Lou Vincent: full text of shamed cricketer's apology
Former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent has been given a life ban from cricket by the ECB after he admitted his involvement in match-fixing.
Prior to the announcement of his ban, Vincent issued a full apology for his actions. Read the full text of his statement below:
"My name is Lou Vincent and I am a cheat.
"I have abused my position as a professional sportsman on a number of occasions by choosing to accept money through fixing.
"I have lived with this dark secret for many years, but just months ago I reached the point where I decided I had to come forward and tell the truth.
"It's a truth that has rightly caused uproar and controversy in New Zealand and around the world.
"I have shamed my country. I have shamed my sport. I have shamed those close to me. For that I am not proud.
"I lost faith in myself and the game. I abused the game I love. I had to put things right. Speaking out. Exposing the truth. Laying bare the things I have done wrong is the only way I can begin to put things right.
"The time has come for me to now face them like a man and accept the consequences, whatever they may be.
"I could not live with my wrongdoing any longer, and after meeting my future wife Susie, after learning what unconditional love really is, I felt strong enough to tell her what I'd done, and she has helped me take the painful steps of telling my parents, my wider family, and then the authorities.
"I am proud of those I love. Especially my immediate family and friends. Their strength, support and forgiveness has enabled me to address some deep and uncomfortable issues in my life.
"I can finally look my children in the eyes and tell them that honesty is the best policy, even if it feels like the hardest thing to do at times.
"I now believe in myself as a person again and do not wake up every morning hating myself.
"Today is the day I offer my deepest apologies to the public and the cricketing world, to the loyal fans, to the dedicated coaches, staff and all players past and present.
"I apologise to and thank the ACSU [Anti-Corruption and Security Unit] for their help and support, which is out there for all players and it has helped me a great deal. Chris Morris and his legal team, and all associations that have handled this sensitive situation with professionalism and respect.
"The people who know me know I am vulnerable. But they also know I am not stupid and that I know what is right and what is wrong.
"I do suffer from depression but it is absolutely no reason or excuse for all that I have done wrong.
"I used to think mistakes were the actions of bad people. I now know even good people can make the worst of mistakes. My actions, I will regret for the rest of my life.
"For sport to prosper, it is up to the players to police the game, because they are the ones that will ultimately lose out if they allow themselves to be used as pawns to make money.
"No one should ever be put in that position. And no one should ever allow themselves to forget what sport is about and let money rule their decisions.
"The decisions I made were wrong. Players must be better than that. Above reproach. For the fans. For the sport.
"For the first time in a very long time I feel positive about the future because I am finally becoming the man I wanted to be. I have to face up to my wrongs to make them right.
"I have kept my head down for too long now. This is my time to man up to my mistakes and today I can stand with a better conscience because I know I'm doing the right thing.
"It is entirely my fault that I will never be able to stand in front of a game again. It is entirely my fault that I will not be able to apply my skills in a positive way to help future cricketers.
"But it is entirely possible that I can use this moment to convince others not to be tempted by wrongdoing. To do the right thing for themselves, for their families and friends, and for the sport they love.
"I accept my punishment and I thank you for [reading] my statement."