When the Chris Cairns' perjury trial starts in London tonight, cricket's highest ranking officials down to fans in the sports most far flung reaches will hang on every word of evidence as it unravels.
Custodians of the game know the trial of the former Black Caps allrounder has the potential to be explosive.
Careers, reputations, and credibility are on the line.
Last year the 45-year-old was charged by London's Metropolitan Police with perjury, stemming from his successful defamation case in 2012 against former Indian Premier League boss Lalit Modi.
Cairns objected to a 2010 tweet from Mr Modi that alleged that he was involved in match-fixing during the 2008 season of the Indian Cricket League (ICL), while captain of the Chandigarh Lions. Cairns has always vehemently denied the allegations.
Now Cairns is accused of lying during that trial when he made a statement that he had never cheated at cricket nor would he ever contemplate it.
In December 2013 Cairns, along with two fellow former Black Caps Lou Vincent and Daryl Tuffey, was named in international media reports as being subject to an International Cricket Council (ICC) investigation over allegations of match-fixing.
Cairns was later interviewed by the ICC's anti-corruption and security unit, the ACSU.
Tuffey has repeatedly denied any involvement in match-fixing. Vincent has since confessed to several counts of fixing and is expected to be called as a witness during the perjury trial.
New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White will appear as a witness, as will Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum. A number of other high-profile former players are also expected to give evidence.
Until now McCullum and Vincent have had to be restrained in what they say.
What unfolds over the course of the next few weeks could have huge implications on the sport.
It will be closely monitored by the ICC, which has so far not charged anyone in relation to the evidence provided by disgraced former Black Cap Lou Vincent.
An ICC spokesman would not confirm whether any ACSU investigators had been called as witnesses but said its anti-corruption and security unit had fully cooperated with the Metropolitan Police.
Cairns' co-defendant Andrew Fitch-Holland is on trial charged with perverting the course of justice in relation to the libel case. The London-based barrister gave evidence on Cairns' behalf at the 2012 trial.
If Cairns is acquitted, it is likely Modi's legal team will pursue a civil claim, because the burden of proof in civil cases generally has a lower threshold than in criminal.
Modi filed a civil claim of fraud in November last year to have the 2012 judgement set aside. He is seeking to recover damages and legal costs.
Modi's lawyer said his client would not be appearing as a witness and would not be at court.
The trial at London's Crown Court in Southwark is set to run for four weeks. It could be another week before evidence is given, with jurors to be sworn in over the course of the first two days before legal arguments and opening remarks.
- February 2006: Chris Cairns retires from international cricket
- 2007: Cairns joins the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL). Captains the Chandigarh Lions in 2007 and 2008 in the ICL, a team which includes former Black Caps team-mates Lou Vincent and Daryl Tuffey.
- 2008: Cairns has his contract terminated after three games of the third edition of the ICL. Officials said the reason was his failure to disclose an injury.
- 2008: Cairns plays for Nottinghamshire in the English Twenty20 cup competition before retiring from cricket at the end of 2008.
- January 2010: Former Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi alleges on Twitter that Cairns was involved in match-fixing during the 2008 season of the ICL, while captain of the Chandigarh Lions.
- March 2012: Cairns successfully sues Modi for libel. He wins $174,000 in damages and $775,000 in court costs. The circumstances of Cairns' exit from the now defunct ICL in 2008 is a major focus of the libel case.
- December 2013: Cairns, along with two fellow former Black Caps Lou Vincent and Daryl Tuffey, are named in international media reports as being subject to an International Cricket Council (ICC) investigation over allegations of match-fixing. Soon after, Vincent and Tuffey publicly say they are co-operating with investigators while Cairns complains he is being "kept in the dark". Tuffey has repeatedly denied any involvement in match-fixing.
- March 2014: London based barrister Andrew Fitch-Holland, who gave evidence on Cairns' behalf at the 2012 trial, is arrested by London's Metropolitan Police under suspicion of perverting the course of justice in relation to the libel case.
- 27 March 2014: Cairns confirms that British police have finally contacted him over allegations of match fixing.
- 14 May 2014: Britain's Telegraph newspaper reports that former Black Cap Lou Vincent has provided the ICC's anti-corruption unit "with a treasure trove of information about matches which were targeted for spot-fixing and the names of players" involved.
- May 2014: In the days following, British media publish excerpts of leaked confidential statements from Vincent and current New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum. McCullum's sworn evidence is that "Player X" approached him in India, then England, in 2008 to fix.
- 30 May 2014: Cairns returns from London after being interviewed by the Metropolitan Police, the England and Wales Cricket Board and the ICC's anti-corruption unit. Cairns says it is extraordinary that Brendon McCullum took three years to report a conversation in which he claims Cairns tried to involve him in match-fixing.
- July 2014: Lou Vincent stuns the cricketing world by admitting to fixing while at the Chandigarh Lions in 2008, then in the England Counties scene, and during Auckland Aces matches in the 2012 Champions League in South Africa. Hours later Vincent is banned for life by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
- 25 September 2014: Cairns is formally charged by the Metropolitan Police for perjury relating to his 2012 libel trial with Lalit Modi. At the same time London barrister Andrew Fitch-Holland is charged with one count of perverting the course of justice. New Zealand Cricket says the perjury charges laid against Cairns are separate to the match-fixing investigation being carried out by the ICC.
- January 2015: At a plea and case management hearing Cairns and Andrew Fitch-Holland plead not guilty to their respective charges.