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At a turn and yet not

At a turn and yet not

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"My name is Lou Vincent and I am a cheat," admits cricketer

Jul 01 2014, 15:04 IST
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SummaryAll set to be banned for life for fixing matches across nations, New Zealand's disgraced cricketer Lou Vincent...

All set to be banned for life for fixing matches across nations, New Zealand's disgraced cricketer Lou Vincent today offered his deepest apologies for shaming the game and his country, saying that he will regret his actions for the rest of his life.

"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," Vincent said in an emotional statement.

"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. And for that, I am not proud," he added.

Vincent is expected to be banned for life later this week for indulging in match-fixing during his county stints in England and the now-defunct Indian Cricket League. He has also been held guilty for failing to report approaches by bookies during the Bangladesh Premier League last year.

"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," said the 35-year-old, who played 23 Tests for his country.

The former opener said he could muster the courage to speak the truth only after being inspired by his wife.

"The time has come for me now to face them like a man and accept the consequences - whatever they may be. I could not live with my wrongdoings any longer and after meeting my future wife Susie, after learning what unconditional love really is, I felt strong enough to tell her what I'd done and she has helped me take the painful steps in telling my parents, my wider family and then the authorities," he said.

Vincent in his statement further said that now he can look up to his children having admitted to his crime.

"I am proud of the ones I love, especially my immediate family and friends. Their strength, support and forgiveness has enabled me to address some of the deepest, most uncomfortable issues one can face.

"I can finally look my children in the eyes and tell them that 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," he added.

"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."

Vincent thanked the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit for supporting him while he admitted to his wrongdoings.

"I apologise to and thank the ACSU for the help and support that is out there for all players, that has helped me a great deal, Chris Morris and his legal team and all the associations that have handled the sensitive situation with professionalism and respect," he said.

Vincent said he has been battling depression.

"The people who know me know I'm vulnerable, but they also know that I am not stupid. And 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," he said.

"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.

"For sport to prosper, it is up to players to police the game, because they are the ones that will ultimately lose out and allow themselves to be used as pawns to make money," he added.

Vincent hoped that his case would be a cautionary tale for those who are vulnerable to advances from corrupt elements.

"No one should ever be put in a position and no one should ever allow themselves to forget what sport is about and let money rule their decisions. The decisions I made were wrong. Players must be better than that; above reproach, for the fans, for the sport," he said.

"For the first time in a very long time I feel positive about my future, I am finally becoming the man I want to be. I have to face up to my wrongs and make them right.

"I have 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 am doing the right thing," he added.

Vincent said he accepts the punishments that have been handed out to him.

"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 that 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. I accept my punishment," he signed off.

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