In the past four days, Zimbabwe has been treated to the news of its former captain, Brendon Taylor, faces a multiyear ban from the International Cricket Council, the sport’s world governing body for allegedly delaying to report a corrupt approach “by an Indian businessman”.
In his own statement, Taylor said he had met with the businessman in October 2019 after being asked “to discuss sponsorships and the potential launch of a T20 competition in Zimbabwe”.
Sounds familiar? Yes, it does, because we have heard a similar story before.
Last year, Zimbabweans were shocked when Taylor’s predecessor as captain, and former coach of the Zimbabwe senior men’s team, Heath Streak, was suspended for eight years for corruption offences for his dealings a known corruptor during his time coaching Zimbabwe and in Twenty20 leagues across Asia.
The fallen stalwarts all fell for the same story: The corruptors wanted help with a plan to set up a new T20 tournament in Zimbabwe.
So, one might think: “There’s going to be money on the table for me, the board, this will help develop and promote cricket in my country. We can develop more youngsters and grow the sport.” Nonsense.
Such lofty platitudes are trotted to the Press and the public after the truth has come out and do not wash.
It is our considered opinion that these gentlemen knew exactly what they were doing and what they were in for.
How can they all for the same trick every time?
Taylor claimed delayed reporting to the ICC about the meeting in India to protect his family.
Here is his story: In late 2019 he claims he was approached by spot-fixers disguised as businessmen who he believed wanted to secure sponsorships, as well as organising a T20 tournament and investing in a cricket academy in Zimbabwe.
With drinks flowing and during the course of the evening they offered him cocaine.
“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,” he said in his statement.
In a later revelation, Taylor said he had also battled booze binges throughout his near 20-year international career.
It is clear that he was hooked on cocaine and yesterday said he failed a drug test after his final international game in September 2021, and thinks he may have “beaten a few” more such tests in the two and a half years leading to that point.
Taylor and Streak have been disgraceful.
To paraphrase Zimbabwe Cricket chairperson, Tavengwa Mukuhlani, Streak and Taylor were powerful and influential figures adored by many and held up as idols for future generations of cricketers. They abused the positions of trust placed upon them and failed to uphold the integrity of the game.
What has come out is that they are corrupt, greedy and selfish characters who abused the trust and privilege placed in them to shame their country.
They deserve all the punishment coming their way.