Monday, 24 January 2022

I WAS PAID US$15K TO THROW AWAY MATCHES

FORMER Zimbabwe Cricket captain Brendan Taylor has confessed to snorting cocaine and receiving US$15 000 from a cartel of Indian businessmen to fix matches in 2019.

In a statement on Monday morning, Taylor blamed Zimbabwe Cricket for causing him to fall for the Indian betting underworld after going for six months without pay.

The statement is similar to circumstances that got former Chevrons captain and coach Heath Streak banned for eight years by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

An Indian businessman approached Streak in 2017 to discuss a possible launch of a T20 tournament in Zimbabwe.

Just like Streak, Taylor flew to India to meet some businesspeople that wanted to discuss the possibility of staging a T20 tournament in Zimbabwe.

Taylor claims after “successful talks” with the businessmen, he was then baited into snorting cocaine during a celebratory party and then blackmailed by the unnamed Indian businessmen, who had recorded the entire episode, to accept US$15 000 to fix matches.

“We had drinks and during the course of the evening they openly offered me cocaine, which they themselves engaged in, and I foolishly took the bait. I’ve gone over it a million times since and still feel sick to my stomach reliving that night and how they played me.

“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 in the statement.

Taylor said he took the money and was told that it was just a ‘deposit’ and an additional US$20 000 would be paid once the match fixing was complete.

He took the money, saying he had no other option and left India.

“When I returned home, the stress that had taken place severely impacted my mental and physical health. I was a mess. I was diagnosed with shingles and prescribed strong anti-psychotic medication – amitriptyline.”

He reported the matter to the ICC after four months.

Taylor now says he will check himself into a rehabilitation centre on Tuesday to get clean and to get “my life back on track”, although he doesn’t state whether he continued taking drugs after the drunken fueled cocaine binge on the night on the celebration two years ago.

Taylor now faces a lengthy ban from the ICC. Herald

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