London: Chris Cairns had to be ushered from the courtroom by his lawyer after angrily trying to confront Lalit Modi on the fifth day of his libel action against the former IPL commissioner.
Cairns, the former New Zealand allrounder, became visibly agitated when it was revealed that Modi would not face cross-examination before a judge at London's High Court, after the defence decided not call him as a witness in the case.
Cairns, who is suing Modi for defamation over a 2010 tweet that alleged his involvement in match-fixing, appeared to try and catch the judge's eye and then left his seat near the front of the room. He made his way towards the back of the court, gesticulating in the direction of Modi, who was seated on the opposite end of the benches, before a member of his team intervened and motioned him outside.
Cairns is trying to clear his name over allegations of corruption made by former team-mates during his time in the Indian Cricket League (ICL), allegations that caused to enter retirement with his reputation under scrutiny He spent almost eight hours giving evidence over two days at the start of the trial and has repeatedly denied claims that he was involved in fixing.
The decision for Modi not to appear led to an early finish of the proceedings before judge David Bean. The court had earlier heard from Northamptonshire captain Andrew Hall, who was called as the second witness for Modi.
Hall, the former South Africa international, succeeded Cairns as captain of the Chandigarh Lions in the ICL. He admitted that he had concerns that Cairns had been framed by the Indian players in the team and was worried about the same being done to him.
In his witness statement, Hall said Cairns had told him and Jock Campbell, the team's strength and conditioning coach, that he had been "made a scapegoat". The discussion came after a meeting that led to Cairns' dismissal from the ICL and Hall went on to confront the local players in the Chandigarh team, saying he would not put up with them trying to "destroy" him too.
Asked by Andrew Caldecott QC, "Did it ever cross your mind that Cairns was being set up?" Hall replied: "Yes".