Lou Vincent divulges more; Aces investigated
HAMISH BIDWELL, SARAH HARVEY AND DAVID LONG
New Zealand Cricket have confirmed games played by the Auckland Aces in South Africa in 2012 are under investigation over allegations of match fixing.
This comes after British newspaper The Daily Telegraph this morning (NZT) reported that former Black Cap and Aces star Lou Vincent had told the International Cricket Council's (ICC) anti-corruption unit about his involvement in or knowledge of spot fixing across five or more countries between 2008-2012.
The newspaper reported Vincent had told investigators of fixing when he played for the Auckland Aces in New Zealand and also when they played in the Twenty20 Champions League tournament in South Africa in October 2012.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive David White confirmed the matches during the Champions League were being investigated but said there was no basis to the allegation that games played in New Zealand were also being looked at.
White said the ICC was not investigating any games played in New Zealand, nor any current Black Caps and no games involving the national team were being investigated either.
He said it was "very sad" to have a former player in Vincent allegedly involved in the incidents.
White said he had been told the alleged match fixing or spot fixing during the Champions League games was understood to be "very much an isolated incident".
He said the ICC had been keeping NZC informed as to their investigations and had known about the Aces allegations for some time.
"Match fixing is a threat to cricket around the globe and we remain 100 per cent behind the ICC and their focus of fighting corruption."
White said he did not know how long the investigation into the Aces games would take.
"We're unsure really, it's up to the ICC, but they're working hard on it. Corruption is something they're determined to address, so no stone has been left unturned."
Earlier today, Auckland cricketer Gareth Hopkins said he was hurt by allegations that he and his Aces teammates were the collateral victims of spot or match fixing.
Auckland Cricket chief executive Mark Cameron declined to comment on the matter.
Hopkins, 37, who was Auckland's captain until retiring at the end of the last domestic season, said if the allegations were true it put the Champions League trip under a cloud.
''Of course [I'm hurt]. As players we had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to South Africa and a Champions League and you put so much time and effort into preparing for that, so you want to win and to win at all costs,'' Hopkins told Fairfax Media.
He said he had never suspected his team were involved in any game where the outcome couldn't be taken at face value.
''I suppose we won't know much until they [the ICC] come out [and identify matches]. Until then I'll wonder what and when it was.''
He said he would support Vincent no matter what happened.
''I've known Lou for years and he's a very good mate, a very good mate and I'll support Lou as a person and as a man and I wish him well through this time and for him to get through it.''
Former Black Caps star Chris Cairns, who himself has been at the centre of match-fixing allegations, said he did not want to comment on Vincent's situation.
Cairns, who has confirmed to Fairfax Media in the past that he had been interviewed by London police, said today he was still waiting to conclude talks with officers.
"I'm still yet to conclude my interview with the Met, which is frustrating because I want that to be completed. Again, I continue to be in the dark."
Cairns has said in the past that only when the police investigation was complete would he be interviewed by the ICC.
He expected representatives of the London Metropolitan Police to visit New Zealand in the next few months to conclude their interview with him.
This comes as the Herald reports that Cairns' former lawyer Andrew Fitch-Holland has again been interviewed by police in London.
Andrew Fitch-Holland, a long-time close friend of the former Black Caps cricketer, was arrested in March on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. He hasn't been charged with anything.
London's Metropolitan Police said the arrest was related to a civil case in the High Court.
Cairns would not comment on Fitch-Holland's situation.
With the World Cup just around the corner, how do you think the Black Caps will go?