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Chris Cairns 'ordered me to fix cricket matches' Lou Vincent tells court

Published 12/10/2015

New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns denies perjury and perverting the course of justice
New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns denies perjury and perverting the course of justice

A former New Zealand cricketer admitted he was involved in match fixing but claims he was acting under "direct orders" from his captain, a court has heard.

Retired cricketer Lou 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."

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

Mr 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. "I was mentally unstable and went to get professional help."

In 2008 Mr 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 replied: "You work for me now."

"Immediately I went to Chris Cairns and told him what had happened," Mr Vincent said. "The deal, the room, the woman and being offered the money and how I went to report what had just happened.

"Chris was obviously interested, then there was a pause for a short period of time.

"And then he turned to me, looked at me and said 'you did the right thing' and 'that's good cover, right you're working for me now'."

Cairns allegedly agreed to pay Mr Vincent $50,000 (£32,500) per game to underperform.

Mr 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 Chandigarh Lions in the Indian Cricket League two years earlier.

He brought a libel action against Mr Modi and successfully sued him for £1.4 million.

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, from Auckland, is charged with perjury and perverting the course of justice, while Fitch-Holland, from Burton Road, Manchester, is accused of perverting the course of justice.

They both deny the charges.

Mr Vincent said he was initially shocked when Cairns told him about fixing.

He told the jury he was "mentally unstable" at the time and "felt good to be part of a gang".

"It completely caught me off guard. I didn't expect to hear that," he said.

"In a funny way when he (Cairns) did say 'that's good cover you will be working for me' I felt a sense of belonging and during that time was still going through mental health problems and depression stage."

"I was under Chris's wing and now never have to worry about money again," he added.

Mr 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.

Mr 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.

"I was very anxious and worried about what was going to happen."

Mr 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'.

"I had clearly messed up his fix for that day. It was a harrowing experience really."

Cairns allegedly told Mr 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," Mr Vincent added.

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

Mr Vincent tried to recruit his former Lancashire team-mate, England cricketer Mal Loye, to help fix a match in 2008.

Cairns allegedly told him to approach Mr Loye to underperform in a game between Lancashire and Durham to "earn his trust back".

"He said I want you to speak to Mal Loye and get him involved in underperforming as well," Mr Vincent said.

"I said (to Loye) listen you're not doing well, I know people who can pay us if we underperform."

He added: "Mal was taken aback a bit and the conversation did finish pretty quick.

"He said he would have to think about it."

Mr Vincent said at the time he was "on a high" and "felt good" about his role in fixing.

But now he claims he is "completely ashamed and embarrassed and gutted, absolutely gutted".

He said he confessed to the authorities in 2012 and added: "I had made the decision to do it with the right support from my family."

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