'I am a shameful cheat' admits match-fixer Vincent
Lou Vincent, the disgraced former New Zealand batsman, has admitted he is a "cheat" who has "shamed" the sport.
Hours before the ECB confirmed it had banned Vincent for life for his involvement in match-fixing, he issued a statement to the media which started: "My name is Lou Vincent and I am a cheat." He continued: "I have abused my position as a professional sportsman on a number of occasions by choosing to accept money through fixing.
"I have shamed my country. I have shamed my sport. I have shamed those close to me. For that I am not proud. I lost faith in myself and the game. 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."
Vincent, who has been working with anti-corruption officials ever since he admitted his involvement with bookmakers earlier this year, said he had "lived with this dark secret for many years, but just months ago I reached the point where I decided I had to come forward and tell the truth".
He thanked his partner Susie for helping him face the truth. "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," he said. "I apologise to the and thank the ACSU [ICC anti-corruption unit] for their help and support, which is out there for all players and it has helped me a great deal."
As long ago as 2008, Vincent was struggling with depression but he refused to lay blame on the condition for his actions. "The people who know me know I am vulnerable. But they also know I am not stupid and that I know what is right and what is wrong. I do suffer from depression but it is absolutely no reason or excuse for all that I have done wrong."
Vincent is banned by the ECB from "all forms of cricket" and prevented from "playing, coaching or participating in any form of cricket which is recognised or sanctioned by ECB, the ICC or any other National Cricket Federation".
The ECB said Vincent had pleaded guilty to 18 breaches of its anti-corruption code in reference to three matches: a Twenty20 match between Lancashire and Durham in June 2008, a Sussex v Lancashire Twenty20 match and a Sussex v Kent CB40 match both played at Hove in August 2011. During these matches, Vincent had committed 11 offences punishable by a life ban under ECB anti-corruption regulations.