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Ex- Kiwi player Cairns cleared of match-fixing perjury charges

A British jury on Monday cleared former New Zealand cricket captain Chris Cairns of perjury charges over match-fixing in Test cricket.

After a nine-week trial the jury of seven women and five men at Southwark Crown Court in London found Cairns, 45, not guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice.

Charges were brought against Cairns after he sued Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi for libel in 2012 over a 2010 tweet in which the administrator accused him of match-fixing.

The allegations against Cairns resurfaced in December 2013 when the International Cricket Council confirmed it was investigating match-fixing claims involving three former New Zealand internationals.
Cairns, 45, won 90,000 ( 135,000, 128,000 euros) from the libel case, but he was alleged to have lied to the court when he said he had “never, ever cheated at cricket”.

The retired all-rounder was said to have perverted the course of justice by trying to convince fellow cricketer Lou Vincent to provide a false witness statement.

Cairns’ friend and “legal adviser”, barrister Andrew Fitch-Holland, was also cleared of perverting the course of justice.

After 10 hours of deliberations the jury was directed to acquit the lawyer by Mr Justice Sweeney in light of the cricketer’s acquittal.

The pair stood to hear the verdicts with their arms crossed behind their backs, breathing audible sighs of relief as they heard they were cleared.

Cairns beamed and slapped his barrister friend on the back as they left the glass-panelled dock before joining his legal team at the back of the court.

The jury heard evidence from a host of former cricketers including Brendon McCullum and former Australia captain Ricky Ponting. 
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