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Alastair Cook: England captain wants life bans for match-fixers

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Mohammad Amir celebrates a wicket

England v Sri Lanka, third Test
Venue: Lord’s Dates: 9-13 June
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW, online, tablets, mobiles and BBC Sport app. Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

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

But he said he would have “no problem” playing against Pakistan bowler Mohammad Amir, who served a five-year ban for the lesser crime of spot-fixing and is set to tour England this summer.

“Amir has served his time,” said Cook, 31. “If you get caught match-fixing you should be banned for life.”

England face Sri Lanka in the third Test at Lord’s starting on Thursday.

Left-arm pace bowler Amir, 24, was jailed for three months for his part in a spot-fixing scam against England at Lord’s in 2010 which also involved team-mates Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif.

Amir has been named in Pakistan’s squad for the four-Test series starting on 14 July, although he is waiting to find out if he will be granted a UK visa.

“It’s kind of ironic that his first Test match back will probably be here at Lord’s,” said Cook.

“He was punished for what he did, and quite rightly so because we’ve got to protect the integrity of the game.

“That’s not to say Amir should not come back, because the rules were probably different then.”

Cook confirmed that England will be unchanged for the final Test against Sri Lanka after convincing wins at Headingley and Chester-le-Street, meaning all-rounder Chris Woakes keeps his place ahead of uncapped seamer Jake Ball.

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