Chris Cairns wins libel suit against Lalit Modi

London, March 26 (IANS) Former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns Monday won his libel case against ex-Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi, who has been asked to pay 90,000 pounds in damages to the cricketer.

Justice David Bean, in his first decision on the Twitter libel case, gave the verdict in favour of Cairns. Both parties were not present in the court when the verdict was pronounced.

Cairns had sued the Indian business over a Tweet made Jan 5, 2010. Modi had tweeted that the New Zealander was removed from the IPL auction list because of his involvement in alleged match-fixing.

Cairns vehemently denied the claims and Modi responded saying: "Let him sue us, then we will produce what we have in court."

Cairns then issued a writ in London's High Court in January 2010, shortly after Modi's tweets.

The verdict comes as a huge set-back for Modi, who last week was declared bankrupt in a London court over unpaid bills of 65,000 pounds owed to a private security firm.

What makes it worse for Modi is the fact that now he has pay both sides' costs because Cairns was on a "no win, no fee agreement" with his counsel.

Cairns' lawyer Michael Caldecott had claimed that it was easy for fellow players to blame their captain when they admitted involvement in match fixing.

Modi in his tweets had claimed that Cairns had fixed matches in ICL in 2008, while leading Chandigarh Lions.

Cairns had to let go $700,000 of a $1 million contract after ICL officials confronted him with match-fixing allegations. Cairns claimed that he had to leave because of an undisclosed ankle injury and not because of match-fixing charges.

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