Lou Vincent’s acceptance is chilling and one which reflects the larger reality © Getty Images
Lou Vincent’s admission of guilt is chilling and has to be taken seriously by the cricketing world, writes Nishad Pai Vaidya.
Admitting an offence is no easy task and being honest can be tough, as Lou Vincent, the disgraced New Zealand cricketer said in his statement. Vincent is no hero for his honesty. However, he isn’t a villain either. Here is a man who has had the courage to come forward in the face of allegations, a life ban, and admit his wrongdoing. While it does not absolve him of his misdemeanor, he certainly warrants more respect as there seems to be an attempt to put things right and redeem himself.
Vincent’s acceptance is chilling and one which reflects the larger reality. A man who suffered depression, was a bit vulnerable, fell prey to an act that brings the game into disrepute. It isn’t greed alone that can be exploited by those looking for partners in betraying the game. The fundamental want for wealth isn’t the only thing to be blamed. A combination of circumstances is what can lead a man to take a huge step, without considering its possible implications in the future.
If one goes by Ian O’Brien’s statements, it is a combination of both, greed and the situation, which led Vincent astray. O’Brien told BBC, “”From what Lou is saying, this one is based entirely around greed and bad decisions. When we are not healthy we more often that not make more bad decisions than good ones.” O’Brien also suggested that Vincent was an “easy target” and that in itself reflects the fact that vulnerable players can be made to indulge in such activities. Moreover, it is that one moment of indiscretion that a cricket gives it all away.
In that one moment, a cricketer loses the reputation he has built over the years. A cricketer’s success isn’t his alone — there are family, friends and coaches behind the scenes. All that hard-work doesn’t matter when a player falls for such activities. There certainly is something that goes wrong, and circumstances may lead a man to destroy all that he has built over the years.
That isn’t to say that they aren’t guilty. However, it does open the cricketing world’s eyes to a scourge that can pull the vulnerable. What if players are coerced into it? Do they have enough confidence to report it to officials? These are some of the issues that have to be addressed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the boards. Players have to be given the confidence that they can report approaches and get on with their game honestly as the authorities would then take over the clean-up job.
However, despite such measures, there may remain a few bad apples, who are motivated by nothing but greed. One can’t do much to change an adult’s fundamental nature with all the educational measures. These men may pull the others into this malevolent scheme, manipulating them and using their problems against them.
Vincent seems to be remorseful and perhaps want to do right. His cricketing career is over with a life ban and would now seek redemption outside the field of play. Hansie Cronje, another fallen hero, rose from the ashes and carved out a successful corporate career. However, his rise was nipped in the bud when he tragically died in a plane crash. Vincent can take heart Cronje’s work after the ban and move forward. Getting rid of the disgrace isn’t going to be easy and to stay strong in the face of it, is what will test Vincent.
(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)