Match-fix­ers de­serve life ban: Cook

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

LON­DON—Alas­tair Cook, the Eng­land cap­tain, be­lieves that any player in­volved in match-fix­ing should be banned for life. How­ever, he has no prob­lem with the like­li­hood of fac­ing Mo­ham­mad Amir again, be­cause he served the pun­ish­ment handed down to him.

Amir was given a 12month jail sen­tence for his part in the 2010 spot-fix­ing scan­dal at Lord’s, of which he served six in a Young Of­fend­ers In­sti­tute, as well as a five-year ban from cricket which elapsed last year. He has since re­turned to Pak­istan’s one-day and T20 sides and ear­lier this week was named in Pak­istan’s Test squad for the Eng­land tour.

Subject to fi­nal con­fir­ma­tion of a visa be- ing granted, he is set to re­turn to the Test for­mat on the ground where he com­mit­ted the crime.

Cook was part of the Eng­land team in­volved in the 2010 Lord’s Test when Amir, along with Mo­ham­mad Asif and cap­tain Sal­man Butt, were caught in the News of the World sting ac­cept­ing money to bowl no-balls on de­mand.

“If you are caught match-fix­ing you should be banned for life,” Cook said ahead of the fi­nal Test against Sri Lanka. “The pun­ish­ment should be that hard be­cause we have to pro­tect the in­tegrity of the game.

“That’s not to say Amir shouldn’t come back, be­cause the rules were dif­fer­ent, but from my point of view the pun­ish­ment should be harsh enough to de­ter peo­ple from do­ing it - but that’s if I had any say.

“Amir has served his time, he was pun­ished for what he did and quite rightly so be­cause we have to pro­tect the in­tegrity of the game, but I have no prob­lems in play­ing against him at all.”

Stu­art Broad, who struck his ca­reer-best 169 in the 2010 Test at Lord’s, has pre­vi­ously said that he would also have no is­sue fac­ing Amir again al­though Cook added that the team had not col­lec­tively spo­ken about the sit­u­a­tion.

The first Test against Pak­istan at Lord’s be­gins on July 14. —AFP

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