In an emotional statement on Tuesday, New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent confessed to being guilty of the spot-fixing allegations levied against him. Lou, charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board last month and guilty on 18 counts of match fixing, became the first New-Zealand professional sportsman to have earned a life ban.
"The England and Wales Cricket Board announced that the former New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent has been banned from cricket for life after he admitted breaching the ECB's anti-corruption regulations," the ECB stated. "Mr Vincent pleaded guilty to 18 breaches of the regulations in total. Four breaches related to a Twenty20 match between Lancashire and Durham in June 2008. The remaining 14 charges related to two fixtures played at Hove in August 2011, namely a Sussex v Lancashire Twenty20 match and a Sussex v Kent CB40 match," it added.
The statement follows closely in the wake of the three year ban issued against him in June 2014 by the Bangladesh Cricket Board for not alerting authorities that he had been approached while playing for the Dhaka Gladiators during the Bangladesh Premier League. "I have shamed my country. I have shamed my sport. I have shamed those close to me. For that I am not proud. I have abused my position as a professional sportsman on a number of occasions by choosing to accept money through fixing," said the veteran batsman.
"I lost faith in myself, in the game, I abused the game I loved. I had to put things right. Speaking out, exposing the truth, laying bare the things I have done wrong, is the only way I could find to begin to put things right," said the 35-year-old, who played 23 Tests for his country.
The former opener said he could muster the courage to speak the truth only after being inspired by his wife. "The time has come for me now to face them like a man and accept the consequences - whatever they may be. I could not live with my wrong doings any longer and after meeting my future wife Susie, after learning what unconditional love really is, I felt strong enough to tell her what I'd done and she has helped me take the painful steps in telling my parents, my wider family and then the authorities," he said.
The ban will also shatter his dream of being a coach. " It is entirely my fault that I will never be able to stand in front of a game again. It is entirely my fault that I will not be able to apply my skills in a positive way to help future cricketers. But it is entirely possible that I can use this moment to convince others not to be tempted by wrongdoing. To do the right thing for themselves, for their families and friends, and for the sport they love. "
"Today is the day I offer my deepest apologies to the public and the cricketing world, to the loyal fans, to the dedicated coaches, staff and all players past and present. "
In December 2013, the batsman, who has represented New Zealand in all three formats of the game, was alleged of fixing matches in the now defunct Indian Cricket League, the ECB 40, the Bangladesh Premier League and the Champions League Twenty20.
(With inputs from agencies)