Lou Vincent pulls stumps after 14 years

BEN STANLEY
Last updated 05:00 24/02/2013
Lou Vincent, retired
PETER MEECHAM/Fairfax NZ

REST TIME: Lou Vincent on the deck of his home this week.

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Former New Zealand test opener Lou Vincent says he has no regrets after he retired this week, despite struggles with Black Caps' team management when in the international setup, and recent battles with cricket's Twenty20 frontiers.

Vincent, 34, pulled stumps on his 14-year career after returning from a brief spell with the Khulna Royal Bengals in the Bangladesh Premier League, which saw him witness first-hand the growing pains of the rookie pro league.

The BPL has been plagued with problems since it began last summer, with allegations of corruption and numerous international players not receiving their playing fees until more than six months after last year's tournament was completed.

Vincent, who himself endured a bizarre situation, when a Bangladeshi team-mate threw a shoe at him before his final game, said the league needs plenty of work to gain respectability.

"There was no infrastructure for looking after the players," Vincent told the Sunday Star-Times.

"The tournament started off really well, with the most amazing energy. But, in the last two weeks, everyone was over there thinking we've come all this way, but are we going to get paid?

"These competitions want a label in the cricketing world for hosting great events, but they've got to get their core roots sorted out. They've got to look after the players. It was constant lies."

Vincent, a colourful personality, who played his last game for New Zealand in 2007, said his personality wasn't managed well in the Black Caps setup.

The Auckland baseman revealed he was once told by former Black Caps coach John Bracewell to "shut up and do his job" instead of being his usual "fun" self.

Vincent, who played 23 tests and 102 one-dayers for New Zealand, struggled with the directive, leading him to battle at the top level.

"I started to find myself slipping away," Vincent said.

"I felt very lonely. You'd be dropped once, you'd go back away. You get your head together, and you'd come back in.

"It got to the point where I felt the person I wanted to be in that setup wasn't welcome. My style was enthusiastic, fun, joking. Be a bit of an idiot, you know.

"I'll always remember a conversation I had with John Bracewell in his second year. He came up to me and said, 'your problem is you like the attention. How about you shut up, and do your job'.

"In hindsight when I look back, it was a fair comment. But he didn't know I had to be that other type of person to get the best out of me.

"Don't take your heart to work, in that regard.

"But when you are that person, you can't. And that is me - heart on my sleeve."

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- Sunday Star Times

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