Lou Vincent comes clean to help fight corruption
The radical extent of Lou Vincent's match-fixing has been laid bare in explosive disclosures drawn from the ICC's anti-corruption investigation into the former Black Caps batsman.
Vincent is at the centre of one of cricket's biggest scandals with reports his evidence has implicated up to 12 players in match fixing.
Vincent, who played 23 tests and 102 one-day internationals for the Black Caps, has gone to ground, and likely with good reason, as claim and counter claim swirled in English newspapers the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph yesterday.
Among the claims in the Daily Mail, in which a report into corruption compiled by the International Cricket Council has allegedly been viewed and is cited, are that:
- Vincent has identified 12 games around the world which involved fixing, including Auckland Aces games during the Champions Trophy in South Africa in 2012.
- Up to 12 players are now being investigated by the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit as a result of information from Vincent.
- Vincent began fixing in 2008 in the now defunct Indian Cricket League where he played for Chandigarh
- Vincent used a number of signs to show that fixes were on including changing the colour of his bat handle or pulling away when the bowler was running in
- Vincent was often instructed to score 10 to 15 from 20 deliveries and then get out
- He told of being threatened by an international star, who waved a bat near his head when he failed to keep his side of the bargain after hitting a six when he was attempting to be stumped during the ICL.
- That he was offered a woman and cash to fix matches as well as other perks
- That he received £40,000 to throw a Sussex game against Kent
The Mail reported Vincent told the ICC that he justified the fixes in England because his contract with Sussex was "only for £22,000" and he was unhappy at how the ECB had made him wait three years for a British passport.
Vincent clearly became caught in a tangled web.
"When you're under whatever this power is that [this man] has over me, I felt I couldn't say ‘no' to him . . . I didn't want to throw away the chance of getting all that money," Vincent is quoted as saying in ICC documents, referring to the "international star".
When one of the fixes failed, Vincent incurred the wrath of that man: "He said I'd cost him millions and accused me of fixing for someone else."
New Zealand Cricket (NZC), whose chief executive David White fronted media in Auckland on Thursday, yesterday declined to comment further on the situation while the ICC investigation is under way.
Former NZC boss Justin Vaughan told Radio Sport yesterday that he found the situation depressing.
"I guess in New Zealand we have always felt sheltered from it. We have never had players in the spotlight to the extent that we do now."
Vaughan said he felt for Vincent.
"I have known Lou for many years. We actually played for the same club team in Auckland. He has had a well documented rocky road in terms of mental state, mental illness that he has battled.
"It's really depressing to me in terms of a human point of view as to what he must be going through at the moment . . . he is paying for sins of the past."
Vaughan said there were "very strong" rumours coming back from the ICL at the time there may have been corruption but he said it was a rebel league and nothing to do with the ICC or cricket boards.
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.
A former Lancashire team-mate of Vincent's, Mal Loye, also revealed yesterday he was approached by Vincent to spot-fix in county games, the Telegraph reported.
The revelations came 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.