ICC bans Zimbabwe's Brendan Taylor for not reporting corrupt approach
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has "imposed a multi-year ban" on former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor for not reporting a corrupt approach "by an Indian businessman". Taylor informed about the development in a lengthy post on Twitter on Monday. As per the 35-year-old, he was blackmailed into spot-fixing. Taylor conceded that he has "never been involved in any form of match-fixing."
To my family, friends and supporters. Here is my full statement. Thank you! pic.twitter.com/sVCckD4PMV— Brendan Taylor (@BrendanTaylor86) January 24, 2022
In the statement, Taylor informed that he had met with an Indian businessman in October 2019. The former Zimbabwean batter was asked "to discuss sponsorships and the potential launch of a T20 competition in Zimbabwe" at a party. Taylor was offered an initial amount of $15000. He was also offered cocaine, which he "foolishly" took. All this was secretly shot on camera.
Taylor was allegedly blackmailed with the video. The man stormed into Taylor's hotel room and threatened to release the video unless the latter spot fixes for them. He was given $15000 so that he "could get on a plane and leave India".
"It took me four months to report this offense to the ICC. I acknowledge this was too long of a time but I thought I could protect everyone and in particular, my family," Taylor said. "I approached the ICC on my own terms and I hoped that if I explained my predicament, my genuine fear for our safety, that they would understand the delay."
Taylor said he had "willingly walked into a situation" that has changed his life forever. He also revealed that he had never been involved in any form of match-fixing. "I may be many things but I am not a cheat. My love for the beautiful game of cricket far outweighs and surpasses any threats which could be thrown my way," said Taylor.
As per Cricbuzz, the ICC would not comment on the anti-corruption matter. However, an investigation is underway. It is understood that Taylor will not contest the charges. As per Taylor's statement, the ICC has banned him from international cricket for several years. However, he has already retired from all three formats. Taylor is unlikely to get a reprieve despite his open confession.
Former Zimbabwean captain and coach Heath Streak had received an eight-year ban by the ICC for similar conduct in 2021. Streak had admitted to disclosing inside information regarding international matches. In a statement, he highlighted his engagement with "an individual keen to invest in cricket in Africa". Like Taylor, Streak clarified that he didn't make any attempts to fix matches.
Brendan Taylor, one of the most celebrated cricketers from Zimbabwe, retired from international cricket in September 2021. He finished as their second-highest run-scorer in One-Day Internationals. Taylor amassed 6,684 runs from 205 ODIs at an average of 35.55. The tally includes 11 ODI hundreds, the most by a Zimbabwean player. Taylor also racked up 2,320 and 934 runs in Test and T20I cricket, respectively.