sport

Vincent: No plea-bargain

Lou Vincent has not entered a plea-bargain arrangement with the England and Wales Cricket Board over corruption charges against him.

The former Sussex and New Zealand batsman 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 Vincent learned he will not face separate charges from the International Cricket Council as the governing body has no jurisdiction over the matches involved.

But Vincent denied, via his lawyer, that in coming forward to give evidence about match-fixing he has a plea-bargain in place with the ECB.

His Auckland-based lawyer Chris Morris said: "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.

"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 disappointment

Sussex meanwhile expressed disappointment over the two players' charges.

The county said in a statement: "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."