Sun, 22 May 2022

New Delhi [India], January 24 (ANI): Former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor on Monday admitted that he was approached by bookies in India to get involved in spot-fixing, and he revealed that the International Cricket Council (ICC) will impose a multi-year ban on him now.

Taylor said that he got carried away and he also got carried away with substance away. He then reported the matter after some time to the ICC, but the whole scenario has taken a toll on his mental health and he is now being admitted to a rehab center.

Explaining the entire situation on Twitter, Taylor said: "I've been carrying a burden for over 2 years now that has sadly taken me to some very dark places and had a profound effect on my mental health. And I've only recently managed to start sharing coy story with close friends and family and receive the love and support I guess I was too ashamed and frightened to seek in the first place.""In late October 2019, I was approached by an Indian businessman requesting that I attend India to discuss sponsorships and the potential launch of a T20 competition in Zimbabwe and was advised that I 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," he added.

Further in his statement, the former Zimbabwe captain said: "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. 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."Taylor then explained how he was filmed taking cocaine and he was being blackmailed to engage in spot-fixing. However, he explained that he did not do any match-fixing and after some time, he reported the matter to the ICC.

"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 cornered. And with 6 of these individuals in my hotel room, I was scared for toy own safety. I'd fallen for it. I'd willingly walked into a situation that has changed my life forever," said Taylor. "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. The 'businessman' wanted a return on his investment which I could not and would not give. It took me 4 months to report this offence and interaction to the ICC," he added.

Taylor has now said that ICC will impose a multi-year ban on him. "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. As a result of approaching the ICC, I attended multiple interviews and engagements and was as honest and transparent as I could be during their investigations. Inside and outside I was beating myself up and I still wish I had sought support and advice earlier for a multitude of reasons.""That being said, the ICC is taking the decision to impose a multi-year ban on my international cricketing career. I humbly accept this decision and only hope that my story will be used as a means of encouragement for cricketers to report any approaches early. I owe it to myself and to the toy family to get clean and to put them first. I have let a substance take control of me and impair toy vision, my morals, and my values and it is time that I prioritise what really matters," said the Zimbabwe player who has played 284 international matches. (ANI)

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