Former Black Cap batsman Lou Vincent has emerged as the central figure in an investigation being carried out by the International Cricket Council (ICC) Anti-Corruption Unit. Vincent, who played 23 tests and 103 one-day internationals for New Zealand before his retirement in 2007, now plies his trade as a T20 specialist in a variety of competitions around the world.
As a consequence of his testimony Vincent, along with a former Sussex teammate Nayed Arif, has been charged with a total of 14 offences by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) connected to their having fixed the outcome of a T20 fixture between Sussex and Lancashire, and a 40-over match between Sussex and Kent in August 2011. However, it is understood that Vincent has agreed a plea bargain in the hope of avoiding a criminal prosecution
The charges are a result of the revelations contained in the testimony that Vincent gave to ICC investigators that was subsequently leaked to the UK newspaper the Daily Mail. In his statement, Vincent said that he had been approached by NG, the man he calls his ‘fixer’, the day before the Sussex v Lancashire match to throw the game in exchange for NZD80,000.
However, Vincent has provided evidence regarding match fixes that goes far beyond UK county games, and he is said to have provided the ICC “with a treasure trove of information about matches that were targeted for spot-fixing and the names of players” involved. His testimony suggests that match fixing is even more widespread than was previously feared, and Vincent gave details of corrupt matches in England, India, New Zealand, Hong Kong and South Africa between 2008 – 2012.
Other revelations made by the former Black Cap include the fact that he had been participating in match fixing since 2008 and that at least six as-yet unnamed players that he has played with also participated in fixes during that time. The Daily Mail report suggests that Vincent’s role in fixes usually involved his being required to score between 10 -15 runs off 20 deliveries and then get out.
Current New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum also gave evidence to the ICC investigation, detailing an approach that was made to him by a former international player in 2008 to fix a match, although there is no suggestion that he has been involved in any way in corrupt behaviour.
It is reported that there are no current New Zealand players, or matches that were held in New Zealand, under ICC investigation. However, former New Zealand bowler Daryl Tuffey is part of the investigation, along with Vincent and former Kiwi star Chris Cairns.