Lou Vincent in a spot of bother but stays quiet
HAMISH BIDWELL AND SARAH HARVEY
Lou Vincent was nowhere to be found yesterday and, if he was about, he wasn't showing himself.
His house, on the side of a hill overlooking Kawau Parua Inlet in Kaukapakapa, about 40 minutes from Auckland city, was bathed in sunlight.
His fiancee, Suzie, was chirpy but said Vincent wasn't home and that, given the maelstrom he was in the middle of, it was unlikely he would be able to comment.
She did say, though, that she had known him for long enough to know that he would come out the other end of this. He would talk then, she said.
The former Black Caps batsman would seem to have some explaining to do after British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported yesterday that Vincent had told the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit about his involvement in, or knowledge of, spot-fixing across five or more countries between 2008-2012.
The newspaper said Vincent had told investigators of fixing when he played for the Auckland Aces in the Twenty20 Champions League tournament in South Africa in October 2012.
At first glance, there's nothing untoward about Vincent's performances for Auckland at the event.
In the qualifying matches he scored 20 (from 16 balls) against Sialkot Stallions and then 19 (16) against Hampshire. Auckland won both matches to progress to the tournament proper, where Vincent smashed 30 (12) in the win against Kolkata, scored 6 (6) in a win against the Titans from South Africa and a slow 2 (9) against the Perth Scorchers.
In all five knocks he was caught. No runouts occurred while he was at the crease.
Gareth Hopkins was Auckland's captain at that event and said he had never had any reason to suspect those matches could have been tainted by spot or match-fixing.
But the allegation that Vincent had reason to deliberately hamper the Aces' progress in South Africa stung.
"Of course [I'm hurt]," Hopkins said. "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."
He said his relationship with Vincent would not change, no matter what the ICC might eventually reveal.
"I've known Lou for years and he's a very good mate. I'll support Lou and I wish him well through this time and for him to get through it."
The Daily Telegraph reported that Vincent told the investigators he had also fixed Aces games in New Zealand's domestic Twenty20 competition.
However, New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White gave assurances yesterday that the ICC was not investigating any games played in New Zealand, nor any current Black Caps. No games involving the national team were being investigated either.
White said he'd been aware for some time that the ICC were looking at Auckland's Champions League matches from 2012 and was told that the alleged match-fixing or spot-fixing was understood to be "very much an isolated incident".
Should bouncers be banned from cricket?