Back in 2021, Heath Streak, the former captain of Zimbabwe’s cricket team was banned from the sport over corruption for 8 years. Now, another scandal involving former cricket captain Brendan Taylor emerged on Monday this week.
Former Zimbabwe Captain Accepts a Lucrative Sponsorship Offer
In a statement released on Twitter, the former Zimbabwe captain revealed that an “Indian businessman” tried to push him into match-fixing back in 2019. Taylor’s story started in October 2019, when he was invited to discuss a sponsorship deal with a businessman from India. He was offered some $15,000 for the potential sponsorship but he had to go to India to discuss the terms.
Acknowledging that since the start he was “a little wary,” Taylor outlined that the proposal came at a time when he wasn’t paid for 6 months by Zimbabwe cricket. Moreover, he knew that it was questionable whether Zimbabwe would keep its place on the international scene. In light of this, Taylor agreed to take the journey.
Sponsorship Journey Turns to Blackmail, Cocaine
He explained that the discussions happened as agreed but the last night at the hotel, he was invited by the businessman and his colleagues to a celebratory dinner. After having drinks, Taylor said that he was offered cocaine, which some of the party members were already using. Then, according to him, he “foolishly took the bait” and consumed the illegal substance.
Like this wasn’t worrying enough, the former Zimbabwe captain revealed that the next morning the same men from the party barged into his room and showed him a video of him before doing cocaine. Threatening that they will release the video to the public, the men asked Taylor to undertake match-fixing for international matches for them.
“I was a mess. I was diagnosed with shingles and prescribed strong anti-psychotic medication – amitriptyline,”reads a statement released by Brendan Taylor
Additionally, the $15,000 which he was initially offered was deemed as a “deposit” for match-fixing, and Taylor was told that he would receive another $20,000 “once the “job” was complete.” After the encounter, the former captain took the money and went back home. He revealed that the journey has brought him an incredible amount of stress which impacted him both mentally and physically.
While No Match-Fixing Was Done, the Issue Was Reported with Delay to ICC
Although Taylor was asked by the businessman to participate in match-fixing, he revealed in his statement that he didn’t do such actions. Instead, after some 4 months, he reported the encounter to the International Cricket Council (ICC).
“I would like to place on record that I have never been involved in any form of match-fixing,”reads a statement released by Brendan Taylor
While Taylor was expecting that the ICC would understand the delay in reporting the issue, which was mainly because he was concerned for his safety and his family’s safety, he revealed that “unfortunately they did not.” Moreover, he explained that the ICC is expected to “impose a multi-year ban” on his international career, due to the reported incident.
Besides revealing details regarding the incident, Taylor said that he is going to be checking into a rehabilitation center “to get clean” and get his life back on track. He apologized to people who he has hurt and thanked his family for their continuous support.