England captain Alastair Cook wants life ban for match-fixers
England’s Test captain and the latest entrant to the 10,000 run club in Tests, Alastair Cook stated that players who fix matches should be banned for life, while speaking on the eve of the Third Test against Sri Lanka.
However, the left-handed batsman specified that he had no qualms in facing Mohammad Amir, the left-arm quick who makes a return to the Test scene after serving a ban for five years. Cook said that Amir had served his time and that “he was punished for what he did”.
The trio of Amir, Salman Butt, and Mohammad Asif were banned for spot-fixing during the Test series against England in 2010. Amir made a sensational return to international cricket earlier this year and was recently included in the Test squad for the tour of England that starts on 14th July.
It would be redemption time for Amir as the first Test is scheduled at Lord’s, the Mecca of Cricket, and the same ground where he was charged for spot-fixing. He, along with Mohammad Asif were suspended for intentionally bowling no-balls against the English batsmen.
"It's kind of ironic that his first Test match back will probably be here at Lord's," said Cook.
A teenage bowling sensation six years back, Amir’s life came crashing down as he also served a twelve-month jail sentence, six of which were served at the Young Offenders Institution in Feltham. Now 24, Amir is back in the squads for all the three formats ahead of England’s tour.
Cook expressed his sentiments ahead of the Third Test to be played against Sri Lanka at Lords’, with England leading the three-Test series 2-0. “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”, Cook said. He also said that the rules were different during Amir’s punishment, but harsher rules should be made for the future.
Stuart Broad also had his say on the issue, remarking that there is no ill-feeling or grudge against the team, and that ICC had certain guidelines for crimes and that “people have their opinion”. He also pointed out that he hasn’t played Amir for six years now, but he was a “constant threat” in 2010.