Brendan Taylor handed lengthy ban for delayed reporting of spot-fixing plot

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The International Cricket Council has banned former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor from all forms of cricket for three and a half years.

The 35-year-old, who retired from international cricket in September, revealed on Monday he was set to be sanctioned by the world governing body of cricket.

He admitted to breaching five ICC changes overall, four Anti-Corruption Codes and a single breach of an Anti-Doping Code and will not be able to be involved in the sport again until June 28, 2025.

Alex Marshall, ICC general manager of the integrity unit, said: “Brendan is a former international captain who represented Zimbabwe for 17 years.

“Over such a long career, he participated in numerous anti-corruption and anti-doping education sessions and knew exactly what his obligations were under the ICC Anti-Corruption and Anti-Doping Codes.

“It is disappointing that a player of his experience chose not to fulfil 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.”

Taylor accepted a one-month period of ineligibility for violation of Article 2.1, which occurred after he tested positive for the stimulant Benzoylecognine, a cocaine metabolite, following Zimbabwe’s one-day international with Ireland on September 8.

It proved one of the final matches of his career, with the wicketkeeper announcing he would no longer represent his country following the series, but it was earlier this month when he spoke about being blackmailed to engage in spot-fixing two years earlier for the first time.

Taylor, who lists Nottinghamshire as one of his former clubs, alleged a group of Indian businessman attempted to blackmail him in October 2019 after they had taken photographs of him taking cocaine.

While the right-hander batter insisted he did not spot-fix, he also admitted to not reporting the incident to the ICC for four months.

In a statement published on Twitter on Monday, Taylor wrote: “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 are 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.”

In Taylor’s statement earlier this week, he revealed he would check into a rehabilitation centre on Tuesday to tackle his substance abuse issues.

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