20 Oct 2015

Vincent's ex-wife gives evidence in Cairns trial

9:22 am on 20 October 2015

Lou Vincent's former wife Eleanor Riley has told the jury in Chris Cairns' perjury trial that he reassured her the cricketers would not get caught fixing games, saying "everybody in India did it."

Chris Cairns

Chris Cairns Photo: AFP / FILE

Cairns, who is on trial at Southwark Crown Court in London accused of lying under oath about match-fixing, has been accused by Vincent of being the chief orchestrator of match-fixing in the 2008 Indian Cricket League.

Mrs Riley told the court that the first time her then husband told her he was working for Cairns was when he rung her crying after a game in India.

She said Vincent told her he had stuffed up a match by hitting a six, losing Cairns a lot of money and making him angry.

"He (Vincent) was upset but also angry, a real mixture. He felt that he should be paid because he was putting everything at risk," Mrs Riley told the court.

The only money Vincent ever saw from Cairns was $US2500 in spending money, even though he claims Cairns asked him to fix for $US50,000 a game.

Match fixers 'being greedy' - Eleanor Riley

The court also heard that that while drinking at a bar with Vincent, Cairns and his wife Mel in Hale, England in 2008, Mrs Riley had told Cairns she was scared Vincent and the others would get caught.

Mrs Riley said that she said to Cairns they were involving too many people and were going to get caught. She said she told Cairns they were being greedy.

She said Cairns reassured her and was confident they would not get found out.

Match fixing signals

Mrs Riley also told the court that Vincent told her the whole team was fixing and that a lot were Indian players. She said Vincent told her "they were threatened by Chris Cairns that if they didn't do fixing he could ensure that their careers wouldn't be good after this."

She also told the court Vincent told her about signs players used on the field to indicate they were fixing, "tapping a hat, making a movement - that was signalled to another player that they were about to play badly."

A shifty phone call

In April 2008, Mrs Riley moved to the UK to be with Vincent when he played for Lancashire that summer.

She told the court that in about May she noticed Vincent "acting shifty" during a phone call and "had a feeling he was talking to Chris because he was trying to edge away from me."

She said she had made him promise he would not entertain the idea of fixing in the UK. She said she never heard Cairns' voice on the other end of the line, but Vincent told her that it was him and that he wanted him to fix a forthcoming game in which the two would play opposite each other.

Eleanor Riley under cross-examination

Under cross-examination by the defence, Mrs Riley told the court Vincent was very concerned about getting caught and what the consequences would be for him.

She said that when they were separating he threatened her, saying he would make sure she did not have the kids if she ever used fixing against him. Mrs Riley said Vincent did not tend to talk to her much about fixing and only did when he was fretting about being found out.

The defence's argument has been that Vincent sacrificed Cairns to save his own skin.

Orlando Pownall QC asked Mrs Riley if Vincent gave evidence to keep himself out if jail. Her answer was "yes."

"He told me that in exchange for letting the ICC know the big name and all other names he'd stay out of jail."

Hale drinks

Mr Pownall also put it to Mrs Riley that she had been very drunk and that the conversation with Cairns at the bar in Hale had never happened.

"Your recollection was infected by the fact you and others had excessive amounts to drink," suggested the defence.

Mrs Riley replied that she had had a five course meal beforehand and the she was "as clear as a bell."

Under re-examination Mrs Riley told the court she had no reason to make up the conversation, "I wouldn't come into a perjury trial to lie," she told the court.

Ponting to take stand via video link from Australia

Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting is the next cricketing star set to take the stand in the trial.

Ponting will appear via video link from Australia.

His evidence follows that of Brendon McCullum last week, when the current Black Caps captain told the court that Cairns approached him in 2008 to try to get him to help match fix.

McCullum said Ponting was with him in a bar in India when Cairns called to invite him to his hotel to discuss a "business proposal".

Ponting is expected to confirm that phone call, and be asked about whether he spoke to McCullum following the meeting with Cairns.

The defence has indicated it does not intend to spend a long time cross examining Ponting.

Former New Zealand cricketers Shane Bond, Andre Adams, Kyle Mills and Lou Vincent have already given evidence for the Crown.

Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori is expected to take the stand this week.

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