A startling revelation has come to the fore and it will definitely create ripples in Indian cricket. Former New Zealand opener Lou Vincent has admitted that he was involved in match-fixing under direct orders from Kiwi all-rounder Chris Cairns.
The Indian Express reported that at Southwark Crown Court in London, where Cairns is on trial for perjury, Vincent said, “I was under direct orders from Chris Cairns to get involved in fixing in India.”
Vincent (36) said his descent into corruption began when he was dropped from the New Zealand team in 2007, and subsequently he suffered a meltdown. “It was my heart and my life, (being dropped) hurt my heart,” he added.
He said he was ‘excited’ to sign a $350,000 contract with the Chandigarh Lions in the ICL, where Cairns was the captain. At that stage of the life, he says, he wasn’t interested in fixing matches.
But shortly after arriving in Chandigarh, things started changing. Vincent said he received a call from an Indian named Varun Gandhi. “He told me he was involved in a cricket bat company,” Vincent told the court.
“We met in his hotel room but there was no equipment in the room,” he said and added there was a woman seated on the bed, and that after 20 minutes he asked if he could use the toilet and Gandhi followed him there, and told him that the woman ‘was available for sex’ and was ‘a present from our company’.
“I left that room knowing it wasn’t a sponsorship deal.” Later, under cross-examination, Vincent admitted that he had, infact, slept with the prostitute during his first contact with Gandhi.
After meeting Gandhi, Vincent said he spoke to his agent who managed a number of other New Zealand cricketers. Vincent told the jury it was because the ICL was unsanctioned by the ICC and didn’t have any formal reporting lines for corruption.
He said he then visited Chris Cairns to talk about what had happened. “Chris was obviously interested and then there was a pause, for a short period of time, then he turned to me and said: “You’ve done the right thing. Right, that’s good cover. You’re working for me now,” recalled Vincent.
Vincent however said he was never paid by Cairns for any of the four games he fixed, but did get US$2500 when on a trip to Dubai with Cairns and Tuffey for an ICL match.
He said that he went innocently to the ICL and that he looked up to the ‘charismatic’ Cairns: “I thought with having a fellow Kiwi in charge of the team, I was going to be looked after… and I’ll never have to worry about money again,” he said.
According to Vincent six members of the Chandigarh Lions were in on the match fixing — Cairns, Vincent and Kiwi fast bowler Daryl Tuffey, and three Indian players including Dinesh Mongia.
Mongia, however, has denied the allegations. “What he (Vincent) said is incorrect. I was not involved in any match-fixing. I played for the Chandigarh Lions but I don’t know what the New Zealanders (Cairns, Tuffey and Vincent) were doing,” Mongia said.