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News

'ICL powerless', Cairns told Adams

Chris Cairns told Andre Adams that the Indian Cricket League was "powerless" to stop match-fixing, according to prosecution evidence given by Adams in the Cairns libel trial at Southwark Crown Court

Chris Cairns outside Southwark Crown Court, London, October 16, 2014

Chris Cairns is alleged to have told Andre Adams that the ICL could not prevent match-fixing  •  PA Photos

Chris Cairns allegedly told the New Zealand players that he attempted to recruit to his match-fixing operation that the Indian Cricket League (ICL) was powerless to stop their actions, according to Andre Adams, the latest witness to give evidence in Cairns' perjury trial in London.
Adams, who was speaking via videolink, played for the ICL franchise, Kolkata Tigers, in the 2008 tournament and alleged during his testimony that Cairns had made the remark during a dinner in India, although he could not recall the actual words used.
"I can remember Chris saying: 'If there was match-fixing, what can they do? How will they get anyone? It is not a sanctioned event," Adams told the court. "I cannot remember the exact words but it was something like 'how will they ever prove it?'"
The prosecution argue that Cairns, who denies two counts of perjury and perverting the course of justice, was so confident of his standing within the game, and among the players he attempted to recruit, that no one would dare to speak out against him.
"For us and beyond he was a leader, certainly one of my heroes," Adams told the court. "He took time out for me when I was struggling in 2006-07 and talked to me about my game. In New Zealand he was certainly a hero but in India he was like a god really."
Adams added that he had subsequently been approached by Lou Vincent at a café in Manchester's Trafford Centre during the summer of 2008. Vincent, who was banned from cricket last year after admitting to match-fixing, reportedly told Adams of an "opportunity".
"You do not have to do it but you can make some money here," Vincent said. "I do not want you to miss out."
Vincent, who admitted in his own testimony earlier in the week that he had been suffering from depression at the time, was, according to Adams, in a "pretty fragile" mental state. Adams added that he had not reported his friend because he feared the consequences of such an action.
"I just went along with it really," Adams said. "I did not feel like it was the time or place to make him feel like he had done a bad thing. Technically our time was up and we were outcasts in internationals ... I just said: 'Okay, whatever, send it through and I will look at it', but I never intended to have a look."
"I felt like if I had reported him ... it might be the straw that broke the camel's back. I did not want to push him to the edge."
Kyle Mills, who also took the stand via videolink on Friday, added that he had been "gobsmacked" when Brendon McCullum, the current New Zealand captain, told him of Cairns' alleged attempt to recruit McCullum to his operation.
McCullum admitted the approach to his then team-mates, Mills and Daniel Vettori, in 2009, who two years later advised him to report it to the ICC's anti-corruption officials following a briefing in Bangladesh.
"I was pretty gobsmacked with that information alone," said Mills. "He [McCullum] and Chris Cairns had met and asked Brendon if he could be involved in spot-fixing and that he himself was involved in it."
Sasha Wass QC, the prosecutor, then asked Mills to clarify whom he had been referring to with the word "himself". Mills replied "Chris Cairns".
Though he admitted to have been "taken aback" by the revelation, Mills said that he had left the situation in McCullum's hands. His brother, Heath Mills, is the chief executive of the New Zealand Players Association, but Kyle Mills said he did not divulge the information to him either.
Under cross-examination by Orlando Pownall QC for Cairns, Mills said that Daryl Tuffey, another player whose name has been linked to Cairns' alleged operation, was not a cricketer about whom he could remember anything suspicious.
"Not in those games. I have enough to worry and look out for in playing for your country. Nothing was suspected of Daryl in those games."
The case has been adjourned until 9.30am on Monday.