Vincent gives information on 'widespread fixing': reports
Lou Vincent, the former New Zealand batsman, has reportedly given information to the ICC's anti-corruption unit detailing attempted spot-fixing in several competitions around the world - including county cricket in England and the Champions League.
New Zealand Cricket said on Thursday that some of Auckland Aces' 2012 Champions League games were being reviewed but reiterated its statement that no matches played in the country or involving the national team were part of the investigation.
According to the Telegraph, Vincent has provided information on approaches made during his time with Sussex and Lancashire. Sussex have previously confirmed that a 40-over game against Kent, in which Vincent played, was subject to investigation by the anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU).
The reports comes at a time when the role of the ACSU, which acts as an independent watchdog, has been under discussion. Proposals during the April round of ICC meetings suggested that the ACSU may be reviewed by the game's big three nations, with the body potentially being asked to report directly to the chairman of the board rather than the chief executive of the ICC. The proposals could see the watchdog effectively controlled by three countries: Australia, England and India.
Responding to reports of Vincent's statements to anti-corruption police, David White, NZC's CEO, stated that none of the current international New Zealand players were being investigated by the ACSU. The Telegraph had reported Vincent has provided information on what it called "widespread fixing across cricket", involving matches in at least five countries.
"Firstly I want to make it clear that this is an ICC investigation and New Zealand Cricket is very limited in what it can say, but we can confirm the following. No games played in New Zealand are being investigated by the ICC. No current Black Caps are being investigated. No matches involving New Zealand national teams are being investigated," White said.
White, however, stated that a few games played by Auckland Aces in the 2012 Champions League T20 in South Africa were under investigation. Vincent had also reportedly told officials of fixing when he played for the Auckland Aces in New Zealand and during the tournament in 2012.
"We have been informed by the ICC that some Auckland Aces matches in the Champions League in South Africa in 2012 are being investigated," White said. "We would like to stress that we understand that this is very much an isolated incident. Match-fixing is a threat to cricket around the globe, and we remain 100% behind the ICC in their focus of fighting corruption."
In December, Vincent confirmed that he was involved in an ongoing ICC anti-corruption investigation and in February he admitted being approached by an illegal bookmaker during the 2013 Bangladesh Premier League season. However, the Telegraph has reported that Vincent has provided the ICC's anti-corruption unit with other information on matches targeted for spot-fixing and the names of players involved.
The paper said Vincent had told anti-corruption police of attempted fixing in England's Twenty20 Cup and CB40 competitions. The Telegraph reported that Vincent had admitted trying to convince one Lancashire team-mate to participate in a fix, but the player reported the approach to authorities.
It was also reported that Vincent had provided details of an approach by another player to a current international captain, who turned down the offer and also reported it to anti-corruption officials. The paper also reported that the ICC's anti-corruption unit was close to charging a former Pakistan player based on Vincent's evidence.
The investigation, the Telegraph said, is likely to take another 12 to 18 months to complete with Vincent, reportedly, having agreed to a plea bargain in an effort to avoid a criminal prosecution.
The ICC would not offer any comment on the particulary ACSU investigation, which appears to revolve around domestic T20 leagues rather than international matches. In the last decade with the growth of domestic T20 leagues around the world, the ACSU has been called upon to work with several home boards, where its role is that of an information-gathering agency rather than an investigative body with powers.
The ACSU personnel police the domestic T20 events and once it is done, they hand over information gathered around anti-corruption activities to the home boards. It is up to the home boards to take action or ask for further investigation to be carried out. So far only the Bangladesh Cricket Board has asked for an ACSU lead be turned into a full-fledged investigation into corruption in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). By the end of the investigation in February 2014, two cricketers were banned and one BPL team owner was found guilty of corruption.