FORMER Zimbabwe cricket captain Brendan Taylor has been banned from the sport by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for three-and-a-half years after breaching anti-corruption rules.
The ban comes after Taylor shocked the cricket world earlier this month when he revealed that he was blackmailed to engage in match-fixing by a group of Indian businessmen in 2019.
This was after the businessmen took photographs of him consuming cocaine.
Taylor, who received US$15 000 from the businessmen, however, maintains he did not engage in match-fixing.
However, he did not report the incident to the ICC for nearly four months to protect his family.
“Brendan Taylor has been handed a three-and-a-half-year ban from all forms of cricket after he accepted four charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code and one separate charge of breaching the Anti-Doping Code,” the ICC announced in a release Friday.
Taylor represented Zimbabwe in 284 international matches between 2004 and 2021, scoring 9 938 runs with 17 centuries.
The 35-year-old has also been given a separate one-month ban by the ICC for an anti-doping violation, which resulted from a positive test for the stimulant Benzoylecognine, a cocaine metabolite.
“He accepted the sanctions after admitting to various breaches of the Anti-Corruption Code while a separate charge of breaching the Anti-Doping Code was levelled against him for a positive test result for the stimulant Benzoylecognine, a cocaine metabolite, in September last year,” the ICC added.
“The first of Taylor’s anti-corruption breaches was for failing to disclose “(without unnecessary delay) the receipt of any gift, payment, hospitality or other benefits that (a) the participant knew or should have known was given to them to procure a breach of the Code or (b) that was made or given in circumstances that could bring the participant or the sport of cricket into disrepute,” the ICC statement continued.
“Taylor was also guilty of not disclosing ‘(without unnecessary delay), a receipt of gifts/hospitality with a value of US$750 or more regardless of the circumstances in which they were given’.
“The third charge was not disclosing ‘(without unnecessary delay), full details of the approach received to engage in corrupt conduct under the Code’ including in relation to a then-upcoming series against Sri Lanka and/or Bangladesh
“In the fourth and final charge, Taylor breached the Code by obstructing or delaying an Anti-Corruption Unit investigation, including ‘concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information that may be relevant to that investigation and/or that may be evidence of or may lead to the discovery of evidence of corrupt conduct under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code’.”
Alex Marshall, the head of ICC’s Integrity Unit, said: “It is disappointing that a player of his experience chose not to fulfill those obligations, however, he has accepted all charges, which has been reflected in the sanction.
“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.”