Vincent gifted Dubai trip for fixes

By Dylan Cleaver

Disgraced cricketer given cash, luxury apartment stay and day on superyacht for agreeing to influence games.

Lou Vincent was put up in a luxury apartment by 'Cricketer X' according to sources. Photo / Richard Robinson, Getty Images
Lou Vincent was put up in a luxury apartment by 'Cricketer X' according to sources. Photo / Richard Robinson, Getty Images

Lou Vincent was flown to Dubai, put up in a luxury apartment, given spending money and enjoyed a day on a superyacht after agreeing to manipulate matches in the Indian Cricket League, it is understood.

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The trip was at least in part arranged by a player known as Cricketer X, sources said.


It is believed former Black Cap Lou Vincent was flown to Dubai as a sweetener to encourage fix matches. Photo / Richard Robinson

It is understood that Vincent was not paid for his "efforts" in the initial ICL, but the trip to Dubai was offered as a sort of "sweetener" to encourage future involvement.

The revelation comes the day after another New Zealand cricketer's testimony to the ICC's anti-corruption unit (ACSU) told of links to Dubai.

Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum was interviewed by the ACSU, as revealed in the Herald on Friday. He told of a double-pronged approach by a "former international star" in 2008, which included advice to launder money gained from match-fixing through the purchase of Dubai property.

McCullum's testimony has been leaked to cricket corruption expert Ed Hawkins, author of Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy, who has published it in the UK's Daily Mail, much to the chagrin of cricket bosses here.

"New Zealand Cricket is dismayed that Brendon McCullum's testimony to the International Cricket Council has been leaked to the media. We can confirm that Brendon is not under investigation by the ICC and his testimony has actually been applauded by them," NZ Cricket chief executive David White said. "We believe what Brendon has done is brave and courageous. He's done the right thing."

Responding to a suggestion McCullum might face a sanction for not immediately reporting an approach, White added: "My understanding is that there were two approaches and there may have been a small delay [in reporting them]," White told the Herald. "That has been canvassed by the ICC and they were very comfortable with it and in fact applauded Brendon's [conduct]."

Most importantly, McCullum said no, something Vincent apparently failed to do when approached by Cricketer X.

Vincent, reportedly under guard at his property near Auckland, has given the ICC and Metropolitan Police astonishing evidence, including details about meeting bookies in Brighton hotels and the ways and means used to manipulate matches

The news he was entertained in Dubai, home to the ICC headquarters, will again throw the spotlight on transactions made in that part of the world.

McCullum's testimony has provided further evidence of how pervasive the threat of fixing is in cricket. McCullum met somebody he described as his "hero" in the lobby of a hotel on the eve of the inaugural Indian Premier League to discuss a business opportunity. The player explained to McCullum the intricacies of spread betting. McCullum was told he could secure up to $210,000 a game.

"I was really shocked as I saw [blank] as a good friend and it totally confused me," said McCullum in the leaked testimony. "[Blank] told me he had a good group working for him in the ICL and I understand this to be fixing for him. It was my opinion then, as it is now, that [blank] was actively [involved] in fixing. I believed he was asking me to do the same thing for him in the IPL as others were doing in the ICL."

McCullum was told to use the money earned to buy property in Dubai. When sold later the money could be passed off as profit made on property deals. The hard-hitting batsman said when the player called later, he told him he was not interested.

Soon after, while New Zealand was on tour in England, the same player met McCullum in a Worcester cafe to see whether he would change his mind. He had not.

McCullum told investigators he "never, ever" manipulated a game, something his bosses here were anxious to reiterate.

They are also anxious to stop leaks while the investigation is ongoing.

Key dates

December 5, 2013: Herald reveals three NZ cricketers investigated.

December 14: Herald uncovers one of the matches the ICC is probing is an Auckland Aces match in South Africa in 2012.

February 27, 2014: Former Black Cap Lou Vincent admits approach by bookmaker.

May 15: NZ Cricket confirms Aces match is being investigated.

May 16: Vincent's testimony to ICC anti-corruption investigators is leaked to Daily Mail, revealing recruitment by "world-famous international".

May 19: Further documents leaked, including testimony from Brendon McCullum.

- NZ Herald

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