ICC backs life bans on Lou Vincent

Dubai: The International Cricket Council today supported the life ban imposed on New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent after he confessed to match-fixing while lauding the disgraced batsman for having the courage to admit his guilt.

ICC CEO Dave Richardson, while backing the decisions taken by England and Wales Cricket Board and the Champions League Twenty20 Governing Council, said the episode should serve as a warning for other players. "I encourage all the players to note how engagement in this type of activity can destroy careers and lives. The ICC endorses the decisions of the CLT20 and ECB to impose life bans on Lou Vincent," Richardson said.

"The ICC has a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption and these life bans, together with the life ban recently imposed by the ECB on Naveed Arif, should send out a loud and clear message to all those who indulge in corrupt practices and think they can get away with it," he added.

Vincent pleaded guilty to 18 breaches of the ECB`s anti-corruption regulations. Four breaches related to a Twenty20 match between Lancashire and Durham in June 2008. The remaining 14 charges related to two fixtures played at Hove in August 2011, namely a Sussex v Lancashire Twenty20 match and a Sussex v Kent CB40 match.

Vincent had also accepted bribes for fixing games during 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. "Whilst the strategy of the anti-corruption units remains focused on education, prevention and disruption of efforts to corrupt, in those small number of instances where suspicious activity is uncovered, no stone will be left unturned to bring those involved to justice.

"These unscrupulous corruptors and small group of greedy individuals should not be permitted to destroy the game for the overwhelming majority who play the game as they should, and the fans across the world," Richardson said.

The ICC CEO also praised Vincent for having the courage to accept his failings. "We also note the sentiments expressed in the statement of Lou Vincent and commend him for having the courage to finally tell the truth and to co-operate with the investigations," he said.

Richardson congratulated the anti-corruption units of the Cricket Australia, BCCI and ECB for a successful prosecution. "The Vincent admission and subsequent prosecutions only came about as a result of a difficult and painstaking multi-jurisdictional investigation involving excellent collaborative work between the anti-corruption units of CA, ECB, BCCI and the ICC," concluded Richardson.