Taylor not forthright
On March 31, 2020 Taylor reported an approach from an Indian businessman (Mr S) which happened in November 2019. However, when he first disclosed the approach, Taylor made no mention of him getting a request from the businessman about fixing matches before he accepted $15,000. Taylor did mention that he received the money but first said it was as part of an appearance fee. “In subsequent interviews, however, Mr Taylor changed his story and accepted that while he had initially travelled to India believing that he would be paid an appearance fee of US$15,000, at the end of his trip when the payment was actually made to him, it followed a discussion around corruption and a request for him to be involved in corrupting matches in exchange for payment,” the report said.
During the course of interviews, Taylor said when Mr S first contacted him, he referred him to his agent. A red flag was raised by the agent when he told Taylor ‘not to waste his time as he has a bad feeling about Mr S’. The businessman had first called Taylor to enquire if he was keen to play in the Afghanistan Premier League. But a month later (after the agent had warned him), Taylor got another call and this time he travelled to India for three nights and four days at the businessman’s expense. This time, Mr S told Taylor he wanted to discuss starting a T20 tournament in Zimbabwe and would pay him $15,000 for his time.
New phone, clothes
On reaching India, Taylor was given a new Samsung S10 phone. Taylor claims, in interviews, that he took the phone because his phone was ‘busted up’. Mr S also paid for new clothes for Taylor and also ‘provided Taylor with various things for his entertainment while he was in India’.
Looking for another player
At the end of the trip, Taylor met Mr S and his associates and this time there was a discussion about spot-fixing in international games. Mr S told Taylor he could make $35,000 for engaging in spot-fixing. Mr S also told Taylor that he wanted to rope in one more player to fix matches.
Taylor said that he had initially refused to be involved in fixing but accepted the money because Mr S told him that he had a compromising video which he would release to the media and Mr Taylor’s wife. Taylor, in his post on Twitter earlier this week, had said he had consumed cocaine during the trip to India. Taylor said he was worried about what Mr S and his associates would do and hence took the money as he wanted to leave India.
Call during Bangladesh series
Taylor next heard from Mr S in mid-March 2020, while he was on tour with Zimbabwe in Bangladesh. Mr S called him and said that while he had not worked for him before that point, now was the time to do so. Taylor stated that he refused to do any work for Mr S. Taylor then received a message from the businessman saying that he would release the compromising video.
Taylor, according to the official publication, still has the US$ 15,000 which he said is being looked after safely by a friend. Taylor said he was clear that neither he, nor his family nor his friends can benefit from this money (whether directly or indirectly) in any way.
During the hearing, it was agreed that Taylor’s return to participation in cricket, following the expiry of his period of ineligibility, is conditional upon him demonstrating, to the ICC’s satisfaction, that nobody close to him has benefitted from the money.