New Zealand news May 20, 2014

Cairns denies corruption allegations

ESPNcricinfo staff

Chris Cairns, the former New Zealand allrounder, has acknowledged that his name has been linked to allegations of corruption and has said allegations against him "are a complete lie."

The recently reported testimonies of Lou Vincent and Brendon McCullum in the ICC's investigation of spot-fixing and match-fixing allegations have both mentioned a Player X in their statements to the anti-corruption and security unit. Cairns won a High Court libel trial in 2012 against Lalit Modi, after the latter accused him of match-fixing.

Following the emergence of Vincent's claims last week, reportedly given as part of a plea-bargain with the ICC, which revealed the scope and scale of the matches implicated, the Daily Mail revealed details of McCullum's testimony where he explained how he was approached in India during the first year of the IPL and then in Worcester during New Zealand's 2008 tour of England by the same player and asked whether he would be interested in fixing cricket matches. McCullum said that player had been a "hero" of his.

"I am aware that Lou Vincent and Brendon McCullum have made a range of allegations against a cricketer dubbed Player X," Cairns said. "It is well known that the ICC/ACSU has been investigating allegations of corruption and my name has been linked by others to these allegations. I am being asked whether I am Player X.

"Based on the limited information I have received during this investigation, I believe it is being alleged that I am that player. These allegations against me are a complete lie."

Cairns had, in April, confirmed that he had had a recent meeting with Scotland Yard investigators but refused to divulge the reasons for the meeting.

New Zealand Cricket reacted angrily to the leak of McCullum's testimony.

"New Zealand Cricket is dismayed that Brendon McCullum's testimony to the International Cricket Council has been leaked to the media," the board said in a statement. "We can confirm that Brendon is not under investigation by the ICC and his testimony has actually been applauded by them. NZC has 100% confidence in our captain and his role in tackling corruption."

McCullum's testimony is part of the ICC's ongoing investigation into allegations of match-fixing and spot-fixing. In December last year, Vincent confirmed that he was involved in an ICC anti-corruption investigation and in February, Vincent reported that he had been approached by an illegal bookmaker during the 2013 Bangladesh Premier League. Vincent is also reported to have told investigators of attempted fixing in England's Twenty20 Cup and Pro40 competitions.