How Brendon Taylor Got into a fix: Former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor has been banned from all cricket for three-and-a-half years by the ICC’s anti-corruption unit for failing to report an approach from alleged corruptors without delay.
In a release on Friday, the ICC said Taylor has accepted the ban, which starts from January 28. Taylor has also accepted one charge of breaching the doping code – relating to a dope test he failed in his last international game last year. He tested positive for cocaine.
How Brendon Taylor Got into a fix
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Taylor’s agent, based in the UK, had spoken to Mr S in September 2019 about the prospects of his client featuring in the Afghanistan Premier League that year.
That tournament never took place and Taylor was informed by his agent nothing had materialised from the talks with Mr S.
Nevertheless, Taylor decided to travel to India after getting assurances from Mr S. “In late October 2019 Mr Taylor travelled to India for three nights, four days, at [Mr S’s] expense, and met with [Mr S], his family and his associates,” the ACU said in a redacted recounting of the case released on Friday by the ICC. “[Mr S] said that he wanted to talk to Mr Taylor about setting up a T20 tournament in Zimbabwe and to discuss potential sponsorships, and would pay Mr Taylor US$15,000 for his time and services during the trip.”
USD 35,000 offer for spot-fixing:
In his four interviews with the ACU – conducted in 2020 on April 1 and 2, August 17, and December 8 – Taylor would provide further details of his various interactions with Mr S. Soon after landing in India Taylor received a Samsung S10 phone from Mr S because his own phone was “busted”. He also got “some new clothes” and was also “provided” with “various things for his entertainment” during his stay in India.
It was just before he was to return to Zimbabwe that Taylor was confronted by Mr S and associates with an offer to make USD 35,000 for “engaging in spot fixing in upcoming matches.” According to ACU the offer could have been for Zimbabwe’s tours of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in February-March 2020.
“He [Mr S] also told Mr Taylor that he needed another player involved to make the fix happen, and he wanted him to help find this other player,” the ACU report says. “[Mr S] then handed over $15,000 in cash to Mr Taylor (as part payment) and told him that he would receive the rest of the money once the fix occurred. Zimbabwe were due to play Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in February and March 2020.”
“In his initial interviews, Mr Taylor stated that the $15,000 payment was effectively a payment for his services in travelling to India, basically an appearance fee. In subsequent interviews, however, Mr Taylor changed his story and accepted that while he had initially traveled to India believing. 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. With the payment being made as a deposit for his involvement in corruption.”
“Mr Taylor said that he did so because he felt he had no choice because after he initially said no, [Mr S] told Mr Taylor that he ([Mr S]) had a compromising video of Mr Taylor which he would release to the media and Mr Taylor’s wife unless Mr Taylor did some work with him.”
That video was of him “doing cocaine” after the “celebratory dinner” he had with Mr S on his last night in India. Taylor said he “foolishly took the bait”, was “cornered” and “willingly walked into a situation” that has changed his life forever.
“Throughout the course of his interviews,” the ACU findings note, “Mr Taylor stated that he only accepted the money (i) because it was his appearance fee for travelling to India, and (ii) he felt threatened and scared and he did not know what [Mr S] or his associates would do if he refused the money, so he therefore took the money so he could get out of the room, although he never intended to go through with anything.”
Taylor tested positive for a stimulant Benzoylecognine, which the ICC said is a “cocaine metabolite” and is specified as a “substance of abuse” under the anti-doping code.
“This one-month suspension will run concurrently with the suspension of three-and-a-half years under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code,” the ICC said. “Mr Taylor will be free to resume his involvement in the game on 28 July 2025.”
“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,” Marshall said. “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.”
(With Input From Espncricinfo)
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