Chris Cairns off life support: 'Able to communicate with family'

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 20 Aug 2021, 11:17AM
Chris Cairns on February 14, 2006 - the day he announced he would retire from international cricket. (Photo / Greg Bowker)
Chris Cairns on February 14, 2006 - the day he announced he would retire from international cricket. (Photo / Greg Bowker)

Chris Cairns off life support: 'Able to communicate with family'

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 20 Aug 2021, 11:17AM

New Zealand cricket great Chris Cairns is off life support and has been able to communicate with his family from hospital in Sydney.

The 51-year-old former Blackcaps captain collapsed in Canberra two weeks ago, having suffered a massive heart attack - resulting in an aortic dissection, a tear in the inner layer of the body's main artery.

He was rushed to a Sydney hospital for emergency heart surgery last week and has been on life support since.

A statement from a family spokesperson on Friday provided encouraging news of Cairns' health.

"I'm pleased to advise that Chris is off life support and has been able to communicate with his family from hospital in Sydney," the statement reads.

"He and his family are thankful for all of the support and well wishes from everyone, and for the privacy they have been afforded. They request that this continues as they focus on his recovery moving forward."

Cairns, the son of Blackcaps legend Lance Cairns, was a right-hand batsman and fast-medium bowler. He was known as one of the finest all-rounders of his generation.

He has been living and working in Canberra with his wife Melanie and their children for several years.

He has been the chief executive of SmartSportz, a company specialising in virtual sport.

Cairns had to rebuild his life after walking out of Southwark Crown Court in London in 2015 after being found not guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice charges in relation to match-fixing allegations.

The allegations took a huge toll on the cricketer's life.

He described his reputation as "completely scorched" from the saga and spoke of going through "hell" during the perjury trial.

He was first named as one of 11 "tainted" cricketers in the now defunct Indian Cricket League in a 2009 email between International Cricket Council investigators.

Cairns took part in the ICL, which ran for two seasons in India from 2007 to 2009.

But in 2010, Indian millionaire businessman Lalit Modi, a former boss of the Indian Premier League, posted a tweet saying Cairns had been removed from the player auction for the IPL due to a "past record of match fixing".

Cairns quickly launched a defamation case against Modi in London.

Two years later in 2012, Cairns won the libel trial and was awarded damages from Modi.

Yet his troubles weren't over as he faced allegations from fellow New Zealand cricketers Lou Vincent and Brendon McCullum that he had tried to recruit them to fix matches.

It was not until Cairns was found not guilty of perjury in relation to match fixing allegations in 2015 in a London court that he was able to finally clear his name.