I’ve been relatively silent in expressing my opinions on the big cricket fixing issue that is floating around the news so far, but after reading a particular column by Chris Rattue of the NZ Herald this morning, it has really gotten my blood boiling about the whole issue.
I am torn, for many reasons actually. I want to say Lou Vincent is a cheat, but I also want to say that I feel sorry for him, because I know from personal experience that depression is indeed a real thing, and it is bloody tough to deal with as well.
So, for most of this piece I am going to chop and change my mind about things. But here are my views.
I believe that all three cheated. Chris Cairns, Daryl Tuffey, and Lou Vincent. I actually believe in my heart of hearts that something isn’t quite right there. I am more suspicious of Vincent though, in fact I am almost sold on the fact that he is a cheat.
What makes this so difficult to digest is the fact that those three players were amongst the ones I followed most passionately when I was a kid.
Cairns was the big slogger, Tuffey took the early wickets, and Vincent was that unpredictable entity and you never really knew if he was going to have a good day at the crease or a terrible one.But I do believe that in some way shape or form, all of those men have cheated at some point. Vincent is a certain for me, but I am not so sure about the others, but I predict that they were involved in some sort of match fixing without doubt.
Bear in mind this is all my opinion, and in all honesty I don’t know all the facts, I am just going off on what I have read in the media.
There is no excuse for cheating in professional sport. I don’t care what code you play, where you come from, or how talented, or untalented you are. If you take money to perform badly while representing either your country, state, or even club side, you don’t deserve to play whichever game you are performing in.
But, at the end of the day, no one, not even Chris Rattue of the NZ Herald can question that Lou Vincent is a human being, and one for all accounts who has gone through a real shit ass time throughout his life battling depression. I have been there, when you are depressed there is no color to life, even those awesome things that you love and are passionate about don’t seem to take that darkness away, nothing does, only time can and it is a long, painful process full of restarts, fall downs, and light being taken away just before the end of the tunnel. Vincent has been on a long journey from what I can gather, and I wonder if Chris Rattue stopped to think about what his words would do to the already damaged mental state of Vincent, a man who above all else, wants to be liked and accepted, and somebody who has already lost countless amounts of people in his life due to his battles with depression.
I mean seriously, who the hell names a column which ends with “this cheat deserves jail”.
But, and this is where I agree with the NZ Herald columnist, even something as serious as depression is not an excuse for cheating. If Vincent did indeed cheat, he does deserve all the hate he will get.
And then, if it wasn’t bad enough, now the Brendon McCullum story has hit the media today. McCullum, the captain of the Blackcaps, says he was approached by a “cricket legend” and offered $200,000 to fix a match, or a series of matches. McCullum was approached during the 2008 English tour, when he says some of “international crickets big boys” made the offer. The batting superstar was also approached during the IPL. McCullum denies taking up on the offer, and I don’t for one second believe that he did, but it just seems weird to me that the last line of the Herald article this afternoon reads “I found it really difficult to say no”, a direct quote from McCullum himself.
This will be a story that will no doubt frustrate me immensely. But for now, I have a ton of homework to do.