India v Zimbabwe - 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 14: Brendan Taylor of Zimbabwe celebrates his century during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup match between India and Zimbabwe at Eden Park on March 14, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
India v Zimbabwe - 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup

Brendan Taylor has long been regarded as one of the best cricketers in Zimbabwe’s history, alongside names like the Flower brothers, Heath Streak and Henry Olonga.

A former captain of his country, he played 202 ODIs and 34 Tests, as well as 45 T20 matches for his country, racking up more than 9,000 international runs across the three formats.

The retired star took to Twitter on Monday night (Australian time) though revealing he has been banned from the sport by the ICC for a four-month delay in reporting a match-fixing approach because he was “scared for his safety.”

Taylor said the ICC would be revealing their report on the issue soon.

According to the post from Taylor’s official account, he was approached by an Indian businessman in October 2019 over the possibility of starting a T20 competition in Zimbabwe.

He was paid $15,000 to make the journey

“In late October 2019, I was approached by an Indian businessman requesting that I attend India to discuss sponsorships and the potential launch of a T20 competition in Zimbabwe and was advised that I would be paid $15,000 to make the journey,” Taylor wrote.

While Taylor admits he was wary over the journey, he also revealed Zimbabwe cricket hadn’t paid players in six months, and that he made the journey based on the fact it was unlikely Zimbabwe would be able to continue playing in the international arena because of it.

That all unravelled however when he went for dinner with the businessmen. Taylor revealed he was openly offered cocaine, which he “foolishly” took.

Taylor was then videoed taking the illicit substance, which the men used against him in an attempt to make Taylor spot fix in international cricket matches. The former Zimbabwean skipper revealed he was “scared for his own safety,” and only took the money so he could leave the country.

“The following morning, the same men stormed into my hotel room and showed me a video 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.

“I was concerned. And with six of these individuals in my hotel room, I was scared for my own safety. I’d fallen for it. I’d willingly walked into a situation that has changed my life forever.

“I was handed the USD$15,000 but was told this was now a ‘deposit’ for spot match fixing and that an additional USD$20,000 would be paid once the “job” was complete. I took the money so I could get on a plane and leave India. I felt I had no choice at the time because saying no was clearly not an option. All I knew was I had to get out of there.”

The failure to report to the ICC immediately was Taylor’s own effort to protect his family and himself, with the ICC failing to understand the delay and slapping him with a ban, the length of which is yet to be officially revealed.

“I acknowledge this was too long of a time, but I thought I could protect everyone and in particular, my family,” he said in the statement.

Taylor also confirmed in the statement that he has never been involved in match-fixing, with the 200-ODI veteran revealing his life has hit “rock bottom”. He will check into a rehabilitation centre in the coming days.