Cairns clears name after claims of match-rigging

The former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns was awarded damages of £90,000 yesterday after winning a libel case over allegations of match-fixing.

A judge at London's High Court said the deposed Indian Premier League commissioner, Lalit Modi, had "singularly failed" to provide any reliable evidence against Cairns after claiming in a Twitter post in January 2010 that the Kiwi had been barred from the IPL due to "his past record in match-fixing".

"Today's verdict lifts a dark cloud that has been over me for the past two years," Cairns said in a statement. "I feel great relief that I am able to walk into any cricket ground in the world with my head held high."

Cairns, 41, who played 62 Tests and 215 one-day matches for New Zealand in a 17-year career, gave evidence that Modi's claims had turned his achievements in cricket "to dust" and put a strain on his marriage.

"It is obvious that an allegation that a professional cricketer is a match-fixer goes to the core attributes of his personality and, if true, entirely destroys his reputation for integrity," Justice David Bean said. "It is ... as serious an allegation as anyone could make against a professional sportsman."

The judge said Modi could appeal against the amount of damages but not the question of liability. Modi was also ordered to pay £400,000 in costs to Cairns' solicitors within 28 days.

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