New Zealand cricket great Chris Cairns believes he can speak candidly about the pain of the match fixing allegations brought against him as he has survived multiple health problems. The former all-rounder spoke publicly for the first time on Monday about the lawsuits to clear his name from 2012 to 2015. Interviewed on a podcast by media company NZME, Cairns said the high-profile trials had consumed his life and that he was “caring for anger”. and hostility” after his credibility was put under scrutiny and his career was effectively destroyed – though he was never found guilty.
The 51-year-old’s attitude has changed since he suffered a heart attack in August last year that left him on a ventilator.
He then became paralyzed from the waist down after suffering a stroke during one of four open-heart surgeries.
In February, he announced that he had colon cancer.
Canberra-based Cairns told the podcast that the health battles had a silver lining — it helped cleanse his mind of the dark feelings that had been haunting him since 2015.
“I had a lot of anger and frustration, but I wore it in silence. I dug my hole in Australia and went on with life… but I was angry,” he said.
“But now, after the past seven months, it’s so far in my thinking. It’s not a priority. It seems like a different time, a different place.
“Maybe it (the match-fixing processes) at that time built the steel in me that allowed me to survive what I’ve been through – because at the time it was about survival. I was on my own, cast as the villain, that was my role.
“Building that resilience, who’s to say that wasn’t a factor that helped me fight.”
In March 2012, Cairns successfully sued former Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi for libel after Modi claimed on Twitter that the New Zealander had been involved in match fixing in 2008.
Cairns won costs and damages.
The Metropolitan Police later announced charges of perjury and disrupting the course of justice against Cairns as a result of the Modi libel trial.
It put him under the international torch before the London High Court for eight weeks at the end of 2015. He would eventually be acquitted.
Despite losing all cricket-related work in the wake of a lawsuit he described as “appalling”, Cairns says he has no regrets taking action against Modi.
“No, you have to stand up for what you believe. Lalit did his thing by firing that[tweet],” Cairns said.
“He was the most influential name in the game of cricket and its unintended consequence set things in motion. If you had asked me that question last July, I know there would have been a different answer.”
Father-of-five Cairns said he holds no grudges against former international teammates Brendon McCullum and Lou Vincent, who were among those forced to testify against him.
The son of another former international all-rounder, Lance Cairns is seventh among New Zealand’s Test wicket-takers (218) and 13th among run-scorers (3320).
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