Zimbabwean cricketer Brendan Taylor, formerly of Nottinghamshire has revealed on Twitter that he was subject to a match-fixing approach in October 2019, resulting in a ‘multi-year’ ban.
Taylor admitted that the ‘burden’ of this approach had taken him to some ‘very dark places and had a profound effect on [his] mental health.
Taylor joined Nottinghamshire on a Kolpak deal in 2015 following a temporary retirement from International duty for Zimbabwe, making over 1,000 first-class runs across the English summer.
He then averaged over 53 for Nottinghamshire as they won the 2017 Royal London One-Day Cup, striking at 106 as Notts frequently racked up huge scores.
He alleges that he was approached by a businessman from India to travel and ‘discuss sponsorships and the potential launch of a T20 competition in Zimbabwe’.
Taylor was told that he would receive USD15,000 in expenses.
At the meeting Taylor was offered cocaine ‘openly’ and he engaged, as he describes ‘foolishly’.
It is alleged that Taylor’s room was then stormed by the same men who proceeded to threaten to release the footage of the previous night, ‘if [he] did not spot fix at international matches for them’.
To my family, friends and supporters. Here is my full statement. Thank you! pic.twitter.com/sVCckD4PMV
— Brendan Taylor (@BrendanTaylor86) January 24, 2022
Detailing the impact that this episode had on his health, the statement reads ‘I was diagnosed with shingles and prescribed strong anti-psychotic medication-amitriptyline’.
Out of ‘genuine fear’ for the safety of his family, Taylor neglected to report the event for four months afterwards.
A sad reminder that there are still people out there looking to corrupt our beautiful game. I have immense sympathy for Brendan, these vile individuals know exactly who to target, blackmail and manipulate. Young cricketers: be very careful about who you engage with. https://t.co/qvXGv87NE7
— Aatif Nawaz (@AatifNawaz) January 24, 2022
Taylor seeks to clarify that he ‘may be many things, but [he is] not a cheat’ and that he was ‘as honest and transparent’ as possible when engaging with ICC regulations.
He revealed that on January the 25th he will start rehabilitation to ‘get clean and get my life back’ hoping that his story inspires people to seek the help they need.