WELLINGTON: Disgraced former New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent said Thursday his match-fixing boss threatened him with a cricket bat after an attempt to rig a game backfired, costing crooked bookies a fortune.
Vincent, who received a life ban from cricket this week after admitting to fixing, said the incident occurred in 2008 during a match in the now-defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL), when he was supposed to underperform with the bat.
Instead, as he was trying to follow orders and get out cheaply, the ball hit a footmark and deviated into the middle of his bat, sailing over the bowler´s head for six.
The mistake was compounded when he accidentally edged the next ball for four, ending his innings with a score that was too high for those who knew about the fix to make any money.
Vincent attributed the mishap to “the cricketing gods”, but said his mentor, a renowned player who recruited him into the world of match-fixing, was furious and accused him of staging a double cross with rival bookies.
“He was spitting and fuming saying ´you cost me millions´,” Vincent told the New Zealand Herald in an interview published Thursday. “I could see I´d stuffed up massively. He accused me of double bluff but I wasn´t working against him deliberately.”
He added to broadcaster TV3 that he feared the player, who he could not name for legal reasons, was going to physically attack him during the “horrendous night”.
“He sat me down and walked away and grabbed his cricket bat and I´m surprised he didn´t follow through and hit me,” he said.
“He stopped the bat above his head, walking towards me with this killer look in his eyes, I thought ´this is pretty serious´.”