Wellington: New Zealand cricketing great Chris Cairns said Friday that British police were set to charge him with perjury over match-fixing allegations and vowed to clear his name. Former all-rounder Cairns has acknowledged previously that he is under investigation by British authorities for alleged fixing, but vehemently denied any wrong-doing.
The 44-year-old confirmed prosecutors had told him they intend to charge him with perjury and he would travel to Britain later this month to prove his innocence, New Zealand media reported.
"I'm obviously extremely disappointed, however, at least there will now be an opportunity to face my accusers in an open forum, with some rigour and proper process around that, so that I can clear my name once and for all," he said in a statement cited by Fairfax Media and TVNZ.
Cairns' former team-mate, Lou Vincent, who was banned for life earlier this year, has alleged that a world-famous international dubbed "Player X" lured him into a murky world of corruption that included offers of cash and sex to rig matches.
Cairns himself has said he believes he is the player Vincent was referring to but questioned his accuser's credibility, describing the allegations he faces as "absurd, bizarre and scary".
He retired from international cricket in 2004 after becoming one of only 12 players in Test history to score the all-rounders' double of 200 wickets and 3,000 runs. In 2012, Cairns won Â£90,000 ($146,000) in a libel action against former Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi in London over a tweet alleging he was involved in match-fixing.
"Having been to court before, I know what lies ahead and how gruelling it will be and how tough it is on my family -- but I have nothing to hide and I will do whatever it takes to once again prove my innocence," his statement said. "I will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities, including voluntarily travelling to the UK to face these charges."
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