Cricket-Vincent guilty of not reporting bookie approach

Reuters

* Vincent says "rejected" bookmaker

* Dhaka Gladiators boss found guilty of match-fixing charge (Adds background, details)

DHAKA, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent has pleaded guilty to not reporting an approach by a bookmaker while playing in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) last year.

The 35-year-old Vincent is one of three former New Zealand cricketers under investigation by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for alleged match-fixing.

Vincent, who retired from all cricket last year, had failed to report the approach to the ICC while playing for the Khulna Royal Bengals in the domestic Twenty20 competition in January last year.

"I confirm I rejected this approach at the time," Vincent said in a statement carried by New Zealand media on Thursday.

"There is no allegation or suggestion anything untoward occurred beyond the approach itself.

"I also express I have no involvement in any of the matches, or matters, involving the other parties, which were the subject of recent hearings and investigation in Bangladesh.

"Unfortunately, I am unable to comment any further on this matter, as it is subject to an ongoing judicial process.

"I am also continuing to co-operate with the ICC in respect of other inquiries, they are making, which also restricts my ability to comment any further."

The two other New Zealand cricketers being investigated have been named by local media but New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has declined to confirm their identities.

The three have been probed as part of a wider investigation into alleged match-fixing in the BPL.

An anti-corruption tribunal found the managing director of BPL champions Dhaka Gladiators, Shihab Jishan Chowdury, guilty of a charge for being "a party to an effort to fix a match against Chittagong".

The tribunal dropped charges against six other Dhaka players and officials, including Kent cricketer Darren Stevens, who was found not guilty of a charge of failing to report an illegal approach by a bookmaker.

The tribunal said it would set a hearing date for the sanction against Chowdury after releasing the "full reasons" of the judgement within two weeks.

In a joint statement, the ICC and Bangladesh Cricket Board said they were "surprised and obviously disappointed with the outcome" of the tribunal hearing and held out the possibility of appealing the judgement.

Former Bangladesh captain and Dhaka batsman Mohammad Ashraful is also expected to be sanctioned within the next two weeks after confessing to match-fixing charges last year. (Reporting by Ruma Paul; Writing by Ian Ransom; Editing by John O'Brien)

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