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For the first time since the match-fixing controversy broke out, perpetrator Lou Vincent spoke out to the general public. Fish Fingers and Custard looks at the man and the statement that seemed unflinchingly honest in its apology.
Please note this is a humour article — work of pure fiction
“My name is Lou Vincent and I am a cheat.” If you have not heard or read that line yet, you probably live under a rock. Virtually every form of media associated with cricket — and a lot of them that have nothing to do with cricket whatsoever — have made banners of Vincent, with those words highlighted.
Expectedly, the reactions to his statement have been somewhat contorted. Some feel that this was no more than a publicity stunt from Vincent, while others believe it had shades of heart-felt repentance. Cases in point:
http://t.co/VlTSNQUO3l This sounds like a public relations exercise. Why not just reveal facts? Vincent’s feelings should remains private.
— cricketingview (@cricketingview) July 1, 2014
Very proud of Lou for owning his own mistakes… Haters: would YOU have had the guts to do it? #LouVincent
— Tina Campanella (@LittleBell1982) July 1, 2014
That Vincent is guilty is undoubted. But the fact that he has stood up and looked the cricketing world in the eye while confessing, speaks of a bravery that very few can boast of.
The one consistent idea that is repeated throughout his declaration is that while he is asking for forgiveness, he is not asking to be let off the hook. He knows that he cannot and will not be absolved, but he accepts it and is willing to face the consequences of his actions. So he is essentially the polar opposite of a certain reality dance show contestant who was part of two World Cup winning squads for his country.
Anyone who has, at some point in their lives, woken up unable to look at themselves in the morning would be able to identify with Vincent on some level. Here is a man who had to live with the crushing guilt of having betrayed the trust of an entire sporting nation every day of his life for months at a time.
Vincent’s revelations are shocking as he came across as a rather affable on the field. Here are a couple of videos showing just exactly why it is unlikely that Vincent is a criminal genius.
Criminal genii usually do not lose their pants while fielding or get smacked on the back of their skulls while standing peacefully. More often than not, they join parliament or take up commentating after the tide blows over.
And most importantly, they do not say things like: “I have shamed my country. I have shamed my sport. I have shamed those close to me…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.”
Vincent is guilty and deserves punishment. As he says himself, he should never stand in front of a game again, or apply his skills to help future cricketers. He should be as far away from cricket as possible.
But the question that rankles: How long are we going to condemn only men like Hansie Cronje and Vincent Lou for at least had the conscience to admit their guilty while ignoring the fact that men with dubious credentials continue to play the game by hiding their sins and occupy high offices?
(Fish Fingers and Custard is the pen name of a would-be comedian who tries his best to be taken seriously and inadvertently fails in the process. He doesn’t quite see the irony of his life yet. He can’t figure out Twitter, and does not know what a Face Book is. He can be found on neither platform for obvious reasons)
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