Cricket-Corruption: Former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor has revealed that had met with the businessman in October 2019 after being asked “to discuss sponsorships and the potential launch of a T20 competition in Zimbabwe”. He has come out with thesesensational revelations yesterday through Twitter and it has turned out to be huge controversy, especially since the person whom he met is an Indian businessman!
Taylor delayed reporting that meeting in India because, he said, he wanted to protect his family. He describes substance abuse having taken place during that meeting in a statement on Twitter, which he says led to him being allegedly blackmailed. “We had drinks and during the course of the evening they openly offered me cocaine, which they themselves engaged in, and I foolishly took the bait.”
The men he had met, Taylor said, stormed into his hotel room the next day, and threatened to release video of the substance abuse unless he carried out spot-fixing for them. He was given USD 15,000 – which he said he took to flee India – and told it was a deposit for a future payment once the fix was carried out.
“It took me 4 months to report this offence and interaction to the ICC,” Taylor said. “I acknowledge this was too long of a time but I thought I could protect everyone and in particular, my family. I approached the ICC on my own terms and I hoped that if I explained my predicament, my genuine fear for our safety and wellbeing, that they would understand the delay.”
The ICC has yet to comment on Taylor’s statement, and if he does – as he said – face a ban on his international cricket career, it’s worth noting he does not have much of one at the moment: in September last year he retired from international cricket, after a 17-year career.
Taylor’s statement does reveal, however, some of the difficulties in playing for Zimbabwe, which led to him eventually being prescribed a strong anti-psychotic medication. He said that at the time of the incident he hadn’t been paid by Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) for six months “and it was questionable whether Zimbabwe would be able to continue playing in the international arena”.