Chris Cairns

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For the Australian sailor, see Christopher Cairns (sailor).
Chris Cairns
Chris Cairns from side.jpg
Personal information
Full name Christopher Lance Cairns
Born (1970-06-13) 13 June 1970 (age 46)
Picton, Marlborough, New Zealand
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Right arm fast-medium
Role All-rounder
Relations Lance Cairns (father)
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 168) 24 November 1989 v Australia
Last Test 13 June 2004 v England
ODI debut (cap 76) 13 February 1991 v England
Last ODI 8 January 2006 v Sri Lanka
T20I debut (cap 2) 17 February 2005 v Australia
Last T20I 16 February 2006 v West Indies
Domestic team information
Years Team
1990–2006 Canterbury
1988–2003 Nottinghamshire
1988–1989 Northern 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 34,252 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 n/a 6 n/a
Best bowling 7/27 5/42 8/47 6/12
Catches/stumpings 14/– 66/– 78/– 118/–
Source: Cricinfo, 26 November 2008

Christopher Lance Cairns, ONZM (born 13 June 1970) is a former all-rounder who played for the New Zealand international cricket team, the Black Caps, and 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. Cairns also captained the Black Caps on seven occasions, usually when regular captain Stephen Fleming was unavailable.

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.

After his playing career Cairns went on to become a commentator with Sky Sport New Zealand.


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).

With the ball, Cairns' career-best performance in Tests was 7/27 against the West Indies in 1999, and he is New Zealand's fourth highest wicket taker in Tests, after Richard Hadlee, Daniel Vettori and Chris Martin.

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 2nd fastest (58 Test) behind Ian Botham. 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.[2]

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."[3]

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 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.[3] 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 also played for Northland in the Hawke Cup.


Cairns bowling for the Canterbury Wizards in 2006

Cairns retired from the New Zealand Test team in 2004. 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".[4]

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".[5]

He has joined the Indian Cricket League, and was the captain of the Chandigarh Lions till 2008. He is currently playing for Nottinghamshire in the English Twenty20 cup competition.

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.[6]

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 will start playing for the local club North Canberra Gungahlin Eagles in the 2011/12 season. In his first he scored 141 off 66 balls, including 13 sixes. During this knock his last 90 runs came off 27 balls.[citation needed]


  • In the column Runs, * indicates being not out.
  • The column title Match refers to the Match Number of his career.

Test Centuries[edit]

Chris Cairns's Test Centuries[7]
# Runs Match Against City/Country Venue Year Result
1 120 16  Zimbabwe New Zealand Auckland, New Zealand Eden Park 1996 Drawn
2 126 35  India New Zealand Hamilton, New Zealand Seddon Park 1999 Drawn
3 109 46  Australia New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand Basin Reserve 2000 Lost
4 124 49  Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Harare, Zimbabwe Harare Sports Club 2000 Won
5 158 58  South Africa New Zealand Auckland, New Zealand Eden Park 2004 Won

One Day International Centuries[edit]

Chris Cairns's One Day International Centuries[8]
# Runs Match Against City/Country Venue Year Result
1 103 32  India India Pune, India Nehru Stadium 1995 Lost
2 115 100  India New Zealand Christchurch, New Zealand AMI Stadium 1999 Won
3 102* 130  India Kenya Nairobi, Kenya Gymkhana Club Ground 2000 Won
4 102* 141  South Africa Australia Brisbane, Australia Brisbane Cricket Ground 2002 Won

His third century helped New Zealand to win their maiden title in an ICC award. So far this title remains the only victory for New Zealand in an ODI tournament involving teams more than 2.

Test 5-wicket hauls[edit]

Chris Cairns's Test 5-wicket hauls[9]
# Figures Match Against City/Country Venue Year Result
1 5/75 2  Sri Lanka New Zealand Auckland, New Zealand Eden Park 1991 Drawn
2 6/52 4  England New Zealand Auckland, New Zealand Eden Park 1992 Lost
3 5/137 18  Pakistan Pakistan Rawalpindi, Pakistan Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium 1996 Lost
4 5/50 24  Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Harare, Zimbabwe Harare Sports Club 1997 Drawn
5 5/62 33  Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Colombo, Sri Lanka Sinhalese Sports Club 1998 Lost
6 6/77 37  England United Kingdom London, England, United Kingdom Lord's Cricket Ground 1999 Won
7 5/31 39  England United Kingdom London, England, United Kingdom Kennington Oval 1999 Won
8 7/27 43  West Indies New Zealand Hamilton, New Zealand Seddon Park 1999 Won
9 5/44 44  West Indies New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand Basin Reserve 1999 Won
10 5/31 48  Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Bulawayo, Zimbabwe Queens Sports Club 2000 Won
11 5/146 50  Australia Australia Brisbane, Australia Brisbane Cricket Ground 2001 Drawn
12 7/53 53  Bangladesh New Zealand Hamilton, New Zealand Seddon Park 2001 Won
13 5/79 62  England United Kingdom Nottingham, England, United Kingdom Trent Bridge 2004 Lost

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.

One Day International 5-Wicket Hauls[edit]

Chris Cairns's One Day International 5-Wicket Hauls[10]
# Figures Match Against City/Country Venue Year Result
1 5/42 83  Australia New Zealand Napier, New Zealand McLean Park 1998 Won

Alleged match fixing[edit]

In December 2013, Cairns was the subject of allegations in an ICC investigation into match-fixing.[11] 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.[12] Cairns has rejected these claims.[13]

Former New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent, an admitted match fixer, has said that Cairns had approached him about fixing matches.[14] New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum has also told the Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) of the International Cricket Council, that Cairns made a match fixing approach to him.[15] 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.[15]

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.[16] On 12 September 2014, the Metropolitan Police announced that they would charge Cairns with perjury stemming from the Modi libel trial.[17] He was acquitted of charges of perjury and perverting the course of justice on November 30 2015 [18]


  1. ^ a b Monga, Sidharth (14 September 2009). "Men of many parts". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 21 September 2009. 
  2. ^ Basevi, Travis (11 October 2005). "Best averages by batting position". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 21 September 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Boock, Richard (28 January 2006). "Cricket: Cairns right up there with the best of' em". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  4. ^ Boock, Richard (15 February 2006). "Cairns prepares for final bow". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 September 2008. 
  5. ^ Cleaver, Dylan (16 February 2006). "An unfitting farewell". ESPN. Retrieved 1 May 2012
  6. ^ "Cairns battles emotions at end of trek". The New Zealand Herald. 22 September 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2008. 
  7. ^ Statsguru: Chris Cairns, ESPNcricinfo, 15 March 2010.
  8. ^ Statsguru: Chris Cairns, ESPNcricinfo, 15 March 2010.
  9. ^ Statsguru: Chris Cairns, ESPNcricinfo, 12 March 2010.
  10. ^ Statsguru: Chris Cairns, ESPNcricinfo, 15 March 2010.
  11. ^ "Cricket's anti-corruption inquiry: Probe into games in three countries". The New Zealand Herald. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  12. ^ Chris Hewett (3 October 2014). "Chris Cairns in court to defend charge". The New Zealand Herald. 
  13. ^ Chris Cairns named by NZ Test player's ex-wife in match-fixing testimony
  14. ^ Derek Pringle (1 July 2014). "Lou Vincent match-fixing apology puts Chris Cairns on spot". The Telegraph. 
  15. ^ a b Chris Cairns insists he has never fixed a match, slams former New Zealand cricket team-mates
  16. ^ "Cairns awarded $950,000 for libel". The New Zealand Herald. 27 March 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  17. ^ "Chris Cairns to be charged with perjury". The New Zealand Herald. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  18. ^ "Cairns trial likely in October 2015". ESPNcricinfo. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 

External links[edit]