By Lawrence Trusida
Stakeholders in the sports industry believe the integrity of athletes will be questioned after former Zimbabwe Cricket captain Brendan Taylor confessed to drug abuse and spot fixing.
The former Chevrons Captain revealed on his Twitter page this Monday that he will be banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for match fixing.
The 35-year-old claims he was blackmailed into accepting US$15 thousand from an Indian businessman in October 2019 and it took him four months to report the incident to the ICC anti-corruption unit because he wanted to protect his family.
Taylor played 34 tests, 205 One-Day Internationals and 45 T20 games for Zimbabwe over a 17-year period from 2004 to 2021, although he took a three-year sabbatical from international cricket in 2015 to play county cricket in England where he had drinking problems.
Affectionately known as BT, Taylor is arguably one of Zimbabwe’s best players and is fourth on the list of the country’s top run-scorers in test cricket.
His admission comes nearly a year after former Zimbabwe Coach and Captain Heath Streak was banned from all forms of cricket for eight years for breaching cricket’s anti-corruption code.
However, the development has left fans and other stakeholders disappointed with the majority saying this has put the integrity of sport in question.
“This and other issues show that these things re rampant in our sports, I will always be a devil’s advocate the fact that this is happening frequently there is a problem. Match fixing is now in different forms, some sell moments for example intentional yellow cards, Costner kicks, fouls, intentional runs outs and betting has become a problem because people re placing bets on certain events, said Sport Leaders Institute of Zimbabwe President Russel Mhiribidi.
Cricket Analyst Elton Phiri Others called for stiffer penalties to nip match fixing in the bud hoping that it has not become chronic.
“It puts a question to every time Zimbabwe play and you look back at the games and ask yourself did we lose because we can’t or someone through the game away. It’s high time the SRC and government enact laws to punish these guys because they are tarnishing the reputation of the country, match fixing should be viewed as a criminal offence, he said.
Taylor ended his career as Zimbabwe’s second highest run scorer in One Day International cricket including a national record 11 centuries in 205 appearances, in Tests he amassed six centuries in 34 matches, five behind national record holder Andy Flower.
Reports suggest that he will be handed a three-year ban from all forms of cricket.