London: Tainted New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent yesterday told a London courtroom that former Indian cricketer Dinesh Mongia was one of the key members of a "Gang of four" that fixed matches during the unsanctioned and now defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL).
The 36-year-old Vincent spoke at the Chris Cairns' perjury trial where he admitted that while playing for Chandigarh Lions in the ICL, he took part in match-fixing on the senior cricketer's insistence. Vincent took the names of New Zealand all-rounder Daryl Tuffey and former India batsman Mongia during the trial.
He said that he had been suffering from mental health problems and depression at the time and "felt good to be part of a gang". Mongia, however, denied the allegations levelled against him by Vincent. "What he (Vincent) said is incorrect. I was not involved in any match-fixing. I played for the Chandigarh Lions but I don't know what the New Zealanders (Cairns, Tuffey and Vincent) were doing," Mongia told PTI today when contacted in Chandigarh.
The 38-year-old Mongia had played 57 ODIs and 1 T20 International for India in his six-year international career with most notable achievement being a member of the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup team. Mongia was in fact suspended by ICL during their 2008 edition due to disciplinary reasons which were not disclosed.
The Punjab left-hander then slipped out of the radar as he did not get amnesty by the BCCI when all other players came back into the fold. "I was under direct orders from Chris Cairns to get involved in fixing," said Vincent, who claimed Cairns promised him USD 50,000 per game to under-perform.
Former New Zealand captain Cairns denied the charges facing him. The charges relate to a libel case that Cairns, 45, brought against now suspended IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, in March 2012. Cairns had successfully sued Modi for £1.4 million (USD 2.14 million) after being accused of match-fixing on Twitter in January 2010, but now faces serious allegations that he had not spoken the truth during the case.
Vincent told the court about an incident where an unknown Indian man offered money and women luring him into throwing matches, which he claimed to have rejected.