Former Zimbabwe captain 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.
Taylor, who represented Zimbabwe in 284 international matches between 2004 and 2021, had failed to report a corrupt approach by an Indian businessman and also claimed that he was blackmailed after "foolishly" taking cocaine during the meeting.
"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 benefit 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," read an official media release" by the ICC.
In a confession on social media, Taylor had claimed that he was invited by the businessman to India to discuss "sponsorships" and the potential launch of a T20 event in Zimbabwe. He was also offered USD 15,000 in October 2019 as a deposit for spot-fixing.
"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," it further stated.
Taylor had also acknowledged the delay in reporting the incident to the ICC in order to protect his family. Taylor, however, denied ever having cheated in international cricket.
"I would like to place on record that I have never been involved in any form of match-fixing. I may be many things but I am not a cheat. My love for the beautiful game of cricket far outweighs and surpasses any threats which could be thrown my way," Taylor, who has 9,938 international runs with 17 centuries under his belt, had said in his confession.
"I have to tell my story now because I know people will want to hear from me. To try and understand what led to this point. But for many weeks I will be away and trying to get better.
"To end I need to let you know I am sorry for those I have hurt. I am sorry for those I have let down," he had added.