Former Sussex and New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent ashamed at match-fixing
Last Updated: 01/07/14 10:33am
Former Sussex and New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent has expressed his regret and sorrow five weeks after being charged for match-fixing by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
The 35-year-old faces a lifetime ban after charges concerning 14 offences in relation to two county matches played under the ECB's jurisdiction in August 2011 - a Twenty20 match between Sussex and Lancashire and a 40-over game between Sussex and Kent.
Vincent was already under investigation by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for alleged match-fixing but his charge on May 22 was the first case of an ECB match being fixed.
I can finally look my children in the eyes and tell them that honesty is the best policy, even if it feels like the hardest of things to do at times. I now believe in myself as a person again and do not wake up every morning hating myself.
Pace bowler Naveed Arif, who played for Pakistan A, was also charged with six offences in relation to the same game between Sussex and Kent in August 2011.
On Tuesday Vincent revealed his remorse and reflections on the case for the first time in a statement and said: "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 .
"I have 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. It's a truth that has rightly caused uproar and controversy in New Zealand and around the world.
"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.
"The time has come for me to now face them like a man and accept the consequences, whatever they may be."
In the Kent game three years ago under investigation, Vincent was run out for one off seven balls, while Arif conceded 41 runs with no wickets in six overs, including two wides.
ECB supremo Paul Downton said at the time: "It's something we take extremely seriously. It's an enormous concern. Match-fixing is potentially a cancer for any sport."
Vincent played 23 Test matches and 102 one-day internationals for New Zealand before retiring from international cricket to become a Twenty20 specialist.
His statement added: "I am proud of those I love. Especially my immediate family and friends Their strength, support and forgiveness has enabled me to address some deep and uncomfortable issues in my life.
"I can finally look my children in the eyes and tell them that honesty is the best policy, even if it feels like the hardest of things to do at times. I now believe in myself as a person again and do not wake up every morning hating myself.
"Today is the day I offer my deepest apologies to the public and cricketing world, to the loyal fans, to the dedicated coaches, staff and all players past and present. 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 I have done wrong.
"I used to think mistakes were the actions of bad people. I now know even good people can make the worst of mistakes. 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.
"No one should ever be put in that position. And no one should ever allow themselves to forget what sport is about and let money rule their decisions. The decisions I made were wrong. Players must be better than that. Above reproach. For the fans. For the sport.
"For the first time in a very long time I feel positive about the future because I am finally becoming the man I wanted to be. I have to face up to my wrongs to make them right."