Vincent rejects plea bargain claims
6:32pm Friday 23rd May 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Lou Vincent "remains accountable for his actions of the past", and has discounted reports he has entered into plea-bargaining over England and Wales Cricket Board corruption charges against him.
Former Sussex and New Zealand batsman Vincent was charged on Thursday, along with ex-county team-mate Naveed Arif, with match-fixing offences.
The charges against both players relate to a 40-over match against Kent at Hove - while Vincent alone also faces action over a Twenty20 fixture against Lancashire.
On Friday, he issued a statement in response - and also learned that he will face no separate charges from the International Cricket Council on the same matter, because the world governing body has no jurisdiction over the matches cited.
The 35-year-old Vincent, who has since retired, released the statement via his Auckland-based lawyer Chris Morris which read: "Lou Vincent confirms that overnight he received charges from the ECB.
"He will work through these and the process for dealing with the charges as required by the ECB."
The charges followed revelations last week in a national newspaper, disclosing Vincent's written testimony to the ICC's anti-corruption and security unit.
The lawyer's statement, published widely in the New Zealand media, added: "He further confirms the charges arise from the matters he has disclosed to the authorities, and he remains accountable for his actions of the past.
"The fact of the charges, and more are likely, dispel any notions of a plea bargain having been done - as unfortunately appears to be wrongly suggested by others.
"Mr Vincent will not be making any further comment on these matters, as they are subject to the disciplinary process."
There were statements too on Friday both from Sussex and the ICC.
Sussex expressed disappointment that two of their previous employees were the subject of such serious allegations, plus a commitment to co-operate with the ECB and optimism that better times are ahead in cricket's fight against corruption.
It read: "Sussex County Cricket Club is naturally extremely disappointed with the allegations surrounding the actions of Lou Vincent and Naveed Arif Gondal.
"Sussex have worked very closely and co-operated with the ECB anti-corruption unit to help establish the facts of what occurred in the two limited-overs matches during 2011, and will continue to do so.
"We believe that the education available to players and staff and the controls that have been put in place by the ECB and the Professional Cricketers' Association put our game in a good position as we move forward."
The ICC, meanwhile, sought to clarify its position and endorse ECB policy.
ICC chief executive David Richardson said: "The ICC notes and welcomes the ECB's announcement yesterday that it had charged two players, Lou Vincent and Naveed Arif, in respect of offences alleged to have been committed under the ECB's anti-corruption Code.
"It is important to recognise that these charging decisions have been made by the ECB after a significant amount of investigation work has been carried out in a number of jurisdictions by the ICC's ACSU, working together with the ECB's anti-corruption unit, and over a significant period of time.
"In case it has not been made clear, the ICC had no jurisdiction to prosecute these matters, since the matches concerned took place within the ECB's domestic jurisdiction.
"The ACSU has ensured that these matches have always remained under investigation since the original suspicions first came to light. Unfortunately, because of the conspiratorial nature of corruption offences, and because of the difficulty in gathering sufficient evidence upon which charges could be properly be founded, it required the uncovering of further evidence and disclosures subsequently to be able to put together a sufficient case.
"That further work was carried out jointly by the anti-corruption officials within the ACSU and the ECB, and reached its natural conclusion during the past week."
Richardson identifies a watershed moment in which governing bodies have worked together to bring charges.
"Those who seek to corrupt our game know no boundaries, and we are facing a significant threat both to the international and domestic game," he said.
"However, it is pleasing to note that this case and the charges that have been issued by the ECB represent the first ever cross-jurisdictional collaboration within the sport of cricket."