Vincent rejects plea bargain claims

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Lou Vincent was this week charged with match-fixing offences Lou Vincent was this week charged with match-fixing offences

Lou Vincent "remains accountable for his actions of the past" and on Friday 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, along with ex-county team-mate Naveed Arif, on Thursday 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.

The 35-year-old Vincent, who has since retired, released a 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 International Cricket Council'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."

Sussex also released a statement on Friday, expressing 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."

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