New Delhi: On the second day of his libel action against suspended Indian Premier League (IPL) chief Lalit Modi, former New Zealand player Chris Cairns faced allegations of corruption made by his former Indian Cricket League (ICL) team-mates of Chandigarh Lions.
On a day when the court hearing lasted close to eight hours, Roger Thwaites QC, representing Modi, accused Cairns of conspiring with former India player Dinesh Mongia to "put pressure on younger players to underperform". Also the New Zealander was questioned about the money he received for his work for a diamond trading company prior to the third season of the ICL.
Cairns was "angry" and "sad" over the accusations that have been made against him after he sued Modi over his tweet in 2010, where the former IPL commissioner claimed Cairns was involved in match-fixing during his stint in the ICL.
Chandigarh bowler Rajesh Sharma had raised concerns about match-fixing during ICL-2, the court heard, but Cairns and Mongia told him to either stay quiet or face the axe; however, Cairns denied having such a conversation.
Gaurav Gupta, another player from the Chandigarh Lions, alleged that Mongia told him that Cairns would give him money for fixing matches. Gupta said he was once asked to score five or less runs and that Cairns told him to "get out now". Once again, Cairns denied the allegation, saying, "I would never instruct anyone to do that."
Amit Uniyal, a bowler, said he was asked to "bowl loose balls" if he wants to stay in the side. Cairns denied that as well.
About the money Cairns received from the diamond firm Vijay Dimon, the Kiwi said the company is run by family friends and regretted they have been dragged into this.
Cairns' contract was terminated after three matches of the ICL-3, after he failed to disclose an injury. Mongia also left the ICL franchise Chandigarh Lions at the same time.
"You have drawn suspicion upon yourself," Thwaites said. "You must be aware that to take large payments immediately before a tournament in a country where match-fixing is rife invites suspicion?"