England test skipper Alastair Cook has said that he wants players found guilty of match-fixing in the future to be banned for life. Speaking ahead of the third and final Test against Sri Lanka, on Wednesday (June 8), Cook said that he would be prepared to face Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir since he got ‘punished for what he did’.
Amir is set to make a return to Test cricket in England this summer and, should he be selected for the first Test at Lord’s, his comeback game would be at the venue the infamous fixing incident took place.
24 years old Amir spent three months in jail and was banned from all cricket for five years after he was found guilty of deliberately bowling no-balls at Lords in 2010.He has served that ban and has now been included in the squad for a four-Test series starting at Lord’s on July 14.
Speaking before the final Test against Sri Lanka, which also takes place at Lord’s, Cook said: “It’s kind of ironic that his first Test match back will probably be here at Lord’s.
“He’s served his time. He was punished for what he did, and quite rightly so – because we’ve got to protect the integrity of the game.
“I have no problem playing against him at all.”
However, Cook is firmly in favour of lifetime bans for any players who are found guilty of match-fixing, harsher than those handed down to Amir.
He added: “My only one thing is that I think if you get caught match-fixing you should be banned for life.
“The punishment should be that hard because we’ve got to protect the integrity [of the game].
“That’s not to say Amir should not come back because the rules were probably different then.
“From my point of view the punishment should be harsher…but that’s from now on…if I had any say in it.”