Lou Vincent admits 'I'm a cheat' before being given life ban from cricket

The New Zealand cricketer, who played for Sussex and Lancashire, pleaded guilty to 18 breaches

Lou Vincent must serve a life ban from all cricket after admitting he is a "cheat" who broke anti-corruption regulations.

The England and Wales Cricket Board imposed the ban on Tuesday, hours after Vincent had issued a statement in his native New Zealand acknowledging his guilt and expressing regret.

The former Kiwi batsman, who played for Sussex and Lancashire, pleaded guilty to 18 breaches of the regulations - four related to a Twenty20 match between Lancashire and Durham in June 2008.

His fate can be no surprise to anyone in world cricket, a point made by England seamer Stuart Broad - who, reacting to the 35-year-old's punishment, suggested "Lou has seen the light".

The remaining 14 charges against Vincent relate to two matches played at Hove in August 2011, a Twenty20 against Lancashire and CB40 against Kent.

ECB chief executive David Collier said: "We are extremely pleased the matter has now been brought to a satisfactory conclusion and an individual who repeatedly sought to involve others in corrupt activity for his own personal gain has accepted his conduct warrants a lifetime ban from cricket.

"It once again highlights our resolve to keep cricket clean and rid the game of the tiny minority who seek to undermine its integrity."

In his statement, Vincent admitted his involvement in match-fixing when at both Lancashire and Sussex and confessed to other offences in the Indian Cricket League and Twenty20 Champions League.

He said: "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 in 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.

"It's a truth that has rightly caused uproar and controversy in New Zealand and around the world. I have shamed my country, I have shamed my sport, I have shamed those close to me. For that, I am not proud.

"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.

"The time has come for me now to face them like a man and accept the consequences - whatever they may be."

Vincent thanked his wife Susie for helping him face up to what he had done.

He added: "I can finally look my children in the eyes and tell them honesty is the best policy - even if it feels like the hardest thing to do at times.

"I now believe in myself as a person again and I don't wake up every morning hating myself.

"Today is the day I offer my deepest, deepest apologies to the public and the cricketing world, to the loyal fans, to the dedicated coaches, staff, players past and present.

"I apologise to and thank the ACSU [International Cricket Council's anti-corruption and security unit] for the help and support that is out there for all players, that has helped me a great deal."

Vincent has long suffered from depression but insists that is no excuse for his transgressions.

He added: "The people who know me know I'm vulnerable, but they also know that I am not stupid. I know what is right and what is wrong.

"I do suffer from depression - that is absolutely no excuse for all I've done wrong.

"I used to think mistakes were made by bad people, but now I even know that good people can make the worst of mistakes.

"My actions I will regret for the rest of my life."

Vincent was one of three former New Zealand internationals revealed as being investigated by the ICC's anti-corruption unit. Chris Cairns and Daryl Tuffey have consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Vincent's life ban means he cannot earn a living from cricket in any capacity.

He said: "It is entirely my fault and I'll never be able to stand in front of a game again.

"It's 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 I can use this moment to convince others not to be tempted by wrongdoing ... to do the right thing for themselves, for family and friends and for the sport they love."

ICC chief executive David Richardson and his Sussex counterpart Zac Toumazi have both endorsed the ECB's imposition of the life ban.

Broad added: "It's no surprise he's been banned for life.

"You sit in the changing room with your mates talking about how desperate you are to play in these fixtures, and you don't think those sort of things go on.

"But obviously they do.

"Lou has seen the light, and admitted it.

"I don't know what he wants to do in the future - but he's got a tough couple of months ahead of him, I would have thought."

PA

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