Cook says cheats should be banned for life

England captain Alastair Cook has called for players found guilty of match-fixing to be banned for life.

Cook made the remarks ahead of this summer’s Test series against Pakistan, where bowler Mohammad Amir is expected to feature after serving a five-year ban for spot-fixing.

Pace bowler Amir spent three months behind bars for spot-fixing during a match against England at Lord’s in 2010. Then-team-mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were also found guilty of fixing and banned.

Amir was granted a UK visa earlier this week and is expected to play after being named in Pakistan’s squad for the series which starts on July 14.

Despite his tough line on cheats, Cook went on to say he has “no problem” about facing Amir.

“Amir has served his time,” said Cook. “If you get caught match-fixing you should be banned for life.”

Nevertheless, he said it was kind of ironic that Amir’s first match would be at Lord’s.

“His punishment at the time was for a five-year ban and he’s served that so I’m perfectly happy for him to come back and play,” said Cook.

“But in my opinion now, because it has become a little more prevalent and there have been a few more cases of it, the ICC should come out and say if you are caught match-fixing you are banned for life and that is what we should do to protect the game. If everyone knows that then it is very black and white,” he added.

“It is sad that this can tarnish the game of cricket, which is why I think you shouldn’t be allowed to play again.”

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