Brendan Taylor banned for three and half years

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Brendan Taylor

Former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor has been banned from all cricket for three and a half years by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after accepting a breach of anti-corruption rules.

Taylor revealed earlier in January that he was facing a ban, after admitting he received a $15,000 “deposit” for spot-fixing, though he claimed he was blackmailed and never went through with the arrangement.

The 35-year-old has also been given a separate one-month ban by the ICC for an anti-doping violation, which resulted from a positive test for the stimulant Benzoylecognine, a cocaine metabolite.

“He accepted breaching four charges of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code and, separately, one charge of the ICC Anti-Doping Code,” the ICC said in a statement. Taylor will be free to resume his involvement in the game on 28 July 2025, the statement added.

Taylor took to social media earlier this month to reveal that he was blackmailed to engage in spot-fixing by a group of Indian businessmen in 2019 after they took photographs of him consuming cocaine. Taylor, however, maintained that he did not engage in spot-fixing but did not report the incident to the ICC for as many as four months in a bid to protect his family.

Taylor said he got into substance abuse after the scarring incident and that he was checking into a rehabilitation center to get over it.

“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,” he said, adding that the same group of men had barged into his hotel room the next day morning, threatening him that they would release the video of him taking cocaine if they failed to co-operate with the spot-fixing demands.

“I have 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,” Taylor had said on January 24.

Taylor admitted to being in breach of the following provisions of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code, according to the governing body.

Article 2.4.2 – Failing to disclose (without unnecessary delay) the receipt of any gift, payment, hospitality or other benefit that (a) the participant knew or should have known was given to them to procure a breach of the Code or (b) that was made or given in circumstances that could bring the participant or the sport of cricket into disrepute.

Article 2.4.3 – Failing to disclose to the ACU (without unnecessary delay) receipt of gifts/hospitality with a value of US$750 or more regardless of the circumstances in which they were given.

Article 2.4.4 – Failing to disclose to the ACU (without unnecessary delay) full details of the approach received to engage in corrupt conduct under the Code including in relation to Zimbabwe’s then-upcoming series against Sri Lanka and/or Bangladesh.

Article 2.4.7 – obstructing or delaying an ACU investigation, including concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information that may be relevant to that investigation and/or that may be evidence of or may lead to the discovery of evidence of corrupt conduct under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.

His violation under the ICC Anti-Doping Code, which is separate and independent of the anti-corruption charges, resulted from an In-Competition test conducted on September 8, 2021 following Zimbabwe’s match against Ireland. Mr Taylor tested positive for the stimulant Benzoylecognine, a cocaine metabolite, which is specified as a Substance of Abuse under the Code, it added.

Alex Marshall, head of ICC’s Integrity Unit, said: “It is disappointing that a player of his experience chose not to fulfil those obligations, however he has accepted all charges, which has been reflected in the sanction.

“I would echo Brendan’s message to other players to report approaches as soon as they happen so any corrupt activity can be disrupted at the earliest possible opportunity. We wish Brendan well in his rehabilitation.”

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