Former Lancashire League cricketers Lou Vincent and Naveed Arif have been charged with match-fixing offences by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
The ECB announced charges yesterday against 35-year-old former New Zealand batsman Vincent and 32-year-old pace bowler Arif, who played for Pakistan A, relating to the 40-over match between Sussex and Kent at Hove in August 2011.
Vincent is also charged, among a total of 14 offences, in relation to a Twenty20 match between Sussex and Lancashire in the same month.
The players, neither of whom play in England any more, face lifetime bans – effective worldwide – if the charges are proven.
Vincent played for Ramsbottom in 2008 before signing for Lancashire, has also played as a sub-pro for Rawtenstall, while Arif was at Rawtenstall for the 2010 season.
The ECB said in a statement: “The England and Wales Cricket Board 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.”
Vincent is already under investigation by the ICC for alleged match or spot-fixing.
There is no suggestion that any other player from either Sussex or Kent was 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.”
Meanwhile, former New Zealand batsman 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.