Cook content to face Amir, but wants life bans for future fixers


Alastair Cook insists he has no problem with potentially facing disgraced seamer Mohammad Amir at Lord's next month, but has called for life bans to be brought in for players found guilty of match-fixing.

Amir returned to international cricket at the beginning of 2016, having served a five-year suspension for his part in the spot-fixing scandal that overshadowed Pakistan's most recent tour of England in 2010.

Having been named in Pakistan's squad to tour England, the left-armer now appears likely to feature in the first Test at Lord's, the venue for the match in which he was found guilty of bowling deliberate no-balls six years ago.

Cook echoed recent comments by team-mate Stuart Broad in claiming he has no problem with lining up against Amir.

However, England's captain made it clear he would like future fixers to be punished more severely.

Cook told BBC Sport: "Hopefully he [Amir] has learned a really big lesson and he will play the rest of his career in the right way and not get sidetracked by external things. Hopefully that's right.

"I have absolutely no problems in playing against him, facing him, at all.

"I do believe there should be something now, possibly out from the ICC, that if you are caught match-fixing you are banned for life. There's no ifs, no buts."

Cook confirmed England will field an unchanged side for the third Test against Sri Lanka, which begins at Lord's on Thursday.

That decision means Jake Ball's wait for a Test debut goes on, with Steven Finn again retained alongside senior seamers James Anderson and Broad.