Ponting, McCullum to appear at Cairns trial

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Shukriya Pakistan

Former New Zealand captain Chris Cairns appeared before a London court on Monday accused of lying during a match-fixing libel action.

The 45-year-old faces charges of perjury and perverting the course of justice, which he denies, regarding a libel case he brought against Lalit Modi, the founder of the Indian Premier League (IPL), in March 2012.

Cairns successfully sued Modi for £90,000 ($136,600, 121,700 euros) after being accused of match-fixing on Twitter in January 2010, but now faces allegations that he lied during the case.

Southwark Crown Court heard that former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, current New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum and former Black Caps skipper Daniel Vettori will be called to give evidence during the trial.

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The perjury charge states that Cairns, from Auckland, “wilfully made a statement … which you knew to be false, namely that he had never, ever cheated at cricket and nor would he ever contemplate such a thing”.

Cairns, a New Zealand great, captained the Chandigarh Lions in three editions of the Indian Cricket League, the precursor to the IPL, in 2007 and 2008.

The allegations that were made by Modi refer to the second and third of those competitions, which took place between March and April 2008 and October and November 2008.

The charge of perverting the course of justice regards an allegation that Cairns induced fellow cricketer Lou Vincent to provide a false witness statement during a Skype conversation.

Also appearing at court was barrister Andrew Fitch-Holland, 49, who denies one count of perverting the course of justice.

A panel of 16 jurors, who will be sworn in on Wednesday, was told that the trial is expected to last six and a half weeks.

The court will hear from around 50 witnesses, which will also include ex-Warwickshire bowler Shane Bond, former Middlesex all-rounder Kyle Mills and former Test match umpire Steve Davis.

A big-hitting all-rounder, Cairns played in 62 Tests for New Zealand and is one of the few players to have achieved the double of 200 wickets and 3,000 runs. He was named one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 2000.

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