Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Vile Vincent

Revelations and confessions this week from Lou Vincent have left a sour taste in the mouth, and I am not talking about Tulisa here. The ICC also need to have a serious look at themselves, and the laws need changing where it becomes a criminal offence. Match fixing, spot fixing, corruption, greed and the like are a pariah of our game and need stamping out. Here we have a look at the week that shamed cricket.

Imagine the best games of cricket you have watched in your life? Think Edgbaston in 2005, the one day between Australia and South Africa in the semi final of the World Cup in 1999, Headingley in 1981, England versus Australia in Melbourne in 1982, you get my drift? The tight ones, the close ones, the ones that stick in the memory bank. Now imagine if they were fixed? How would you feel? In a similar way to how Katie Price thinks about her latest boyfriend no doubt. However, the cricketing public deserve better.

Prices for tickets for certain games are not cheap. I am forking out £75 to watch England play Sri Lanka at Lord's in a few weeks and with beers, food etc I am looking at two hundred sheets for a day out, more if I get really lashed and end up in a venue of ill repute in Soho. It is a lot of dough. It is my choice to pay that to watch live sport, but should I be watching acting then I would be horrified. A visit to the Barbican to watch a decent bit of Shakespeare won't set you back as much as to watch a Midsummer Day's Dream between England and Sri Lanka.


Vincent's revelations and confessions that he was match fixing have disgusted me. Yes, it has been common knowledge that there has been spot fixing or match fixing going on for years. However, you have always thought it is in some tin pot limited overs thrash in Sharjah. The fact that he was doing it whilst at Sussex and Lancashire over here brings it closer to home. Along with Mr X, who is widely rumoured to be Chris Cairns, a man who played club cricket in North London at a club less than a mile away from my own when he was younger, these revelations damage cricket. Whether you believe Brendon McCullum, Cairns or a man such as Vincent who is in essence, well and truly fucked, is entirely of your own volition.

Vincent's ex missus has now waded in to the argument saying that Vile Vincent cost Cairns a lot of money over a game in India. Cairns was the daddy of all the fixes according to Lou, and got him involved. Brendon McCullum names the same ringleader as Vincent, whilst Lou claims a Sussex player in 2011 who has now retired was also a major fixer. If it is Cairns, it will be even sadder. An excellent cricketer, hard hitting and great to watch. I was privileged enough to see him carve Harmison, Flintoff and Co all over the ground in 2004 at Lord's on Andrew Strauss' debut.

So what are the ICC and their infamous match fixing department doing about it? Err sweet Fanny Adams, or as the afore mentioned Shakespeare would have said, Much Ado About Nothing. Vincent's ex wife gave her statement in October whilst Mohammed Ashraful admitted being naughty a year ago and yet still nothing has happened to him. There have been thirteen names in an envelope sitting in India for a few months now, yet still nothing has happened. Why? Because money talks. Maybe they are waiting for what happened to Hansie Cronje or Bob Woolmer, so they can brush it under the carpet? Accidents allegedly. The IPL is riddled with fixing, corruption and dodgy bets, yet commands so much dosh that the ICC are scared to wade in.

Splash em Daddy

Whilst I am on my soapbox, the law needs changing in the UK too. The three Pakistanis were imprisoned the other year on a perverting the course of justice law from 1906, designed to weed out corrupt civil servants. The message needs to go out to cricketers that if they are corrupt and being dodgy, then long terms of imprisonment beckon.

At least when we were watching World of Sport in the seventies, we all knew that wrestling was acting. If cricket went the same way, it would be extremely sad. Like a wife whose husband has been cheating, I feel slightly dirty and used.

As for Lou Vincent and the like, they need a Big Daddy 'splash'.


  1. It is a cancer on the game. The longer it is left the worse it will get until it becomes terminal. Athletics and cycling lost the battle, and any credibility, years ago. Unless we know what we are watching then watching becomes pointless.
    Somebody needs to get a grip, and quick.
    We all know who's in the envelope but they continue to play.
    Cricket and the World has gone mad.

  2. Well said Fred. Completely agree with cycling, athletics etc. The ICC need to grow some balls and not let money get in the way, before the people who provide the money turn their back on the 'sport'.

  3. Sorry, I don't know whose names are in the envelope-publish Dan. But it crept into club cricket years ago. I remember a couple of spells of yours in the late 1990's Dan that could only be explained by match fixing!

  4. You cheeky bastard Grover but yeah, fair point. Mine was more spot fixing...always the third one in the over was a beamer! Worthy always hit the pads sixth ball, followed by a large appeal to keep himself on.

  5. I agree with what you and Fred said. Unfortunately, though, when you start talking about "sorting out fixing", you start to enter the murky world of ICC politics. Identities should not be leaked mid-investigation (or no one else will come forward). I've heard this was leaked by one country (allegedly one with a very powerful cricket board), at a time when the "Big 3" want to take control of what the ACSU does (and I personally think the idea of an anti corruption unit reporting to Srinivasan is ridiculous, particularly when he is suspended from the BCCI at the behest of his country's Supreme Court over match fixing allegations).

    It would clearly be wholly inappropriate to suggest that the (suspended) Chair of the ICC's most powerful nation is not interested in curing the biggest blight on the game, though.