Former England all-rounder Chris Lewis is working as an advisor young cricketers for the first time since his release from prison in June last year. He had served for six years of a 13-year sentence for smuggling liquid cocaine in the UK.
On December 2008, Lewis was arrested at Gatwick airport with liquid cocaine which was hidden in fruit tins in his cricket bag. As per report, the cocaine was valued at more than 140,000 pounds. For this crime, Lewis was sentenced to jail which he served from May 2009 to June 2015. Lewis had played his last professional cricket match in 2008.
Working with the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA), Lewis is now using his experiences to educate young players of the importance of planning for life after the cricket. He attended this year’s Rookie Camp which was organised by the PCA for young county players.
Lewis said, “It has been a long time since I have been around cricket, a lot has happened since I last walked out of the door of a cricket ground so I suppose I wasn’t sure about the reaction I would get.
“There was a little bit of apprehension about talking about the subject matter which is quite emotive for a lot of people. But I feel good about today. I hope the young guys got a little bit of it. I have spoken to one or two of them and it seems to be something that will perhaps stick in their memory.
“It’s not the kind of story that you forget very easily. If it helps the young players here to think they need to plan otherwise they will end up like Chris Lewis then its job done.”
Talking about his crime incident, Lewis spoke, “You try different things to try to generate cash. You are not talking about the same level of cash as when you played. You are talking about a level of cash that, now you are living a normal life – to sort that out. Coming back to play T20 for Surrey, that didn’t work and at the same time, the old hips played up. I had spent a bit of money. I had been away to Australia to train to try to get fit to come back to do the Twenty20 so money had been spent and nothing had been earned. I became afraid of what the future held and at that point the thinking actually went awry.”
Lewis apologized for this wrong activity as he said, “I made choices that I shouldn’t have made and that were the wrong choices and that, in the end. I should say sorry for because they were the wrong choices, and I do say sorry for.”
Lewis had represented his national team England from 1990 to 1998. Lewis played 32 Tests and 53 ODIs as an all-rounder.