New Zealand's Lou Vincent has been given a worldwide lifetime ban from cricket following his admission that he fixed matches during his professional career.
The ex-New Zealand star was found guilty on Tuesday meaning he is now unable to coach, or participate, in organised cricket after breaching eighteen anti-corruption rules relating to matches played in England between 2008 and 2011.
Vincent was found guilty of match-fixing and deliberately under-performing in T20 and one-day games whilst playing county cricket for Lancashire and Sussex. One incident occurred whilst playing for Lancashire against Durham in 2008 when he scored just one run and another game in 2011 for Sussex against Lancashire when he was dismissed first ball. He was also guilty of under-performing for Sussex against Kent in a CB40 game when he was run out.
He had previously been banned for three years by Bangladesh Cricket after he failed to report an approach from bookmakers while playing for the Dhaka Gladiators in the Bangladesh Premier League in 2012.
However, it did not all run smoothly for the New Zealender as he was threatened with a cricket bat in a hotel room by match fixing organisers after hitting a six in a match which was
not part of the fixing agreement. This happened whilst Vincent was playing in a rebel T20 tournament in India in 2008 and resulted in him not being paid.
Born in Auckland Vincent played 23 Test matches and 102 One-Day Internationals for New Zealand between 2001 and 2007. He announced himself on the Test scene with a hundred on debut against Australia in 2001 and scored 1332 runs at an average of 34. He was seen more as a limited overs player where he scored 2,413 runs at an average of 27 in this format of the game.
In fairness to Vincent he has fully cooperated with the investigators and has fully explained the circumstances that led him to fixing games and has also given evidence which may well implicate others.
He has accepted his lifetime ban and will now look to rebuild his life outside of cricket. He has also reportedly provided evidence to the ICC of match-fixing involving 12 matches around the world between 2008 and 2012.
Vincent's former Sussex team-mate Naveed Arif was also banned for life last month after also admitting six match fixing offences.
The question is who will be found guilty next? It appears that this could be just the tip of the iceberg as others will surely be implicated by Vincent. Let's hope that the game of cricket is not seriously harmed by these latest incidents.
Whilst the ECB, ICC and anti-corruption officials have worked hard to bring players like Vincent to justice they must now look at the causes of match-fixing and seek to address these issues with the players before more of them are lured into this dark world by the match-fixing predators.
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