Former Zimbabwe cricketer Brendan Taylor has opened up on being approached by an unnamed Indian businessman to spot-fix during an international fixture back when he was active.
Taylor revealed that the businessman blackmailed him into fixing by allegedly threatening to leak video footage of the batter intaking cocaine, something Taylor says he was baited into.
“In late October 2019, | was approached by an Indian businessman requesting that | attend India to discuss sponsorships and the potential launch of a T20 competition in Zimbabwe and was advised that | would be paid USD $15 000 to make the journey.”
“I can’t deny I was a little wary. But the timing was such that we hadn’t been paid for 6 months by Zimbabwe cricket and it was questionable whether Zimbabwe would be able to continue playing in the international arena. So I made the journey. The discussions took place, as he had said, and on our last night in the hotel, the businessman and his colleagues took me for a celebratory dinner,” Taylor’s statement on Twitter read.
To my family, friends and supporters. Here is my full statement. Thank you! pic.twitter.com/sVCckD4PMV
— Brendan Taylor (@BrendanTaylor86) January 24, 2022
“The stress had severely impacted my mental and physical health” – Brendan Taylor
Taylor went on to mention that he was handed a ‘deposit’ by the people and he accepted it as he felt he had no choice at the moment. Soon after returning home, Taylor had severe issues and the incident had negatively impacted his mental and physical health.
“We had drinks and during the course of the evening they openly offered me cocaine, which they themselves engaged in, and | 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.”
“I was handed the USD$15 000 but was told this was now a ‘deposit’ for spot-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| knew was | had to get out of there. When I returned home, the stress of what 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 further wrote.