Former New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent granted relaxation on life ban; eligible to return to domestic cricket
Former New Zealand batter Lou Vincent has been granted a relaxation on his life ban by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB). The board has permitted the 45-year-old to participate in domestic cricket or any level below with immediate effect.
Vincent was handed 11 life bans in 2014 for his involvement in match-fixing. It barred him from participating in any level of cricket, a charge the Kiwi cricketer accepted.
At the end of 2013, reports emerged of Vincent being investigated by the International Cricket Council's (ICC) anti-corruption unit (ACSU) for allegations of his involvement in the spot-fixing of professional cricket matches. It included matches in the Indian Cricket League, the ECB 40, the Bangladesh Premier League, and the Champions League Twenty20.
However, the ECB's Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) media statement yesterday stated it's revoking the life ban. The decision came after Vincent demonstrated "the very highest levels of contrition and remorse and the very best efforts to make amends wherever possible".
Gerard Elias, representing the CDC, said:
"In particular, this decision was taken in the light of Mr Vincent's conduct following his sanction. Namely: full and frank admissions and the fullest disclosures; immediate and total co-operation with cricket and civil authorities in various parts of the world; and, participation in anti-corruption education programmes for NZC and the ECB. I am satisfied that these factors justify an amelioration of the original sanction at this time."
Lou Vincent last played for New Zealand in December 2007. His last competitive game was captaining the Khulna Royal Bengals in the 2013 Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
"Being able to return to the cricket environment means the world to me" - Lou Vincent
Lou Vincent expressed his gratitude for his early return to playing cricket after the relaxation of his life ban.
In the years after being banned, the former Kiwi batter was a builder in the town of Raglan, a surfing destination in the Waikato region of New Zealand.
In a statement issued by New Zealand Cricket (NZC), Vincent said:
"I made a terrible mistake many years ago, which I'll deeply regret for the rest of my life, and I remain very sorry for the harm I caused. Being able to return to the cricket environment means the world to me and I feel very fortunate to again have that opportunity."
Vincent further thanked the NZC and New Zealand Players Association (NZPA) and his lawyer, Chris Morris, for their support in making way for his return.
Overall, Vincent played 134 games for New Zealand across formats and scored almost 4,000 runs with six centuries.