Fresh innings for Chris Lewis

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FORMER CRICKETER Chris Lewis has vowed to help members of his profession who may hit hard times. Lewis has just been released from prison after being sentenced to 13 years following his conviction at Croydon Crown Court for smuggling liquid cocaine into England from St Lucia – which was hidden in fruit juice tins.

Guyana-born Lewis enjoyed a successful county career with Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Surrey and played in 32 Tests and 53 one-day internationals in an England career that lasted eight years before being jailed for drugs smuggling.

However, the former all-rounder, who served six years, now wants to help others learn from his traumatic experience.
Lewis, 47, is actively working with the Professional Cricketers Association (PCA). He told the organisation’s website: “It’s actually nice to be back and by back I don’t mean being outside I mean back by being me. You would think that perhaps I would be apprehensive. I am excited.”

“Keep cricket fun. You learn more when you are having fun, you play better when you are having fun. The stuff that may take away your smile just isn’t as important as it seems now.

He continued: “Take the advice that is available now through the PCA. Commenting on the support he has received, Lewis said: “The PCA have been extremely supportive right from the beginning of this situation let’s say.

“They have been extremely helpful and certainly, going ahead, I would like to become a part of that whether it’s giving advice or whether it’s just tugging on the grey matter to find out what happened at this particular time.  If any of that can help any young player going ahead I am in. I am in 100 per cent.”

Jason Ratcliffe, assistant chief executive of the PCA, said: “Whilst we can’t ever condone the trouble Chris got himself into, it’s our duty to help our members wherever we can. Chris has always been a popular man and has paid the penalty for his crime.

“It’s time to move forward and his story will prove to be a strong message for all current and future professional cricketers. Chris will give his experiences and ensure players are prepared for cricket and life beyond.”

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