London: England skipper Alastair Cook has said that the players found in match-fixing should be banned for life, but added that he has no problem facing fast bowler Mohammad Amir, who is returning to Test cricket after a five-year ban from spot-fixing.
Amir, who returned to the international cricket after completing his suspension from spot-fixing in September last year, was named in the 17-member Test squad to face England.
Amir, along with former skipper Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, were found guilty of various offences of corrupt behaviour relating to the Lord’s Test between England and Pakistan in August 2010 by the independent Anti-Corruption Tribunal in February 2011.
Subject to final confirmation of a visa being granted, the 24-year-old is all set to return on the ground where he committed the crime.
Cook, who was also a part of that 2010 England team, urged that there should be harsh punishment for the match-fixers if the integrity of the game need to be maintained.
The England opener, however, said that he has no problem playing against former spot-fixer Amir because he had served his part of the punishment.
“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,” Cook was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
England will play a four-match Test series and a five-match ODI series against Pakistan, starting from July 14 at the Lord’s.