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Pakistan's Mohammad Amir backs life bans for match fixers

Karachi: Pakistan's Mohammad Amir said match fixers should be banned for life as he prepares to return to Test cricket at Lord's, where an infamous 2010 spot fixing scandal landed him a jail term and a five-year ban.

Mohammad Amir at the Lahore Cricket Academy ahead of Pakistan's departure for London on Saturday
Mohammad Amir at the Lahore Cricket Academy ahead of Pakistan's departure for London on Saturday

The fast bowler backed comments from England captain Alastair Cook, who said anyone caught match fixing should be thrown out of the sport for good.

"If fixing is still happening then it's really alarming," Amir said in an interview before his departure for the four-Test tour of England.

"I fully back that fixers should be banned for life." The 24-year-old left-armer can expect a cool reception from fans at Lord's, where he was caught bowling no-balls to order in a sting operation carried out by a tabloid newspaper.

But Cook said earlier this month that he had no problem playing against Amir, who has served his ban and returned to international cricket in January.

Amir and new-ball partner Mohammad Asif bowled no-balls to order on the instructions of their captain Salman Butt. All three received five-year bans and, together with sports agent Mazhar Majeed, jail terms.

Since his ban expired, Amir has played only limited-overs matches.

Amir's pace and wicket-taking ability make him an automatic choice for the Test series opener from July 14, when he hopes to be able to put his past behind him.

'My real comeback'
"I may have registered my comeback months ago but Test cricket is actual cricket, and playing it again is what I was looking forward to and this is my real comeback," said Amir.

"I won't say that I have forgotten my past and those incidents won't come back to haunt me, but I am looking at it positively as I want to replace the past with a better future.

"My memory still holds those moments from 2010 but I want to perform well, want to get my name (on) the honour board at Lord's once again," said Amir, whose haul of 6-84 in the tainted Test of 2010 features on the honours board, where outstanding play is chronicled.

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