Former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor
Former India opening batter Gautam Gambhir has reacted to ex-Zimbabwe skipper Brendan Taylor’s explosive confessions on Twitter on Monday about being approached by bookies in India, his involvement with cocaine and how he was blackmailed by the bookies thereafter. Gambhir in his column for The Times Of India newspaper has written about the need to have more protection for whistleblowers who report against a “corrupt approach”.
“Brendan Taylor and his admission of delay in reporting a corrupt approach has caught my conscience and attention. I operate on absolute zero tolerance approach when it comes to any wrongdoing,” Gambhir wrote.
“I was reading Taylor’s statement with the same emotion – disappointment, disgust and anger. I read it once but it didn’t make me angry. I read it again and it was the same. I read it the third time and the emotions were different. Don’t get me wrong as I am not supporting Taylor. I am only concerned about the circumstances which forced him, a father of four children fearing for his and his family’s lives, to delay reporting the incident to the International Cricket Council Anti-Corruption Unit. Taylor is a sportsperson and not a hard-nosed criminal whose faculties would support him if six individuals barged into his hotel room with a threat to release a video where he was reportedly consuming a banned substance,” Gambhir added.
Taylor in his statement on Monday had said that while there was a delay in reporting the matter to ICC, he did not fix any matches. Taylor retired from international cricket last year as Zimbabwe’s second highest run-getter in ODIs with 6684 runs.
Gambhir further wrote that people who report corrupt approaches should be given more security and also requested the authorities to go a bit soft on Taylor in case he was not involved in any wrongdoing.
“Surely these corrupt men are not working in seclusion. More often than not they seem to be part of an organised group. What if someone had tried to physically harm Taylor or his family? Is there a provision to provide security to cricketers who report a corrupt approach but fear for their or their family’s well-being? Is there any network which activates their security at local level,” Gambhir questioned.
“By Taylor’s admission, he didn’t succumb to the pressures of corruptors and never did anything wrong. If this is true then perhaps authorities can go a little soft on him. If he is corrupt, then law must take its course,” Gambhir opined.
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