Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Steve Pearson, a close friend of Lou Vincent, told Southwark Crown Court that the former New Zealand batsman was desperate to confess his involvement in match-fixing.
Pearson added that Vincent was “vulnerable” and a “prime candidate” to be approached as he was in a “bad space” when he was dropped by New Zealand in 2007.
When Vincent was offered the opportunity to play for the Chandigarh Lions in the Indian Cricket League (ICL) in 2008, Pearson revealed that the 36-year-old was treating it as a “fresh start”.
“He couldn’t get out of bed some days,” Pearson said. “He was looking at it as a fresh start. Mentally he was really struggling, he was looking at people for direction.
“When he left [for India], he was really vulnerable. He was a prime candidate to be approached.”
It wasn’t until three years later when he was playing in England that Vincent told Pearson that Chris Cairns had allegedly approached him to fix matches during the ICL.
“He got to the point where he needed to tell someone. It was a release for him,” Pearson said.
After having drinks, Pearson recalled how Vincent told him all the details about the approach in a 10-hour confession.
“That night he told me all about match-fixing.” Pearson said. “He had taken instructions from Chris Cairns when he goes out to bat, to get a certain score and then get out.”
When asked by Orlando Pownall QC, who is representing Cairns, how he felt when Vincent told him about the entire match-fixing scandal, Pearson conceded that he was “pretty shocked and disappointed and gutted and then really angry”.
Pearson also told the court that Vincent had met someone near Hove after picking him up from Heathrow Airport while he was playing county cricket for Sussex.
When meeting the individual near Hove, a bag was placed in the boot of Vincent’s car, which Pearson later learned was full of money.
The trial continues.