Londn: England captain Alastair Cook said yesterday he wants all cricketers found guilty of match fixing to be banned for life, but that he would be prepared to face Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir.

Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook

Left-arm quick Amir is in line to make his Test return — having already made his comeback in white-ball international cricket — in the series opener against England at Lord's next month.

It was during a Lord's Test against England six years ago that Amir and two Pakistan teammates were involved in the deliberate bowling of no-balls — the trio having been lured into a newspaper 'sting' operation to demonstrate their willingness to take part in spot fixing. Amir was sent to jail by an English court and banned from all cricket worldwide for five years.  

"It's kind of ironic that his first Test match will be here back at Lord's," Cook told reporters here yesterday ahead of the third Test between England and Sri Lanka.

'No problems playing against Mohammad Amir'
"He's served his time. He's been punished for what he did, and quite rightly so, because we've got to protect the integrity of the game.

"But I have no problems in playing against him at all."

However, the left-handed opener added: "My only thing is that 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.  That's not saying Amir shouldn't come back, because the rules were probably different then."