Shamed Lou Vincent accepts life ban from cricket

Lou Vincent, the disgraced former New Zealand batsman, was yesterday banned for life from cricket for match-fixing, admitting he was a cheat who had shamed the sport and his country. “My name is Lou Vincent and I am a cheat," he said in a statement.

Lou Vincent, here batting for Sussex on June 16, 2011 in London, has been banned from cricket for life for his part in match-fixing. Tom Shaw / Getty Images
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Lou Vincent, the disgraced former New Zealand batsman, was Tuesday banned for life from cricket for match-fixing, admitting he was 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, confirmed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), stems from one-dayers that Vincent admitted he helped rig in English county cricket.

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

The ECB said in a statement that Vincent pleaded guilty to 18 breaches of its anti-corruption regulations. Four charges related to a Twenty20 match between Lancashire and Durham in June 2008. The remaining 14 concerned two fixtures played in August 2011 – a Sussex v Lancashire Twenty20 and a Sussex v Kent CB40 match.

“We are extremely pleased that the matter has now been brought to a satisfactory conclusion and that an individual who repeatedly sought to involve others in corrupt activity for his own personal gain has accepted that his conduct warrants a lifetime ban from cricket,” ECB chief David Collier said.

Dave Richardson, the International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive, welcomed the ban.

“The ICC has a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption and these life bans, together with the life ban recently imposed by the ECB on Naveed Arif, should send out a loud and clear message to all those who indulge in corrupt practices and think they can get away with it,” Richardson said.

Vincent, 35, has given additional evidence to ICC 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 last year.

Elsewhere, New Zealand’s perseverance with their front-line bowlers paid off as the visitors completed a 53-run victory over the West Indies in the last hour of the third and final Test match at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Monday.

Despite being held up by a 77-run eighth-wicket partnership between debutant Jason Holder and Shane Shillingford, the Black Caps finished off the job with Trent Boult, who did the early damage in the morning, returning with the second new ball to trap last man Jerome Taylor leg-before wicket and dismiss the home side for 254.

“We’re really thrilled with pulling off this series win,” New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said at the end of the match. “It was tough cricket all the way through so we’ll enjoy this moment.”

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Ishant form could be a worry for tourists

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Ishant Sharma emerged as India’s most pressing concern as an unheralded Derbyshire line-up made the tourists toil at the County Ground.

Wes Durston led the way with 95 from just 90 balls, one of four batsmen to pass 50 despite not having made a single first-class appearance between them in the past two months.

Durston, Billy Godleman (67 not out), young opener Ben Slater (54) and 17-year-old wicketkeeper Harvey Hosein (53 not out) have all been pressing their claims in the second team of late but made the most of their opportunity in this three-day fixture – India’s second and final warm-up match – in a stumps total of 326 for five.

Ishant, still billed as one of the linchpin pace bowlers for the five-Test series against England set to start next week, struggled conspicuously for the second match in succession.

As at Leicester last weekend, the tall seamer was susceptible to overstepping and here he was comfortably the most expensive bowler notching up eight no-balls in an initial nine-over spell that yielded 41 runs. When he returned in the evening session, his first ball was met – out of character by an otherwise largely stoic Godleman – with a dismissive pull to the midwicket boundary.

Ishant’s next delivery was another no-ball and he did nothing significant in two more overs to quell any fears about his readiness to play at Trent Bridge.

All India’s seamers were soon given plenty to think about on a benign pitch after MS Dhoni lost the toss.

- Press Association

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