Kevin Pietersen has now joined the chorus of others who think Mohammad Amir should have been banned for life because of his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal, but he also warned England players and fans against provoking the Pakistan pacer when he makes his Test cricket return at Lord’s on Thursday.
It will be an emotional return for Amir to the scene of his crime when he confronts England at Lord’s six years after he intentionally bowled no balls at the same venue in 2010.
Pietersen was among players from the England team that played against Pakistan at that tainted Lord’s Test and the 36-year-old suggests anyone caught match-fixing or spot-fixing should be banned for life.
“They have broken the rules, should pay the price and not be given a second chance,” Pietersen wrote in The Telegraph UK.
“If you cheat the system either by taking drugs or money to under-perform then you are mugging the spectators, your teammates and a sport that has been around a lot longer than you.
“People always deserve a second chance in life but sport is different.
“We are paid to play a sport we love and are damn lucky to lead the life of a professional cricketer.
“To try and gain an advantage by taking drugs or devaluing your sport by being bribed is breaking the 11th and 12th commandments. There can be no way back.”
However, KP doesn’t expect the England players to stuck with Amir’s past on Thursday and he even cautioned the local fans they risk firing up the 24-year-old at their own – and England’s peril.
“He is just as quick, and as competitive as ever. He is verbal. He lets you know he is bowling at you. He will cop a load of stick off the English fans but he will not take a step back. It is going to make great viewing,” Pietersen stated.
“With guys like him verbals from the crowd or a bit of sledging from the opposition spurs him on to do great things so the fans will not be doing England any favours by giving him some abuse.
“(Trevor Bayliss and Alastair Cook) will realise that riling him is not a good option. If he were a batsman it would be easier to sledge him because all 11 players could get on top of him and give him some verbal abuse.
“But as a bowler he has the power. If you rile him and he takes three wickets in five balls then you look like a chump, so the England players will not be focused on Amir’s past.”
Pietersen’s opinion on match-fixing bans remains the same with those of former Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad.
“Mohammad Amir will walk out on the green and glorious turf at Lord’s on Thursday — and it will make me feel sick,” Swann said earlier.
“This is a man who crushed the morality of the game. And yet he is being allowed back to play at the Home of Cricket.”
Last week, Broad insisted he had “no hard feelings” against Amir, but still couldn’t accept the fact that his only Test century during that 2010 Lord’s Test was tainted by the Pakistani’s involvement in spot-fixing.
“Of course it annoys me that that game will always be connected with what went on. Lord’s is the home of cricket. It’s a wonderful place to play and that Test match will always be remembered for the wrong reasons,” Broad told.