Sydney: Indian Premier League boss Lalit Modi on Friday defended the IPL"s decision not to include Chris Cairns in the auction over alleged match fixing allegations, and said that the former New Zealand all rounder is free to sue him.
Hitting back at the Kiwi all rounder, Modi said: “Cairns is welcome to sue me if he wants."
Modi rejected Cairns application to feature in the auction for IPL-3 because of his dismissal from the rival Indian Cricket League in 2008 over alleged match fixing charges.
Cairns said: “The allegation made by Lalit Modi that I have been involved in match fixing is scandalous and wholly untrue. For him to circulate such a falsehood around the world is outrageous. Modi"s allegation has caused me huge personal distress and professional damage."
“I cannot allow these slurs to ruin my future and I have instructed my solicitors, Collyer Bristow LLP, to bring proceedings for defamation against Modi," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted him, as saying.
Earlier Modi had said on Cairns: “Legally you may be correct. But he has a stigma around him for the same and as such the governing council has decided to withdraw his name from the auction.
“Our tournament is by invitation only and as such we take issues at anything to do with match-fixing very seriously. Similarly Dinesh Mongia will not be allowed. We have zero tolerance for anything to do with the subject and as such will not like to take any chances if we don"t have to."
Cairns and Mongia were sacked from the ICL for disciplinary reasons.
Cairns, who was captain of the Chandigarh Lions, has maintained the reason for his dismissal was because he came into the tournament without declaring he had an existing foot injury that did not allow him to bowl. Mongia is said to have been aware of Cairns" injury so he too was fired.