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Former cricket star Cairns wins libel case against ex-IPL chief Modi

updated 3:38 PM EDT, Mon March 26, 2012
Chris Cairns returns to the London High Court during the eight-day libel hearing against Lalit Modi.
Chris Cairns returns to the London High Court during the eight-day libel hearing against Lalit Modi.
  • Chris Cairns wins libel action against former IPL chief Lalit Modi
  • Modi had accused the former New Zealand captain of match fixing
  • Cairns awarded costs and $143,500) damages in London High Court
  • Mahela Jayawardene rescues Sri Lanka in Galle Test against England

(CNN) -- Former New Zealand cricket star Chris Cairns won a libel action in London Monday against ex-Indian Premier League (IPL) chief Lalit Modi, who had used Twitter to accuse him of match fixing.

Modi, the driving force behind the IPL, must play the former Kiwi captain £90,000 ($143,500) and his costs of £400,000 ($638,000). The figures do not include his own legal bill.

Cairns, 41, took Modi to London High Court over an "unequivocal allegation" of match fixing on Modi's Twitter blog in January 2010.

The allegation was also published on the website Cricinfo, but later withdrawn after a complaint by Cairns.

Modi, who was suspended as chairman of the IPL in 2010, refused to apologize, claiming his allegations were true.

He took to Twitter again Monday to declare: "I have seen the judgment. All I want to say at the moment is that we are appealing the judgment."

For Cairns, the ruling came as a "great relief," saying the allegations had undermined his achievements of scoring over 3,000 runs and 200 wickets in Test cricket.

Today's verdict lifts a dark cloud that has been over me for the past two years
Chris Cairns

"Today's verdict lifts a dark cloud that has been over me for the past two years," he said in a statement.

Mr Justice Bean, who heard the case without a jury, said that Modi had "singularly failed" to provide any credible evidence that Cairns was involved in match fixing.

"It is obvious that an allegation that a professional cricketer is a match fixer goes to the core attributes of his personality and, if true entirely destroys his reputation for integrity," he said in awarding the damages.

Cairns captained the Chandigarh Lions in three competitions in the Indian Cricket League (ICL), which was a rival competition to the IPL.

Modi's accusations related to the second and third of these competitions in 2008.

Meanwhile in Test action Monday, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene scored an unbeaten 168 to rescue his side against England in Galle.

Sri Lanka slumped to 15 for three wickets on the opening day of the series, but Jayawardene saw them to 298 for eight by the close.

Cairns' old team are struggling against South Africa in the third Test in Wellington.

South African paceman Vernon Philander became the fastest man in 116 years to reach 50 Test wickets as New Zealand avoided the follow-on by just one run.

The Kiwis made 275 in their first innings in reply to South Africa's 474-9 declared.

South Africa, battling to take of the top spot in the world rankings from England were 75 without loss by the close of the fourth day.


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