Former Sussex chief executive David Brooks has welcomed the news that ex-players Lou Vincent and Naved Arif have been charged with fixing two vital matches at Hove.
Vincent and Arif have both been suspended from all cricket after being charged with a combined total of 20 offences relating to Sussex’s CB40 game against Kent in August 2011 and the Twenty20 quarter-final against Lancashire in the same month.
Vincent is charged with a total of 14 offences relating to both games – which Sussex lost – while Arif is charged with six offences in relation to the match against Kent.
The allegations surrounding the Kent match have been hanging over Sussex for almost two years and Brooks, who was chief executive at the time of the games and has continued to help the ECB with their investigations since leaving Hove in October 2012, is glad action has finally been taken.
Brooks said: “From a Sussex point of view we did all we could at the time. We reported it and passed it on to the ECB who passed it on to the ICC. “They looked into it and from their records with the gambling firms they couldn’t see enough evidence to take it further forward.
“From a club point of view the club cooperated fully. Since leaving I have had one meeting with Chris Watts (the head of the ECB’s anti-corruption unit) and a couple of phone calls as I am still a witness.
“From a personal point of view I find it incredibly sad that players are tempted into things of this nature.
“It rips at the fabric of the game but the ECB have taken decisive action now which should be congratulated. “The ECB are doing fantastic work. They have done a huge amount of work and hopefully this incident can be dealt with quickly, succinctly and professionally so Sussex and cricket in general can move on.”
Vincent has claimed he was paid £40,000 to help fix the match against Kent in which he was run out for just one as Sussex collapsed from 76-0 to fall 14 runs short of their target of 216. Arif bowled six overs in the match which cost 41 runs and scored 11 runs from 29 balls.
There is no suggestion that any other players from either Sussex, Kent or Lancashire were involved.
Watts said: “This has been an extremely complex and lengthy investigation co-ordinated across many jurisdictions around the world. “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.”
The game against Kent attracted bets totalling more than £12million on one legal gambling website alone, the highest total for any match of its kind in the past three years, which drew suspicions at the time but was cleared by the ICC’s anti-corruption unit.