Stuart Broad reflects on the decision to ban Mohammad Amir for five years in 2010

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Football News

England face Pakistan in the first of two Test matches tomorrow at Lord's with the home-side looking to recover form and 'bed in' a new batting order.

One threat to that batting line-up who has been declared fit to play is Pakistan's Mohammad Amir who, at 26, has taken 100 test wickets at an average of 32.87.

That total might have been higher had Amir not served out a 5-year ban after being caught up in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal, ironically during a Test match against England at Lord's.

Amir was one of three players banned following an investigation by News of the World into the activity of sports agent Mazhar Majeed. Majeed was filmed counting bribe money and predicting when certain no-balls would be delivered for the undercover reporter.

The ICC found the three players involved guilty of deliberately under-performing with the aim of defrauding bookmakers which also led to criminal charges from Crown Prosecution Service.

Speaking ahead of the current Test series, Stuart Broad has welcomed the chance to face up against Amir believing that his junior status in the squad at the time mitigated some of his responsibility for the scandal.

Talking to The Times, Broad said: “That was probably the toughest series I have been involved in because of that. But then 2016 was a really nice series. The teams played it tough but fair; how cricket should be. That put 2010 to bed for me.

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“I am glad Amir is back playing the game. You watch him bowling at Porterfield last week, eight away swingers then an ‘inny’ that bowls him. I was watching that, going, ‘Wow.’

"I think a five-year ban for him was probably right because he was 18, a pawn in a big game."

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Amir is perhaps lucky to be playing in tomorrow's Test at all considering that at the time key figures in cricket were calling for lifetime bans for those involved to set an example to the rest of the sport. 

While Amir will undoubtedly prove a threat to the English batsmen, questions still remain as to whether he should have the right to represent his country and the sport on an international stage.

Pakistan cricket
England cricket
Mohammad Amir
Stuart Broad

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