10 Dec 2023

Cricket: Lou Vincent's return 'long overdue'

6:20 am on 10 December 2023
Disgraced former cricketer Lou Vincent

Vincent admitted to attempting to manipulate 12 matches he played in. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

A leading commentator says former Black Cap Lou Vincent's second chance in the game of cricket is long overdue.

Vincent's life ban for match-fixing has been relaxed by the England Cricket Board after almost a decade out, allowing a return to domestic cricket.

The ECB banned Vincent in 2014 after the disgraced player admitted he was a "cheat" and had shamed his country and the sport by fixing matches.

Commentator Bryan Waddle said the 45-year-old will be a positive force in whichever path he chooses.

"He probably would like to get involved in club administration," Bryan Waddle said.

"I know he was interested in being a coach and he could be a mentor for young people. He has been doing work in the area of anti-corruption and taking responsibility for his actions. So I think there's a wide area that could be available.

"I've had a lot of dealings with him over a long period of time, and I'm sure he will add to the cricket community."

Waddle said it was a harsh punishment imposed on Vincent.

"He deserved to be penalised for his actions, but there's always room for a way back and I think it's a good decision for cricket."

"I think it's a fair and reasonable decision, he's served his time and his suspension and it's been regarded worldwide that people who have been given life bans have had those rescinded."

Vincent is not allowed to play at the top level, but due to his age this would have been unlikely.

Waddle said Vincent's team-mates will be supportive of the ruling, with the New Zealand Players Association also having a hand in the successful appeal.

"The ban, of course came out of England not from New Zealand, New Zealand was just forced to accept it. Sometimes, sport, and the game of cricket is a little bit too serious. Eleven life bans? For God's sake!"

Vincent played 23 tests and more than 100 one-day internationals for New Zealand and said he remains sorry for the harm he caused.

"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, 45, said in a statement.

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