Former Zimbabwe cricket captain Brendan Taylor revealed on Monday in a tweet that he took cocaine and a $15,000 bribe from an Indian businessman to fix matches.
“The ICC (International Cricket Council) are taking the decision to impose a multi-year ban on my international cricketing career,” tweeted the national great, adding he did not fix any match.
The 35-year-old batsman said in October 2019 he was invited by an Indian businessman to discuss “sponsorships and the potential launch of a T20 competition in Zimbabwe and was advised that I would be paid $15,000 for the journey”.
The invitation came when the team had not received salaries for six months and there were concerns the country would not be able to continue playing internationally.
He said he was a “little wary” but undertook the trip all the same.
During drinks on the last night, he was offered cocaine which the businessman and his colleagues were taking and said he “foolishly took the bait”.
“The following morning, the same men entered 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,” he said.
He said he was “cornered” and handed a $15,000 deposit to fix matches. He took the cash so that he could fly out.
It took him four months to report the offence to the ICC.
“I acknowledge this was too long of a time but I thought I could protect everyone and in particular, my family,” he said.
He said he was ready and will “humbly” accept the ICC decision with the “hope that my story will be used as a means of encouragement for cricketers to report any illicit approaches as early as possible”.
But he stressed he never fixed any matches.
‘Drugs and narcotics’
Taylor – who resigned as the Zimbabwe captain late last year – also said that he would be checking into a rehabilitation centre on Tuesday “to get clean and get my life back on track”.
“I owe it to myself and to my family to get clean and to put them first,” he said. “I have let a substance take control of me and impair my vision, my morals and my values and it is time that I prioritise what really matters.”
He said he had also been taking medication to treat mental health issues and had been experiencing “hell” for years because of his problems with “drugs and narcotics”.
Taylor played 34 tests, 205 one-day internationals and 45 T20 games for Zimbabwe over a 17-year career from 2004-2021, although he took a three-year sabbatical from internationals in 2015 to play county cricket in England. He was captain from 2011 up until he left for England.
Taylor is one of Zimbabwe’s best players and is fourth on the list of the country’s top run-scorers in test cricket.
His admission comes nearly a year after former Zimbabwe coach Heath Streak was banned from all cricket for eight years for breaching cricket’s anti-corruption code.
Streak was suspended because of his relationship with an Indian businessman who sought inside information for illegal betting purposes and bribed Streak with gifts including Bitcoin and an iPhone for his wife.