LONDON (Reuters) - Former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent and Pakistani Naveed Arif have been charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)under its Anti-Corruption code, the ruling body said on Thursday.
Vincent has been charged with 14 offences relating to two matches he played for English county Sussex in August 2011 - a Twenty20 game against Lancashire and a 40-over clash with Kent.
Arif has been charged with six offences relating to the Kent match.
Both players have been provisionally suspended from all cricket activities organised by the sport’s governing bodies and they could be banned for life if they are found guilty of match-fixing.
If the players are found guilty, it would be the first proven case of the result of an English county game being fixed.
“This has been an extremely complex and lengthy investigation co-ordinated across many jurisdictions around the world,” Chris Watts, head of ECB’s Anti-Corruption unit, said in a statement.
”This matter is now the subject of formal legal proceedings and we will therefore make no further comment other than to re-iterate 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 to bring about these charges, which once again demonstrates the ECB’s zero tolerance approach to corruption in our great game.”
The 35-year-old Vincent, who played 23 tests and more than 100 one-day internationals for New Zealand, has given evidence to the International Cricket Council about his involvement in match-fixing and is co-opearing with the sport’s ruling body.
The evidence relates to 12 matches in five countries between 2008 and 2012.
The 32-year-old Arif was released by Sussex in 2012 and has recently played in Twenty20 games in Pakistan.
Reporting by Ed Osmond; editing by Justin Palmer and Pritha Sarkar