New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, testifying as a witness in the Chris Cairns’ perjury case, has revealed the shocking details of the approach made by his former teammate to lure him into spot-fixing, cricket.com.au reports. The 34-year-old acknowledged that he should have reported the same earlier but said that he was "scared to come forward".
The ongoing trial at the Southwark Crown Court in London which is examining whether Cairns’ made false statements during the successful defamation case he took against former IPL boss Lalit Modi, has thrown up new twists in the match-fixing case, with Lou Vincent, who is already serving a life ban from cricket, claiming that he was lured into match-fixing by Cairns. He also said that Dinesh Mongia and Darryl Tuffey were also involved in the same.
McCullum has now come up with further evidence against Cairns by revealing the intricate details of how he was first approached by the former all-rounder while he was spending time with former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting as the duo were preparing for the inaugural edition of the IPL with their side Kolkata Knight Riders.
McCullum said that Cairns had phoned him up saying that he had a "business proposition" to discuss. Upon reaching the hotel where Cairns was staying, McCullum was asked whether he knew "anything about spot fixing" to which the wicketkeeper-batsman replied in the negative.
According to McCullum, Cairns went on to explain how it worked, even using diagrams that were “quite thorough”. He added that Cairns had said that "everybody is doing it, all the big boys are doing it", but not Daniel Vettori and Jacob Oram as they "wouldn't have the balls to take it on".
Revealing his initial thoughts, McCullum said: “I was shocked. I sort of thought he may have been joking but was then quickly aware he wasn't joking. It's a hard emotion to explain, you kind of feel it was a daring adventure as well. I wish I had said no straight away, but I couldn't comprehend that Chris would put me in a position where he'd risk my future in the game."
As for Cairns reasons for approaching McCullum, Cairns had said, “ (McCullum) was the sort of player and the sort of personality to take it on". McCullum further added after leaving the hotel and returning to his place, Cairns had called up once again to confirm "if I had changed my mind – I said no" to which Cairns responded, "remember this conversation never happened".
McCullum regrets not reporting Cairns earlier
Revealing the reasons for not reporting the approach made by Cairns to the concerned officials earlier, McCullum said that Cairns was someone who he considered as a friend and also added that he wasn’t aware of the rules regarding the matter at that time.
"I didn't want it to be true. He (Cairns) was someone I still considered a friend. I didn't want to rat on him, for want of a better term,” McCullum said. I felt he (Cairns) was a hero and I didn't feel threatened by him or his approaches. I thought I could deal with it without creating an issue. I wasn't as understanding of the rules as I am now."
Cross-examined by Cairns's lawyer Orlando Pownall QC, who said, "I'm going to suggest you haven't told the unvarnished truth,” McCullum replied: "To my knowledge I have."
If found guilty of charges of making falsified oath, Cairns could face up to seven years in prison.Published 16 Oct 2015, 10:15 IST