London/Wellington: New Zealand's disgraced batsman Lou Vincent was today banned for life by the England and Wales Cricket Board within hours of publicly confessing his involvement in match-fixing and offering his "deepest apologies" for shaming the game and his country.
"My name is Lou Vincent and I am a cheat. I have abused my position as a professional sportsman on a number of occasions by choosing to accept money in fixing," Vincent said in an emotional statement.
"I have lived with this dark secret for so many years, but months ago I reached the point where I decided I had to come forward and tell the truth.
"It's a truth that has rightly caused uproar and controversy in New Zealand and around the world. I have shamed my country, I have shamed my sport, I have shamed those close to me. And for that, I am not proud," he added.
Within hours of this statement, the ECB banned Vincent for life.
"The England and Wales Cricket Board today announced that the former New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent has been banned from cricket for life after he admitted breaching the ECB's anti-corruption regulations," the ECB stated.
"Mr Vincent pleaded guilty to 18 breaches of the regulations in total. Four breaches related to a Twenty20 match between Lancashire and Durham in June 2008. The remaining 14 charges related to two fixtures played at Hove in August 2011, namely a Sussex v Lancashire Twenty20 match and a Sussex v Kent CB40 match," it added.
Vincent had also indulged in accpeting bribes for fixing games during the now-defunct Indian Cricket League. He has also been held guilty for failing to report approaches by bookies during the Bangladesh Premier League last year.
"I lost faith in myself, in the game, I abused the game I loved. I had to put things right. Speaking out, exposing the truth, laying bare the things I have done wrong, is the only way I could find to begin to put things right," said the 35-year-old, who played 23 Tests for his country.