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HindustanTimes Tue,02 Sep 2014

Cricket

Confessions of a match fixer: My name is Lou Vincent and I am a cheat
AFP
Wellington, July 01, 2014
First Published: 13:29 IST(1/7/2014)
Last Updated: 15:04 IST(1/7/2014)

Disgraced former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent revealed Tuesday he has received a life ban from cricket for match-fixing, calling himself a cheat who had shamed the sport and his country.

"My name is Lou Vincent and I am a cheat. I have abused my position as a professional sportsman on a number of occasions by choosing to accept money through fixing," he said in a statement.

The punishment, which is expected to be formally announced by the England and Wales Cricket Board later Tuesday, stems from one-day matches that Vincent admitted he helped rig in English county cricket in 2011.

His former Sussex team mate, Naveed Arif, was also banned for life last month after admitting similar corruption offences.

Vincent, 35, has given additional evidence to International Cricket Council anti-corruption investigators about his involvement in fixing in five countries between 2008 and 2012.

Among his allegations were that a "world-famous international" dubbed "Player X" recruited him into the murky world of match-rigging.

New Zealand legend Chris Cairns has said he believes he is Player X but questioned Vincent's credibility and vehemently denied any involvement.

Vincent's statement about his ban made no reference to Cairns or any other player.

Instead, he said he had shamed his homeland and the game, prompting him to come clean to try to ease his conscience.

"Speaking out. Exposing the truth. Laying bare the things I have done wrong is the only way I can find to begin to put things right," he said.

"The time has come for me to now face them like a man and accept the consequences."

Vincent played in 23 Tests and 102 one-dayers for New Zealand before retiring from international cricket in 2007.

After that, he travelled the globe playing in numerous domestic leagues before retiring early last year.

He has previously spoken publicly about his battles with depression and the loneliness of being on the road but said in his statement that he did not want to use his mental condition as an excuse.

"The people who know me know I am vulnerable," he said. "But they also know I am not stupid and that I know what is right and what is wrong."

Vincent, who testified to the ICC that he was offered bribes of money and sex, said he wanted his fate to be a warning to young players not to repeat his mistakes.

"It is entirely possible that I can use this moment to convince others not to be tempted by wrongdoing," he said.

"To do the right thing for themselves, for their families and friends, and for the sport they love."

While Vincent's ban appears to draw the ECB's investigation to a close, the ICC is yet to release the results of its anti-corruption probe.

The ICC investigation, which was first revealed in December, focuses on Vincent, Cairns and another New Zealander, Daryl Tuffey, who has also denied any wrongdoing.


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