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Modi decision a relief for Cairns, who still faces uncertain future

Opinion Piece

The decision of former Indian Premier League boss Lalit Modi to drop his case against former Black Cap cricketer Chris Cairns will be welcomed by those who hope it will finally bring a merciful end to the whole sorry affair.

Modi kept mum on whether he would pursue the civil case for $3.3 million of damages after Cairns was acquitted on a perjury charge in London last year. That charge arose out of an earlier case when Cairns won a civil case for libel against Modi, who had accused him of being a cheat.

Modi has given no official reason for dropping his effort but there is speculation he could not obtain the witnesses. If that is the case it will be galling for the billionaire, who would no doubt like to have proved he was right all along and recover some of the almost $950,000 he had to pay Cairns after the original libel case.

In the words of his lawyer, Modi has decided to draw a line under this matter.

While the decision will be a huge relief for Cairns, he faces an immense struggle to rebuild some sort of a career — having, in his own words, been made bankrupt by the court charges and loss of earnings.

Cairns, who has moved his family to Canberra, faces an uncertain future — although Sky Sport said at the weekend that he could apply for commentary work. While he has been acquitted of the perjury charge, a stain remains in the form of the evidence given against him by fellow cricketers, most notably Brendon McCullum.

The fall from grace is large because he and his father Lance would be two of the most popular cricketers to represent this country, with their swashbuckling, positive style. Lance Cairns helped to restore the image and popularity of the game during the early stages of limited overs cricket that has now developed to the very popular T20 form of the game. Chris Cairns became one of the game’s great all-rounders, creating one of the most potent father and son contributions to New Zealand sport.

Most people would believe Chris Cairns has suffered enough. It is time to move on.