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'Verdict lifts a dark cloud over me'

Press Trust Of India
Mar 27, 2012 at 12:33pm IST

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Wellington: Relieved after winning a libel suit against the axed IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi, who had accused him of match-fixing, former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns said the London High Court's verdict has lifted a "dark cloud" that has been over him for the past two years.

Modi will have to pay 90,000 pounds (app Rs 73 lakh) in damages to the all-rounder but the embattled administrator has decided to appeal against the judgement.

"Today's verdict lifts a dark cloud that has been over me for the past two years. I feel mixed emotions. Firstly sadness that I should ever have had to put myself, my friends and my family through this because of one man's misdirected allegations," Cairns said in a statement on Monday.

'Verdict lifts a dark cloud over me'

A London court gave the ruling that Modi's match-fixing accusations against Cairns were baseless.

"But I also feel great joy because my past career has come through unscathed because I had the courage to stand up in the highest court to defend my name. Lastly I feel great relief that I am able to walk into any cricket ground in the world with my head held high," he added.

Cairns was captain of Chandigarh Lions in the Indian Cricket League but his contract was terminated in October 2008, during the third edition of the tournament.

The official reason given was that Cairns had breached the terms of his contract by failing to disclose an ankle injury.

In his capacity as IPL commissioner at that point, Modi had made these allegations on twitter in 2010 while justifying the decision to keep Cairns out of the league.

Cairns, 41, then sued Modi, stating that "the claim was untrue and therefore libellous, and had damaged his reputation."

After hearing the arguments from both sides in a nine-day trial, Justice David Bean of the London High Court ruled in favour of Cairns.

"It was a real rollercoaster, almost two and half years, so it's a long time and a long time to be on the outer," Cairns said.

"When he made the tweet he was at the height of his power in world cricket - probably the most powerful man in world cricket so you know along with that comes responsibility," Cairns told the ONE News.

Justice Bean, who was hearing the case without a jury, awarded Cairns 400,000 pounds in interim costs, which Modi will have to pay within 28 days.

The judge said Modi had "singularly failed" to provide any reliable evidence that Cairns was involved in match-fixing or spot-fixing, or even strong grounds for suspicion of cheating.

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