ICC identifies match-fixing suspects worldwide
A number of cricketers around the world suspected of match-fixing have been identified by anti-corruption detectives following evidence given by former Black Caps batsman Lou Vincent, the UK's Daily Telegraph reports.
Vincent is working with the ICC's anti-corruption unit and has reportedly provided major information on spot-fixing during his extensive time in cricket leagues around the world.
New Zealand Cricket yesterday confirmed that included matches played by the Auckland Aces at the 2012 Twenty20 Champions League in South Africa.
In an explosive story in England's Daily Mail in which a report compiled by the International Cricket Council is cited, Vincent is said to have identified 12 games around the world in which match-fixing took place, including during the now-defunct Indian Cricket League where he played for Chandigarh.
The newspaper also said Vincent had identified three county games between 2008 and 2011 that were targeted and reported that he had been paid £40,000 to throw a game for Sussex and induced to cheat with cash, offers of sex and other perks.
Vincent, now retired and living in rural west Auckland, played county cricket in England late in his career but was also a Twenty20 specialist in recent times, appearing in leagues in India, Africa, Bangladesh and New Zealand.
According to the Daily Mail, Vincent was often instructed to score 10 to 15 from 20 deliveries and then get out.
It is also reported that during the ICL, Vincent accidentally hit a ball for six when attempting to be stumped and was later chastised by another player reportedly in on the fix for failing to keep his side of the bargain.
"He waved a bat around close to my head and threatened to hit me with it. He said I'd cost him millions and accused me of fixing for someone else," the Daily Mail says Vincent told investigators.
The newspaper then reports he became involved in corruption in England in 2008 after his ICL stint.
A former Lancashire team-mate of Vincent's, Mal Loye, has also revealed he was approached by Vincent to spot-fix in county games, the Telegraph reported.
Vincent has maintained a public silence as the investigation continues.
The revelations come as former England captain Andrew Strauss heaped praise on the former New Zealand star for giving the cricket authorities "something to work with against a cancer on the game".
Weighing in on the controversy, Strauss said he believes Vincent is now a key figure in trying to get to the bottom of match-fixing's tangled web, though he conceded that could be a losing battle.
"I'm pleased Lou Vincent is coming out and talking about it because that gives the authorities something to work with," Strauss told TalkSport Radio in the UK.
"They can learn how the whole thing functions and, hopefully, prevent it from happening again in the future."
Strauss was clearly shocked by the extent of allegations coming from Vincent that were reported first in Britain's Telegraph newspaper.
"It makes your heart sick," Strauss said.
"It's such a cancer on the game. You can't afford people's trust in a match to be eroded."
Strauss fears the problem is more widespread than everyone imagined and reports in England today suggest that is the case.
"It's worldwide phenomena now, though, it's not just confined to the Indian sub-continent.
"The cricket authorities haven't got the man power or resources to overcome this at the moment."
Should the NZ selectors pick Jesse Ryder if he's available?