Former Zimbabwe cricket captain Brendan Taylor says he is facing a ban for failing to quickly report a spot-fixing approach.
Taylor says he reluctantly took a payment of $15,000 during a business trip to India in 2019 after being blackmailed with footage of him taking cocaine.
The 35-year-old waited four months before reporting the incident to the International Cricket Council (ICC) but insists he never cheated.
“I approached the ICC on my own terms and I hoped that if I explained my predicament, my genuine fear for our safety and wellbeing, that they would understand the delay,” Taylor said.
“Unfortunately, they did, but I cannot feign ignorance in this regard. I have attended many anti-corruption seminars over the years and we know that time is of the essence when making reports.”
Taylor, who quit playing for Zimbabwe last year, said the ICC was “taking the decision to impose a multi-year ban on my international cricket career” in a verdict “soon to be released”. The ICC has not yet commented.
In a lengthy statement, he said the approach came when he was invited to India to discuss a possible sponsorship deal. During a night out, he took cocaine, footage of which was used to blackmail him into accepting the initial spot-fixing payment, he said.
Taylor said he would be going into rehab to “get clean”, adding: “Drugs and narcotics do not discriminate and it took all that I have to admit that I have a problem.”
But he insisted that he did not go ahead with his blackmailers’ demand that he spot-fix, in which sportspeople fix minor elements of a contest, usually to manipulate betting markets.
“I would like to place on record that I have never been involved in any form of match-fixing,” he said. “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 that could be thrown my way.”