Left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir's return to the venue where he was involved in one of cricket's biggest controversies has sparked a debate. While the British media has been critical of his presence in the Pakistani side, some reports express sympathy for the 24-year-old.
Former England spinner Graeme Swann too joined the bandwagon and hit out at the player, claiming that he should have been banned for life over his role in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal. A life ban would not only have protected the integrity of the sport, but would also help cricket grow and inspire youngsters, Swann opined.
Amir, who will play the first test at Lords on Thursday, returns to the same venue where he along with fellow pace bowler and then captain Salman Butt were implicated of spot-fixing and had accepted money to bowl deliberate no-balls. The then 18-year-old was suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for five years while also serving a six-month jail sentence during his suspension before being released for good behaviour.
Swann was part of the England squad of the now infamous Test and has expressed that he is not happy with Amir's return.
"Mohammad Amir will walk out on the green and glorious turf at Lord's on Thursday and it will make me sick. This is a man who crushed the morality of the game. And yet he is being allowed back to play at the Home of Cricket," he wrote in his column for Sun.
"Amir should have been banned for life for his part in the corruption scandal of 2010. He is an incredibly talented bowler- he took 6/84 in that infamous Lord's Test six years ago- but that does not excuse what he did. No matter how good you are, if you sell your soul for 30 pieces of silver, you have to pay the consequences and I don't think he has."
Pakistan are currently touring England and will play a four Tests matches, five One Day Internationals (ODI) and a solitary Twenty20 against the Three Lions. The first Test is scheduled to start on 14 July at Lord's.