Brendan Taylor, former Zimbabwe captain reveals spot-fixing offer by an Indian bizman, Ashwin renders support

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Former Zimbabwe cricket captain Brendan Taylor today revealed that ICC, the global cricket governing body is about to “impose a multi-year ban” on his international career after he allegedly delayed reporting a corrupt approach “by an Indian businessman“. Taylor said he reported the incident after a delay of 4 months.

Taylor retired from his 17-year playing career in September last year. He was full-time captain for Zimbabwe between mid-2011 and mid-2014 and captained the country in 71 games during his playing career. After the completion of the 2015 World Cup, he retired from international and went to the UK on a Kolpak deal aged 29. He ended his Kolpak deal in 2017 and returned to Zimbabwean cricket in 2017.

Taylor disclosed that he met with an Indian businessman in October 2019 after being asked “to discuss sponsorships and the potential launch of a T20 competition in Zimbabwe“. He was offered USD 15,000 for travelling to India to discuss the potential sponsorships and opportunities. “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,” Taylor said. According to Taylor, the men he had met 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.

Taylor disclosed that he was offered USD 15,000 which was originally his fee for travelling to India as a deposit for a future payment once the fix was carried out. The former cricketer said he had, however, never been involved in any form of match-fixing even after the incident.

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.

Taylor said ICC is preparing for a multi-year ban on his international cricketing career and he accepts the decision. The ICC is yet to comment on Taylor’s statement. Having retired from the playing career, the ban would have little impact on Taylor unless that also prohibits him from taking coaching and broadcast activities.

Meanwhile, leading Indian cricketer Ravichandra Ashwin offered moral support to Taylor. He said on Twitter, “Spread the awareness!! Most times the hand dealt to us at the poker table gives us an option to bet or fold!! Its important to fold and leave the table! All strength to Brendan and his family.” Even former England captain Michael Vaughan has reacted saying, “This is so sad .. I hope he can find a way to get better.”