Former New Zealand allrounder Chris Cairns has lodged a libel claim with the High Court in London against IPL chairman Lalit Modi. The court confirmed that Cairns made the claim last week but said on Monday it cannot give any more details on the case because Modi has not had time to respond.
Cairns said in a newspaper interview that he was responding to comments by Modi that he had been fired from the rebel Indian Cricket League Twenty20 competition in 2008 because of match-fixing. Cairns said his exit was because of knee problems brought on by a 1,000-kilometer (621-mile) walk to raise funds for a charity honoring his sister.
"Until he retracts what he has said, my name will always be tainted by the 'cheat' label," Cairns told The Daily Telegraph. "Had he really had any concerns about my probity as a sportsman, he could have called me at any time or instructed any of his executives to do the same. He chose not to.
"Instead he chose to make his allegation in public and to repeat it in public. For any doubting Thomases out there, I have never rigged a match."
Cairns was captain of the Chandigarh Lions in the now defunct ICL, which was not sanctioned by the International Cricket Council and was less prestigious than Modi's Indian Premier League. "My knees were shot," the 39-year-old Cairns said. "I couldn't run for a week and a half. I played three games but couldn't bowl. I was nowhere near fit."
Cairns set up a foundation to increase rail safety awareness in New Zealand after his sister died in a train accident in 1993. "I doubt my case against such an important man will cause him to lose much sleep," Cairns said. "But for me it is the center of my universe."