Lou Vincent said he was grateful to be given a second chance as his life ban from cricket was lifted on Friday night.
“I made a terrible mistake many years ago which I’ll deeply regret for the rest of my life, and I remain very sorry for the harm I caused,” Vincent said in a statement released by New Zealand Cricket.
“Being able to return to the cricket environment means the world to me and I feel very fortunate to again have that opportunity.
“I want to thank the ECB and the Cricket Discipline Committee and Mr Gerald Elias CBE KC for their consideration of my application and their ultimate determination.
“Same with the ICC, NZC, the NZCPA and the many other organisations who supported me throughout this process — it’s meant so much to me on a personal level.
“It’s also important for me to acknowledge and thank my lawyer Chris Morris, whose guidance and support over many years is something I’ll never forget.”
Vincent said he would look forward to supporting and helping the game at a community level in the years ahead, and attending cricket matches with his family.
New Zealand Cricket joined with the New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association in welcoming the relaxation of the life ban imposed on the former international.
In a ruling announced on Friday night, the England and Wales Cricket Board’s disciplinary arm agreed to revise the penalties imposed on Vincent in 2014 so he can participate and be involved in cricket matches at or below domestic level. The changes take immediate effect.
Elias, on behalf of the Cricket Discipline Commission, said in a statement the decision was reached after careful consideration of the specific circumstances of Vincent’s case, the supporting evidence and representations from several major cricket stakeholders, including the International Cricket Council, NZC and the ECB.
In particular, he said, it recognised Vincent’s full and frank admissions and disclosures, his immediate and total co-operation with cricket and civil authorities in various parts of the world, and his participation in anti-corruption education programmes for NZC and the ECB.
Elias said he was satisfied these factors justified “an amelioration of the original sanction at this time”.
NZCPA chief executive Heath Mills welcomed the ruling.
“The penalties have been particularly hard on Lou and he’s shown a lot of humility in owning his mistakes and setting about making amends.
“I’m pleased the authorities have recognised his contribution to the fight against match-fixing and also his ongoing efforts to educate players and administrators around the world on anti-corruption.”
NZC chief executive Scott Weenink said his organisation supported the relaxation of Vincent’s penalty.
“We’re pleased for Lou,” he said. “He made a mistake but he’s part of our cricket family and we want to support him and stand by him.
“Lou’s given a lot to the game, not least in helping spread the anti-corruption message over the past decade, and it’s good and right that he can be more involved again.”
Weenink said NZC wanted to thank the ECB, CDC and ICC for their understanding, and also acknowledge the hard work undertaken behind the scenes by the NZCPA and Chris Morris.
“It says something about Lou that so many people wanted to help him. It’s a good decision and we’re all very grateful.”