Vincent and Arif charged by ECB

Blackpool Citizen: Former Sussex batsman Lou Vincent, pictured, has been charged by the ECB over allegations of match-fixing Former Sussex batsman Lou Vincent, pictured, has been charged by the ECB over allegations of match-fixing

The first charges for fixing English county cricket matches have been brought after former Sussex players Lou Vincent and Naveed Arif were charged with match-fixing offences.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced 14 charges against 35-year-old former New Zealand batsman Vincent and six against 32-year-old pace bowler Arif, who played for Pakistan A.

The charges relate to a 40-over match between Sussex and Kent at Hove in August 2011, while Vincent is also charged in relation to a Twenty20 match between Sussex and Lancashire in the same month.

The players, neither of whom play in England any more, have been suspended and face lifetime bans - effective worldwide - if the charges are proven.

Vincent is already under investigation by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for spot-fixing but this is an ECB charge and the first charges of a county cricket match being fixed.

There is no suggestion that any other players from either Sussex, Kent or Lancashire were involved.

Chris Watts, head of the ECB's anti-corruption unit, said: "This has been an extremely complex and lengthy investigation coordinated across many jurisdictions around the world.

"This matter is now the subject of formal legal proceedings, and we will therefore make no further comment other than to reiterate our determination to bring to account the very small minority who seek to corrupt cricket."

ECB chief executive David Collier added: "The ECB's ACCESS unit has worked tirelessly in conjunction with the ICC's ACSU (anti-corruption and security unit) to bring about these charges, which once again demonstrates the ECB's zero tolerance approach to corruption in our great game."

Arif's solicitor Imran Khan said in a statement: "Mr Naveed Arif has been charged pursuant to ECB's anti-corruption code for participants with six offences in relation to the 40-over cricket match between Sussex and Kent which took place on 23 August 2011.

"Mr Arif is currently suspended from all cricketing activities.

"In view of Mr Arif's right to a fair hearing before the anti-corruption tribunal, we do not intend to make any further comment at this juncture."

Arif, who went on to play league cricket in Staffordshire after leaving Sussex, conceded 41 runs in six wicketless overs, including two wides, in the game against Kent. Vincent was run out for one off seven balls.

The match attracted bets totalling more than £12million on one legal gambling website alone, the highest total for any match of its kind in the past three years, which drew suspicions at the time but was cleared by the ICC's anti-corruption unit.

The ECB's statement confirmed both players had been charged. It stated: "The ECB has issued charges against former New Zealand cricketer, Lou Vincent, and former Sussex cricketer, Naveed Arif, under the ECB's anti-corruption code.

"Vincent is charged with a total of 14 offences in relation to two county matches played under the ECB's jurisdiction in August 2011 - a Twenty20 match between Sussex and Lancashire and a 40-over game between Sussex and Kent.

"Naveed Arif is charged with six offences in relation to the 40-over game between Sussex and Kent in August 2011.

"Both players have been provisionally suspended from all cricketing activities organised, authorised or supported by the ECB, International Cricket Council, any other national cricket federation and any member of any other national cricket federation."

Meanwhile, former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns has protested his innocence after reports named him as having offered money to Vincent to become involved in spot-fixing - after a witness statement from Vincent's ex-wife, Elly Riley, appeared in the New Zealand media.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree