions” and said several other players, including Daryl Tuffey and Dinesh Mongia, were also involved. He claims he was not paid the money he had been promised but was “too intimidated” by Cairns to confront him about it.

    Vincent told the jury Cairns threatened him with a cricket bat after he “messed up” a fixed game.

    He said his former captain was “fuming” and summoned him to his hotel room after the match on April 15, 2008. “I was shaking and nervous because I knew I had stuffed up what was my job for that day,” he added.

    Vincent continued: “Chris walked over, grabbed a bat and started twisting his hands, he went to hold the bat above my head and that’s when it was ‘oh dear, this could be it’. It was a harrowing experience really.”

    Cairns allegedly told Vincent he had “cost him millions of dollars”.

    “He accused me of going behind his back and working for someone else and deliberately going against his orders,” Vincent added.

    He said he was “distraught” and left the room in tears.