An Open Letter To Lou Vincent

Mr.Lou Vincent,

When you made your sparkling Test debut against Australia on the 30th of November 2001, I happened to see the match live on television. I thought that your stroke play was dazzling. Since I am entirely bereft of the gift of prescience, I had no knowledge that in due course the dazzle would be overshadowed and trumped by damage and deceit. I vividly remember seeing yet another game, a One Day International this time, wherein you were caught with your pants down – literally. In a gallant attempt to prevent the ball from making contact with the ropes, you pulled in a slide which divested you of your trousers. Now that you find yourself with your pants down metaphorically and have been reduced to a shamed cricketer sputtering out venomous confessions, I want to clarify a few things with you. I neither profess myself to be an investigator nor is this an interrogation. I am just a shell shocked, let down and angered cricket fan, who is unable to come to grips with the muck, which selfish people such as you have succeeded in pulling the game deep into.

Your transformation from a prodigious talent to a pernicious influence merits complete and undivided attention. Was the lure of cash so overarching and powerful that even the pride of representing country and club came a distant second? Or was cricket all along just a feigned pretext and a matchless opportunity to accumulate briefcases of profligate sin? While I express surprise at your asinine confidence which never bothered considering probable consequences, I am also left to ponder about the role which was being essayed by your conscience (if you possessed one) throughout the course of your devious escapades. Was it as crooked and unrepentant as your pre-decided mows toward cow corner and exquisitely enacted episodes of shambolic dismissals? Did you revel in the realization that poor Sussex had given you a nice and bright uniform with the word “Shark” unwittingly emblazoned on it? For you were undoubtedly a vicious one with your sights firmly set on wealth and your bloody jaws hooking on to every possible opportunity to accumulate it.

A more sober and moderate namesake of yours Lou Reed once said “I am in this business for too long to be half hearted about anything.”  From a gist of your now famous and grisly confessions, the notion of half heartedness never seems to have crossed your thoughts. You were certainly an accomplished player (not in the cricketing connotation) who was in the business for long. Did you find it to be a soul enriching business as well? You must have else why would you have continued on your merry way? I am not yet ready to completely believe that you pushed away a foresight which revealed you and your poor family being assailed by “cheat” taunts and “traitor” jeers. It might have taken a stupendous degree of foolish bravado for you to have relegated such thoughts to the confines of posterity.

What about all those young and aspiring children waving autograph books at you with a twinkle in their eyes? Did you have the temerity to look them in their eyes while acknowledging their requests? To quench my curiosity, what did you sign your name as? Have there been instances when racked by guilt riddled with a sense of culpability, and seeking a semblance of solace and repentance you have deliberately put down your name as Lou Vincheat, in an indecipherable scribble? Have there been times when you have wondered in Shakespearean manner: “Is this a dagger which I see before me?”

Today you stand before the Anti Corruption and Security Unit (“ACSU”), a shattered man, peeled of all pride, and with the proverbial begging bowl of mercy in his hands. Do you believe that by merely spilling the galling beans of many a sordid and despicable whodunit, you would be deserving of immunity from prosecution? Do you firmly feel that a verbal atonement detracts all your wrong doings and treachery? Your pandering to persons of disrepute and greed for money have not only eroded the confidence of your fellow team mates and colleagues in you, but has also had the most vicious and intolerable impact of bringing this glorious game down on its knees. You have betrayed the very game that made you. So long as people of your breed continue to exist, thieving bookies and unscrupulous deal makers would continue to abound and make hay. For deterring the sprouting of a multitude of more Lou Vincents’, a strong and remorseless form of punitive action by means of prosecution is an absolute necessity. And it is my sincere wish that your are prosecuted sooner rather than later.

Mr. Vincent, you have let down your family, friends and fans. You have exploited the wonderful game of cricket to satiate your ungodly pursuits. You have been a veritable Macbeth for whose good all causes have had to necessarily give way. You are undeserving of sympathy and pity and I do wish that you get none. The least bit of service which you can do as a matter of damage limitation is to come out clean and reveal each and every garish detail of the rot that has enveloped cricket. This will at least ensure that your mirror images are expeditiously taken care of by the concerned and relevant authorities.

Even though a simmering and raging part of me wishes for you and your unholy ilk to be damned to perdition, a more humane and logical side wishes for you to lead the rest of your life with honesty. While such an act might not necessarily have the bright effect of obliterating the pejoratives being heaped upon you, it might at least bestow upon your conscience a feeling of redemption!

Without even a semblance of regard,

Venkataraman Ganesan

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