Former England all-rounder Chris Lewis is released from prison

Cricket Stumps

The former England all-rounder Chris Lewis has been released from prison after serving six years for drug smuggling.

Lewis, who was born in Guyana but played in 32 Tests and 53 one-day-internationals for England, was sentenced to 13 years in May 2009 for smuggling liquid cocaine valued at more than £140,000 into Britain hidden in fruit juice tins in his cricket bag. Lewis was stopped at Gatwick airport at 5am on 8 December, 2008, on return from St Lucia.

In an interview with the Professional Cricketers’ Association, he admitted money concerns had led him to commit the crime.

Chris Lewis’s interview with the PCA.

“I became afraid of what the future held, and at that point the thinking went awry,” said Lewis, 47, who played for Nottinghamshire, Surrey and Leicestershire in the 1990s.

“I made choices. They were the wrong choices and I say sorry for them. I’ve had six years in jail and until recently I would still look around and think ‘wow you’re in jail’. That was not part of the plan. I never saw that coming.”

He added: “Spending all your life at liberty and all of a sudden you are not. Jail on a physical level generally speaking hasn’t been hard. Jail time for most is what you do with your mind. It is a really hard mental exercise to stop yourself from thinking negatively so it’s a constant mental battle trying to find positive cues on a daily basis because 24 hours a day you are a prisoner so essentially you are in your cell you are almost in a goldfish tank.”

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