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Vincent charged with match-fixing offences

Former Black Caps batsman Lou Vincent says match-fixing charges against him show he hasn’t negotiated a plea bargain with anti-corruption officials.

 
 

match fixing004The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced 14 charges have been brought against Vincent, 35, and six against Pakistan A pace bowler Naveed Arif, 32, for offences in English county cricket.

Vincent is the first New Zealander to face such charges.

He and Arif have been suspended and face a lifetime ban – effective worldwide – if the charges are proven.

They relate to a 40-over match between their Sussex team and Kent at Hove in August 2011, while Vincent is also charged in relation to a Twenty20 match between Sussex and Lancashire earlier in the same month.

Vincent is already under investigation by the International Cricket Council for spot-fixing.

He issued a statement through his lawyer Chris Morris on Friday acknowledging the charges arose from evidence he has disclosed and that he expects more to follow.

Vincent’s testimony, leaked to a British newspaper, said his involvement in fixing spanned five years from 2008-12 and included at least 12 games across five countries.

He says the charges contradict reports in the media that he offered to be a corruption whistleblower in exchange for a lesser penalty.

“He remains accountable for his actions of the past,” the statement said.

“The fact of the charges, and more are likely, dispel any notions of a plea bargain having been done as unfortunately appears to be wrongly suggested by others.”

Vincent played 23 Tests, 102 one-day internationals and nine Twenty20 internationals from 2001-07.

Chris Watts, head of the ECB’s anti-corruption unit, said: “This has been an extremely complex and lengthy investigation coordinated across many jurisdictions around the world.

“This matter is now the subject of formal legal proceedings, and we will therefore make no further comment other than to reiterate our determination to bring to account the very small minority who seek to corrupt cricket.”

There is no suggestion that any other players from either Sussex, Kent or Lancashire were involved in any form of corruption.

The match at Hove on August 23, 2011 attracted bets totalling more than STG12 million ($A21.9 million) on one legal gambling website alone, the highest total for any match of its kind in the past three years.

Sussex lost the game by 14 runs. Batting at No.3, Vincent was run out for one off seven balls while Arif earlier took 0-41 off six overs, including two wides.

Fifteen days earlier, Sussex lost the T20 game against Lancashire by 20 runs. Opening the innings, Vincent was caught behind for a golden duck.

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