Chris Cairns

Christopher Lance Cairns ONZM (born 13 June 1970) is a former New Zealand cricketer and former ODI captain, who played for the New Zealand cricket team as an all-rounder. Cairns finished his Test career with a batting average of 33.53 and a bowling average of 29.40. In 2000, he was named as one of five Wisden Cricketers of the Year.

Chris Cairns
Personal information
Full nameChristopher Lance Cairns
Born (1970-06-13) 13 June 1970 (age 51)
Picton, New Zealand
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
BowlingRight arm fast
RelationsLance Cairns (father)
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 168)24 November 1989 v Australia
Last Test13 June 2004 v England
ODI debut (cap 76)13 February 1991 v England
Last ODI8 January 2006 v Sri Lanka
ODI shirt no.6
T20I debut17 February 2005 v Australia
Last T20I16 February 2006 v West Indies
Domestic team information
1988/89Northern Districts
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 62 215 217 424
Runs scored 3,320 4,950 10,702 10,367
Batting average 33.53 29.46 35.32 32.60
100s/50s 5/22 4/26 13/71 9/55
Top score 158 115 158 143
Balls bowled 11,698 8,168 16,620 16,620
Wickets 218 201 647 455
Bowling average 29.40 32.80 28.31 27.99
5 wickets in innings 13 1 30 6
10 wickets in match 1 0 6 0
Best bowling 7/27 5/42 8/47 6/12
Catches/stumpings 14/– 66/– 78/– 118/–
Source: CricInfo, 26 November 2008

He is son of former New Zealand cricketer Lance Cairns. He starred in both the One-day and Test New Zealand teams, as well as the Canterbury New Zealand domestic championship team. After his playing career Cairns went on to become a commentator with Sky Sport New Zealand.

Domestic career

Cairns also played for Northland in the Hawke Cup. He had joined the Indian Cricket League, and was the captain of the Chandigarh Lions till its closure in 2008. He later went on to play for Nottinghamshire in the English Twenty20 cup competition.

International career

Cairns batting

Cairns was a destructive batsman who could hit sixes straight down the ground and in his earlier days was an intelligent fast-medium bowler.[1] Since then, persistent injuries have forced him to drop his pace and rely more on his hard-to-read slower ball.

With the bat, Cairns has been the author of some of New Zealand cricket's most memorable innings, including his unbeaten 102 to win the final of the 2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy for New Zealand against India in Kenya, and his 158 from just 172 balls in a Test against South Africa in 2004. Cairns knocked Shane Warne out of Australia's bowling attack during a 2000 test in Wellington when he launched several sixes out of the Basin Reserve and onto the adjacent street. Cairns formerly held the world record for most sixes in Tests (87, since surpassed by Adam Gilchrist), and for a time held the New Zealand record for fastest century in ODIs (75 balls, currently owned by Corey Anderson with 36 balls).

ICC KnockOut Trophy

Cairns was also the part of the victorious New Zealand campaign during the 2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy where they beat India in the final to lift their only title in major ICC global event. He played his part in the final and helped the Kiwis side, by scoring a match winning knock of 102*.[2][3][4] Finally New Zealand went onto win the final and registered the highest ever chase in an ICC Champions Trophy final (265).[5] He also went onto become the first player to score a century in an ICC Champions Trophy final (was previously called as ICC Knockout Trophy) in a winning cause.[citation needed] He became only the third player to score a century in a Champions Trophy final after Philo Wallace and Sourav Ganguly.[citation needed]

Making history

Cairns' career-best bowling performance in Tests was 7/27 against the West Indies in 1999, and he is New Zealand's Sixth highest wicket taker in Tests, after Richard Hadlee, Daniel Vettori, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, and Chris Martin.[6]

He is also one of only eight players to have reached the all-rounder's double of 200 wickets and 3000 runs. Out of these seven players, Cairns reached the double 3rd fastest (58 Test) behind Ian Botham and Kapil Dev (50 tests). In ODIs, Cairns came close to another double of 200 wickets and 5000 runs. Cairns finished his ODI career on 4950 runs, just 50 short. Cairns Test batting average at number seven (44.02) is the 5th best average for that position of all time.[7]

The New Zealand Herald journalist, Richard Boock said about Cairns: "It's not a scientific measure of course, but if Cairns' body had held together long enough for him to have played 100 Tests, his figures extrapolate out to something like 5334 runs and 351 wickets – very similar to those of Botham." He went on to say "He was, and should be remembered as, one of the game's best all-rounders."[8]

Late career

During the Lord's Test against England, he bowled England wicket-keeper Chris Read for zero. Read was ducking to the ball, what he thought was a beamer from Chris Cairns but was a well-disguised slower ball.

Cairns also played in the World Cricket Tsunami Appeal ODI, at the MCG. Cairns played for the ICC World XI and scored 69 off 47 balls before being stumped by Kumar Sangakkara off the bowling of Muttiah Muralitharan. During his innings, Cairns put a 91 run partnership on with his captain, Ricky Ponting. With the ball, Cairns picked up 1–37 off 6 overs.

Injuries plagued Cairns throughout his career. There remains some debate over his statistics and how they reflected his ability.[8] In Cairns career he played 62 Test and missed a further 55 due to injury. Sidharth Monga writing in 2009 that Cairns' career returns "were a poor justification of his prodigious talent."[1]


Cairns bowling for the Canterbury Wizards in 2006

Cairns retired from the New Zealand Test team in 2004.

In the 2005 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Cairns was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to cricket.[9]

On 22 January 2006, Cairns announced his retirement from ODIs in a press conference. A Twenty20 match against the West Indies on 16 February 2006 was his last game representing New Zealand. He was also part of the ICC World XI that played in the World Cricket Tsunami Appeal matches.

The New Zealand Herald compared his retirement to those of Michael Jordan and Björn Borg on 15 February 2006. Cairns also left the door open for a comeback, but said "I don't think I could ever be tempted back".[10]

In Cairns' final game, he bowled four overs for 24 and no wicket and scored a nine-ball duck, before being bowled by Chris Gayle. He also missed the stumps in both attempts during the bowl off. Cricinfo describe his final international as "an unfitting farewell" and that "he deserved better".[11]

Alleged match fixing

In December 2013, Cairns was the subject of allegations in an ICC investigation into match-fixing.[12] He is alleged to have attempted to manipulate games in India when he was captain of the Chandigarh Lions in the short lived Indian Cricket League.[13] Cairns has rejected these claims.[14]

Former New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent, an admitted match fixer, has said that Cairns had approached him about fixing matches.[15] New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum also told the Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) of the International Cricket Council that Cairns made a match fixing approach to him.[16] Cairns insists that he has never fixed a match, saying Vincent wanted to "mitigate his sins by blaming others" and taking issue with McCullum having waited three years before approaching the ICC.[16]

In March 2012 Cairns successfully sued former Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi for libel, after Modi posted on Twitter in 2010 that Cairns had been involved in match-fixing during 2008. He won costs and damages.[17] On 12 September 2014, the Metropolitan Police announced that they would charge Cairns with perjury stemming from the Modi libel trial.[18] He was acquitted of charges of perjury and perverting the course of justice on 30 November 2015.[19]

Personal life

His sister Louise was killed at Rolleston in an August 1993 train accident; in September 2008 he completed a 1,001 km (622 mi) walk promoting rail safety awareness.[20]

Cairns is married to Melanie Croser, an Australian who works for the sports marketing group Octagon in Sydney. It is his third marriage. Cairns lives in Canberra and played for the local club North Canberra Gungahlin Eagles in the 2011/12 season.[citation needed]


  1. Monga, Sidharth (14 September 2009). "Men of many parts". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
  2. Mukherjee, Abhishek (21 May 2017). "Champions Trophy 2000: Chris Cairns braves injury, powers New Zealand to historic win". Cricket Country. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  3. Lokapally, Vijay (16 October 2000). "Chris Cairns spoils India's party". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  4. "Chris Cairns spoils India's party". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  5. "Final: India v New Zealand at Nairobi (Gym), Oct 15, 2000 | Cricket Scorecard | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  6. "Records / New Zealand / Test matches / Most wickets". ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  7. Basevi, Travis (11 October 2005). "Best averages by batting position". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
  8. Boock, Richard (28 January 2006). "Cricket: Cairns right up there with the best of' em". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
  9. "Queen's Birthday honours list 2005". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 6 June 2005. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  10. Boock, Richard (15 February 2006). "Cairns prepares for final bow". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
  11. Cleaver, Dylan (16 February 2006). "An unfitting farewell". ESPN. Retrieved 1 May 2012
  12. "Cricket's anti-corruption inquiry: Probe into games in three countries". The New Zealand Herald. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  13. Chris Hewett (3 October 2014). "Chris Cairns in court to defend charge". The New Zealand Herald.
  14. Chris Cairns named by NZ Test player's ex-wife in match-fixing testimony
  15. Derek Pringle (1 July 2014). "Lou Vincent match-fixing apology puts Chris Cairns on spot". The Telegraph.
  16. Chris Cairns insists he has never fixed a match, slams former New Zealand cricket team-mates
  17. "Cairns awarded $950,000 for libel". The New Zealand Herald. 27 March 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  18. "Chris Cairns to be charged with perjury". The New Zealand Herald. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  19. "Chris Cairns trial: Cairns, Fitch-Holland found not guilty in match-fixing case". Stuff NZ. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  20. "Cairns battles emotions at end of trek". The New Zealand Herald. 22 September 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2008.