The all-rounder moved to Dubai in 2008 with his partner to work for a family in the rough diamond industry, a move he said was to build a career after retiring from the sport.
But a jury was told the real reason was much more sinister – that the businessmen were bankrolling his lavish lifestyle in payment for throwing games while playing in India.
They also paid for three other men – including two suspected of match-fixing – to try to involve them in the scams, it was alleged.
Giving evidence for a second day at his perjury trial at Southwark Crown Court, Cairns was unco-operative on the witness stand, repeatedly evading questions from prosecutor Sasha Wass QC to such an extent that he was warned by the judge to directly answer them.
The court heard that Cairns, 45, was paid more than $250,000 by Vijay Dimon, a diamond firm run by father and son Vijay and Vishal Shah.
Cairns had met Vishal during a charity cricket event.
Cairns said the money was to set himself up in Dubai, which had a “brutal” rental market, where he worked for the business by meeting clients, speaking at dinners and acting as an ambassador.
But Wass said: “I am going to suggest it was a reward for your part in fixing matches.”
Wass said Cairns had told fellow cricketers Lou Vincent and Brendon McCullum they could earn tens of thousands of dollars for fixing games, and that everyone was doing it.
As Cairns repeatedly denied the suggestions, she added: “You had a piece of the pie, didn’t you? You had a very fat piece of the pie.”
Cairns replied: “I was trying to create a career post-cricket, trying to become involved in their business.”