Brendon McCullum blames ICC for Cairns’ acquittal

Former Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum has used one of the biggest platforms in cricket — a speech at Lord’s — to say he stands by the match-fixing allegations he made against former teammate Chris Cairns.

Cairns was found not guilty at a trial last year in which McCullum was the trial’s biggest witness.

McCullum was off the pitch but still on the attack at Lord’s, and didn’t appear to be afraid to re-litigate the trial.

“I think it appropriate, standing here at the home of cricket, to confirm that I stand by everything said in my statements and the evidence I gave at the Southwark Crown Court,” he said.

Cairns was found not guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice late last year — and by extension, he was found not guilty of match-fixing.

McCullum was the key witness who gave evidence against his former hero.

“I did not initially report Cairns’ approaches to me. As I said in the witness box when under cross-examination, it’s not easy ‘ratting’ on someone I regarded as a mate. And frankly, I was scared and I felt completely out of my depth,” he said. […]

Throughout much of that period the spectre of the allegations of match-fixing by Chris Cairns hung over me.”

And it may not sound too fierce — but cut through the diplomatic speak and McCullum had a sizeable crack at cricket’s most powerful body.

“If we are to get rid of the scourge of match-fixing, a robust governing body is essential. I think players deserve better from the ICC [International Cricket Council],” McCullum said.

“I am very surprised by what I perceive to be a casual approach to gathering evidence. I was reporting two approaches by a former international star of the game.

“I was not asked to elaborate on anything I said and I signed a statement that was essentially nothing more than a skeleton outline.”

Blaming the International Cricket Council for failing to take him seriously and putting his credibility on the line, it was a feather-ruffler of a speech that earned McCullum a standing ovation.

It is the most candid McCullum has been about Cairns and the trial since it all ended — and it’s especially significant because he did so in a speech about his biggest, most profound cricketing moments and that he chose Lord’s, the home of cricket, to do so.

There were only losers because of the lackadaisical approach by the ICC.  And the major loser is the cricket fan.  There have been a number of results over recent years that I’ve not been able to enjoy as much as I would like simply because you can no longer assume they were achieved honestly.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.