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Perjury charge for cricketer Cairns

Former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns will appear in court next week to face one count of perjury linked to a libel action he brought in the UK in 2012.

Cairns won £90,000 in damages after he sued Lalit Modi, founder of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament, over an accusation of match-fixing made on Twitter in January 2010.

But the 44-year-old was formally charged with perjury today after attending a central London police station, the Metropolitan Police said.

Cairns, of Clifton Road, Herne Bay, Auckland, will appear at central London's Westminster Magistrates' Court on October 2 alongside b arrister Andrew Fitch-Holland, who is charged with one count of perverting the course of justice.

Fitch-Holland, 49, of Duddenhoe End, Saffron Walden, Essex, is described on his chambers' website as ''lead advisor to former NZ captain Chris Cairns in his libel action against former IPL head Lalit Modi''.

A statement from the Crown Prosecution Service released earlier this month stated: "We can confirm that we have authorised police to charge Chris Cairns with one count of perjury, which arises from a libel trial held in the UK in March 2012.

''We have also authorised police to charge Andrew Fitch-Holland with one count of perverting the course of justice, which arises from actions taken relating to the same trial."

In 2007 and 2008, Cairns captained the Chandigarh Lions in three competitions in the Indian Cricket League (ICL), which flourished briefly before the ascendancy of the IPL.

The allegation made by Modi related to the second and third of these competitions, between March and April 2008 and October and November that year.

A 33-year-old woman and a 36-year-old man also arrested as part of the investigation have been released with no further action taken.

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