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Vincent ex-wife testifies against Cairns

Chris Cairns arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court Getty Images

The ex-wife of Lou Vincent, the disgraced former New Zealand cricketer, has told Southwark Crown Court in London that Chris Cairns was "very confident" that he would get away with match-fixing because "everyone was doing it in India".

Cairns, who denies two counts of perjury and perverting the course of justice, also told other players that they would "never play cricket again" unless they agreed to take part in fixing, according to testimony from Eleanor Riley, who was married to Vincent until the couple's divorce in 2012.

Riley was recalling a conversation with Cairns in a restaurant in Hale, near Manchester, in 2008, when her ex-husband was playing for Lancashire and Cairns for Nottinghamshire.

After raising her concerns with Cairns about Vincent's activities, whom she said had a "tendency to talk to anyone who listened" she said she was also reassured by Cairns' wife, Mel, whom she had met for the first time that evening.

Orlando Pownall QC, Cairns' defence lawyer, put it to Mrs Riley that she been mistaken in her recollection of the conversation with someone she had apparently just met, and suggested she was "infected" by alcohol. Mrs Riley, however, pointed out that she had just eaten a five-course meal. "When I've had a large meal it doesn't matter how much I drink, I'm as clear as a bell."

Asked by Sacha Wass, QC, the crown prosecutor, whether she had any reason to lie about the conversation with Cairns, Mrs Riley replied: "No, not at all. I certainly wouldn't come to a perjury trial to lie."

She added that she and Vincent had not separated on good terms, and when asked if she had any reason to support her ex-husband, she replied: "None at all."

Her first exposure to match-fixing had come in April 2008 when Vincent rang her in tears, claiming that Cairns had asked him to match-fix but that he hadn't been able to follow through.

"He said he had been approached by a man with a suitcase in Abu Dhabi. He [Vincent] said he refused, and told me that part of the training was how to handle situations like this - being approached for match-fixing."

Five days later, however, Mrs Riley claimed that Vincent had changed his story. "He was crying. He told me that he had lied, that he had taken the money for the match-fixing. He told me that he had stuffed a game up. He just hadn't played how he was supposed to play.

"He said that he was working with Chris - Chris Cairns."

Vincent had previously testified that he had been "under direct orders from Chris Cairns to get involved in fixing" and that he had on one occasion been threatened with a cricket bat after failing to fulfil his side of the deal.

Prior to giving her evidence, Mrs Riley was given assurances by the court that she would not be charged by police for her knowledge of the money that Vincent had received for match-fixing. However, this was not part of an immunity deal for her to give evidence.

She did claim, however, that Vincent had given his evidence in order to escape charges, adding that the ICC had written him "a letter to stop him from going to jail" in exchange for coming clean with the "big names". Riley also agreed with Pownall that Vincent "hated" Cairns, because he believed he owed him money.

The trial continues.