Off The Field

“Cast As The Villain”: Chris Cairns Opens Up On Pain Wrought By Match-Fixing Trials

Written by Abhishek Patil

New Zealand cricket great Chris Cairns feels he can talk candidly about the pain of match-fixing allegations brought against him now that he has survived multiple health scares. The former allrounder spoke publicly for the first time Monday about the court battles to clear his name spanning 2012 to 2015. Interviewed on a podcast hosted by media company NZME, Cairns said the high-profile trials had consumed his life and that he had harboured “anger and animosity” after having his credibility scrutinised and his career effectively shredded — even though he was never found guilty.

The 51-year-old’s attitude has changed since suffering a heart attack last August that placed him on life support.

“I harboured a lot of anger and frustration, but I carried that silently. I dug my hole in Australia and got on with life … but I was angry,” he said.

“But now, after the last seven months, it’s so far down my thinking. It’s not a priority. It seems like another time, another place.

“Maybe during that time it (the match-fixing trials) built up the steel in me that allowed me to survive what I went through – because it was about survival at that time. I was on my own, cast as the villain, that was my role.

“Building that resilience up, who’s to say that wasn’t a contributing factor in helping me fight.”

In March 2012, Cairns successfully sued former Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi for libel, after Modi alleged on Twitter that the New Zealander had been involved in match-fixing in 2008.

Cairns won costs and damages.

About the author

Abhishek Patil