Corruption in Cricket

Vincent ban too harsh - NZPA chief

ESPNcricinfo staff

July 4, 2014

Comments: 18 | Text size: A | A

Lou Vincent winds up for a big shot, Auckland v Somerset, CLT20 qualifier, Hyderabad, September 20, 2011
Lou Vincent's life ban might deter other players from coming forward to report corruption, says New Zealand Players Association chief Heath Mills © Associated Press

Heath Mills, the head of the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association, has questioned the life ban imposed on Lou Vincent by the ECB for match-fixing, saying that such an extreme level of punishment will deter other players from reporting further instances of wrongdoings.

Vincent had given information to the ICC's anti-corruption unit regarding approaches made during his time with Sussex and Lancashire. He pleaded guilty to 18 breaches of the ECB's anti-corruption code in reference to three English domestic matches and was charged with 11 offenses that were punishable by a life ban. Vincent had issued a statement calling himself a "cheat" and that he had accepted money to to underperform.

"What Lou Vincent has done is unacceptable and it required a heavy sanction," Mills said. "However, the bigger goal here has to be the fight against corruption in our sport. The anti-corruption officers have few tools in this fight and their most important tool is information from players.

"So by not giving people credit for coming forward and providing information, you are effectively putting up a significant barrier for anyone coming forward in the future."

However, the sentence imposed on Vincent had received support from NZC chief executive David White and ECB CEO David Collier said it had ""the approval of the ECB's independent Cricket Discipline Commission".

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by iceaxe on (July 5, 2014, 9:31 GMT)

Look,... the guy is nearly 40. He hasn't been in the NZ squad for years. Really,... how can this be harsh when he is past the twilight of his career?

That life ban isn't even a slap on the wrist.

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (July 5, 2014, 7:58 GMT)

think mills is way off the mark here, vincent is lucky he's not in jail, no doubt vincent is a nice guy with some mental demons that made him an easy target but he's a grown man with a conscience who knows right from wrong but still did the wrong thing. its easy as a black caps fan to have to have sympathy for lou knowing that he is a small fry in the grand scheme of the corruption world but i think you have to look at the big picture, match fixing is the biggest threat to the game and harsh penilties are the only way to try and stop it because if they dont cricket will lose all credibility and lose its fans, that can't be tolerated.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on (July 5, 2014, 6:53 GMT)

I think perhaps there should be an amnesty period of 6 months where any player previously or currently involved can come forward and perhaps received a 1-2 year fixed ban. Thereafter any involvement with fixing should be a life time ban whether is a first offence or not, it must carry the highest penalty. This would create a real opportunity for players to come forward now, clear the slate and expose some of the shady characters involved.

Posted by CamHodgson on (July 4, 2014, 22:07 GMT)

Heath Mills, once again, seems awfully confused. There's a significant difference between coming forward and reporting incidents, and being at the center of the incident.

Posted by RichardMLindsay on (July 4, 2014, 19:38 GMT)

The length of the ban is right. Now let's clean up the real problems which are the South Asian and South-East Asian gambling syndicates. I feel Lou Vincent is the tip of the iceberg unfortunately.

Posted by   on (July 4, 2014, 19:27 GMT)

Vincent provided info but thats after he cheated. He must be punished for cheating..... Simple!

Posted by eggyroe on (July 4, 2014, 14:16 GMT)

The punishment handed out to Lou Vincent has to be seen as harsh to deter would be Match Fixers.Fairness dosn't come into the equation,Match Fixers should understand that the punishment for the crime is a Life Time Ban from all cricket activities.

Posted by   on (July 4, 2014, 13:55 GMT)

Life time ban!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! come on guys. So, what do the ECB expect he is going to do the rest of his life... maybe become a salesperson selling sports goods, or may be sell banners outside the stadium. It's more like you've taken everything he had, everything he lived for, just because he did something wrong and pleaded guilty. perhaps his worst crime was pleading guilty. Even God forgives you when you have this regret and ask him for forgiveness with pure heart. A ban of 4 or 5 years would have been more justifiable, because to err is human. Mohammad Amir, even at his immature age we may have done countless worse things than he has.

Posted by   on (July 4, 2014, 13:06 GMT)

@Sir_Francis Amir also came forward and cooperated. Vincent should have been and rightly has been banned if Amir's ban is justified.

Posted by Sir_Francis on (July 4, 2014, 11:42 GMT)

How come you are all missing the point. This isn't about Vincent, it's about stopping match fixing in the future.

Obviously Vincent deserves a penalty and after Amir got jail time and a 5 year ban for bowling a wayward delivery intentionally I guess a life ban is to be expected. But the NZPA is talking about something else entirely. If you ban these guys for life forget about anyone else coming forward. And he's right. Instead of stopping match fixing people will just try to be more careful. No player is ever going to come clean now because what is the point? You may as well keep quiet and hope you don't get caught.

Posted by JBS1988 on (July 4, 2014, 11:26 GMT)

I believe he should be banned from all forms of playing cricket, because what he has done is completely wrong, but to be banned from going to a game to watch cricket or any form of coaching is extreme!! he has held his hand up, and admitted he has done wrong!!! This lifetime ban is only going to scare off other players who have done wrong and them seeing what has happened to Lou Vincent will stop them from doing so!!!

Posted by vik56in on (July 4, 2014, 11:02 GMT)

In a court of law, one's sentence is reduced by pleading guilty. But the ICC has extended no such facility to Lou Vincent .

Posted by   on (July 4, 2014, 10:59 GMT)

The only arguement I can see for not issuing a life ban, would be to send the message to others that if you help us, we would help you. They need to encourage people to come forward, if theres no benifit to coming clean why would anyone do it?

Posted by paddles952 on (July 4, 2014, 10:20 GMT)

too strict???? Amir went to jail for a much more minor offence...??? Where is the consistency there?

Posted by   on (July 4, 2014, 10:19 GMT)

In life I believe everyone make mistakes and should face the consequences. Let's take speeding. You get caught and pay a fine. In some cases you might get a suspension but after that you can drive again. You are not banned for life from driving a car ever again. A sportsman should get the same treatment. Why get banned for life after making a mistake? Surely after serving the punishment a player should get a second chance to continue with his life as it was before. Most people learn from their mistakes.

Posted by applethief on (July 4, 2014, 8:25 GMT)

Might have got this one wrong Mr. Mills. No-one kicked up a fuss about Kaneria's life ban, despite him not doing any of the fixing on the field. Vincent's life ban is very fitting. Given the depth of his involvement, I wouldn't be surprised if more punishment is in the pipe for him

Posted by   on (July 4, 2014, 8:04 GMT)

Statements like this is how player associations lose credibility.

Posted by   on (July 4, 2014, 7:52 GMT)

Can't agree with Mr Mills there, I think it fits the bill rather well. The primary goal is to get rid of fixing in cricket and an extremely harsh sentence certainly helps to deter that. A player that has already fixed and wishes to get off more lightly because he can't bear it on his conscience any longer shouldn't be given a light sentence as that will simply work against achieving the primary goal.

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