Lou Vincent's life ban relaxed by ECB

Vincent expressed gratitude to NZC and the New Zealand Players Association (NZPA)

By Web Desk
December 08, 2023
Lou Vincent - AFP

The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has reduced the life ban imposed in June 2014 on former New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent.

The ECB's Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) said on Friday that the life ban had been lifted after receiving "compelling evidence demonstrating the very highest levels of contrition and remorse and the very best efforts to make amends wherever possible" from Vincent.

Vincent earned 11 life bans for his involvement in match fixing nine years ago, which barred him from participating in cricket in any manner. Vincent had accepted the restrictions and stayed away at the time.

Vincent, now 45, said he was "very fortunate" to be allowed to return to cricket as soon as the life ban was lifted. "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," Vincent said in a statement issued by NZC.

Vincent, who last played for New Zealand in 2007, began a new life as a builder in Raglan, a surfing mecca in New Zealand's Waikato region, in the years following his ban. Attending cricket matches with his family, which he was forbidden from doing during his life sentence, is now one of the things Vincent says he is looking forward to.

"Being able to return to the cricket environment means the world to me and I feel very fortunate to again have that opportunity."

The NZPA's CEO, Heath Mills, said Vincent had played a significant role in educating players across all sports about the dangers of match-fixing, which the CDC had recognised.

"The penalties have been particularly hard on Lou and he's shown a lot of humility in owning his mistakes and setting about making amends," Mills said. "I'm pleased the authorities have recognised his contribution to the fight against match-fixing and, also, his ongoing efforts to educate players and administrators around the world on anti-corruption."

NZC CEO Scott Weenink said though Vincent had "made a mistake… he's given a lot to the game, not least in helping spread the anti-corruption message over the past decade, and it's good and right that he can be more involved again."