Former Zimbabwe cricket team captain Brendan Taylor has made a shocking confession that he took a $15 000 bribe from an Indian businessman to engage in spot fixing after being blackmailed over his cocaine habit.
Spot-fixing is illegal activity in a sport in which a specific aspect of a game, unrelated to the final result but upon which a betting market exists, is fixed in an attempt to ensure a certain result in a proposition bet.
To my family, friends and supporters. Here is my full statement. Thank you! pic.twitter.com/sVCckD4PMV
— Brendan Taylor (@BrendanTaylor86) January 24, 2022
The now retired cricket star revealed that he was coerced into accepting the money from an Indian businessman in October 2019 and that it took him four months to report the incident to the ICC anti-corruption unit because he feared for his safety.
Taylor travelled to India to discuss the launch of a new T20 competition in Zimbabwe with the promise of USD 15,000 as payment.
“We had drinks and during the course of the evening, they openly offered me cocaine, which they themselves engaged in. I foolishly took the bait,” Taylor said in a statement released via Twitter on Monday.
“The following morning, the same men stormed into my hotel room and showed me a video taken of me the night before doing cocaine and told me that if I did not spot-fix at international matches for them, the video would be released to the public.”
Taylor said he was handed USD 15,000 as a deposit, and promised he would receive another USD 20,000 when the job was complete. “I would like to place on record that I have never been involved in any form of match-fixing. I may be many things, but I am not a cheat,” he said.
“That being said, the ICC are taking the decision to impose a multi-year ban on my international cricketing career. I humbly accept this decision.”
Taylor added he would check into a rehabilitation facility on Tuesday to treat his substance abuse.
The ICC and Zimbabwe Cricket have not responded to requests for comment.
The 35-year-old Taylor, who played for Zimbabwe in 34 Tests, 205 one-dayers and 45 T20s, retired from international cricket in September.
Former Zimbabwe all-rounder and coach Heath Streak was banned by the ICC for eight years last April for his role in revealing inside information which could be used for betting purposes.