- July 4, 2014
-- Former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent has received a life ban from cricket after dramatically admitting to fixing matches in several countries. Vincent came clean by issuing a video statement which begins: "My name is Lou Vincent and I am a cheat." His admission pre-empted an announcement later in the day from the England and Wales Cricket Board, confirming Vincent had been banned for life following an investigation that crossed several countries and many different competitions. He pleaded guilty to 18 match-fixing or spot-sixing charges involving matches he played for English counties Lancashire in 2008 and Durham in 2011. Eleven of the 18 offences carried life bans. "I have abused my position as a professional sportsman on a number of occasions by choosing to accept money through fixing," Vincent said. "I have shamed my country. I have shamed my sport. I have shamed those close to me. For that I am not proud." Vincent admitted involvement in fixing in 12 separate competitions across five countries, including in English county cricket, the Indian Cricket League and the 2012 Champions Trophy. He has previously been banned for three years by Bangladesh for not reporting an approach to fix matches while playing in that country's Twenty20 league. The 35-year-old Vincent, who played 23 tests, said his actions had "rightly caused uproar and controversy in New Zealand and around the world." "I lost faith in myself and the game," he said. "I abused the game I love. I had to put things right. 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. The time has come for me to now face them like a man and accept the consequences, whatever they may be." Vincent's confessions to the ICC led many to believe he had agreed a plea bargain but he insisted he sought no favors and accepted the life ban. "It is entirely my fault that I will never be able to stand in front of a game again," he said. "It is entirely my fault that I will not be able to apply my skills in a positive way to help future cricketers. Today is the day I offer my deepest apologies to the public and the cricketing world, to the loyal fans, to the dedicated coaches, staff and all players past and present."
ECB chief executive David Collier said it was a complex case that required collaboration between English cricket's anti-corruption unit, domestic boards in other nations and the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit. "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," Collier said. "It once again highlights our resolve to keep cricket clean and rid the game of the tiny minority who seek to undermine the sport's integrity. " Vincent thanked ICC officers "for their support" and urged others to come forward. "It is entirely possible that I can use this moment to convince others not to be tempted by wrongdoing. To do the right thing for themselves, for their families and friends, and for the sport they love." Vincent said he had suffered from depression but that did not excuse his actions, and players must be a bulwark against corruption. "I used to think mistakes were the actions of bad people. I now know even good people can make the worst of mistakes," he said. "My actions, I will regret for the rest of my life. For sport to prosper, it is up to the players to police the game, because they are the ones that will ultimately lose out if they allow themselves to be used as pawns to make money."