Former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent has admitted he's a match-fixing cheat and will be banned for life from the sport.
The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed the ban just hours after the disgraced player announced it on Tuesday. It said the Vincent had pleaded guilty to 18 breaches of its anti-corruption regulations in three matches in England and has accepted the ban, which bars him from playing or coaching in any form of recognised cricket.
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The 35-year-old released a statement on Tuesday evening beginning: "My name is Lou Vincent and I am a cheat. I have abused my position as a professional sportsman on a number of occasions by choosing to accept money through fixing.
"I have lived with this dark secret for so many years, but months ago I reached the point where I decided I had to come forward and tell the truth."
Vincent said he had shamed his country, his sport and those close to him. He said he had lived with the secret for many years, but only recently reached a point where he had to come forward and tell the truth.
"People who know me know I'm vulnerable. But they also know I am not stupid and I know what is right and what is wrong. I do suffer from depression, but it is absolutely no reason or excuse for all I have done wrong."
Vincent said he would regret his actions for the rest of his life. "Today is the day I offer my deepest, deepest apologies to the public and cricketing world players past and present. I've kept my head down for too long now and it's time to man up to my mistakes and today I can stand with a better conscience because I know I'm doing the right thing."
He went on to say he now believes in himself as a person and doesn't wake up every morning hating himself.
The England and Wales Cricket Board said on Tuesday it had been a complex case which had crossed different cricketing jurisdictions and required close collaboration and intelligence-sharing between its anti-corruption unit, other domestic boards and the ICC's ACSU (anti-corruption and security unit), Reuters reports.
"We are extremely pleased that the matter has now been brought to a satisfactory conclusion and that an individual who repeatedly sought to involve others in corrupt activity for his own personal gain has accepted that his conduct warrants a lifetime ban from cricket, ECB chief executive David Collier said in a statement.
"It once again highlights our resolve to keep cricket clean and rid the game of the tiny minority who seek to undermine the sport's integrity."
Vincent, representing Auckland Aces, also tried to "corrupt" two matches in the 2012 edition of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament, its organisers said on Tuesday.
In June this year, the top-order batsman was banned by the Bangladesh Cricket Board for three years for failing to report an approach from match-fixers when he played for the Khulna Royal Bengals in the 2013 BPL season.
A Radio New Zealand sports reporter said it's believed the match-fixing also took place in the rebel ICL competition in India.