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  • 11 March 2019
    导出博客文章Alastair Cook has said that England will seek to park all of the off-field hype
    surrounding Mohammad Amirs comeback to Test cricket, despite reiterating his
    belief that players who get involved in corruption ought to be banned for
    life.However, he also admits that the distractions may help to galvanise a
    Pakistani team that is eager to make amends for the controversies of their 2010
    tour.Well spend a lot of time talking about it in the build-up, Cook told
    ESPNcricinfo during a Yorkshire Tea event at The Oval, but once we get out there
    well just be thinking about playing.Obviously its more of a distraction on the
    Pakistan side, but we know they tend to get united behind distractions. But all
    that stuff off the field, weve just got to park it, and were pretty good at
    that.Nevertheless, ignoring the hype of Amirs comeback is not the same thing as
    ignoring the threat that he will pose in his first Test appearance since the
    lifting of his five-year ban for spot-fixing, and Cook in particular remembers
    the challenge he posed as a teenaged prodigy that summer.Cook was dismissed
    three times each by Amir and his then new-ball partner, Mohammad Asif - who was
    also implicated and jailed in the News of the World sting, as he mustered 57
    runs in six innings, either side of a cathartic and career-changing century at
    The Oval in the third Test.It was warm and humid, it was muggy, Cook recalled.
    When the sun was out it was hot and there was rain around. The ball swung.He
    bowled brilliantly as a youngster on his first tour, in good conditions he was
    an absolute handful, he added. But a lot of water has gone under a few bridges
    since then, so itll be interesting to see how he copes and see the crowd
    reaction is.But as an England side, weve got to stay away from that sideshow.
    Whether you agree with him playing or you dont, thats not for us to say as
    players. Its down to us to play him as a fantastic bowler.Nevertheless, memories
    of the 2010 Lords Test are sure to come flooding back when the players take the
    field for the first Test next week, and Cook admitted that the atmosphere on
    that fourth and final day six years ago, on the morning after the newspapers
    revelations that Pakistans bowlers had been bribed to bowl no-balls to order,
    was one of the most peculiar he had ever experienced on a cricket field.It was
    very surreal, horrible, he said. Did Swanny [Graeme Swann] get a five-for? I
    dont think anyone celebrated any wickets. It was a disappointing day as we were
    on the verge of what we thought was a genuine win.And thats the problem when you
    fix games of cricket, or spot-fix, you tarnish games of cricket for the players,
    the crowd, everyone. The punishment should be befitting of someone who does
    that.Guys who are paying a lot of money to watch us want to see a genuine
    spectacle, they want to know the 22 players, and the two umpires, are trying
    their best, and nothing should distract from that.My feelings are clear, if you
    get caught matchfixing, you should be banned for life.England come into the Test
    series off the back of a convincing 2-0 victory over Sri Lanka but with recent
    memories of their own 2-0 loss against Pakistan in the UAE last winter - when a
    near-miss in the first Test at Abu Dhabi gave way to two comprehensive defeats
    at Dubai and Sharjah. Cook, however, is confident of setting that record
    straight.They are massively different conditions, he said. Misbah scored about
    95% of his runs against spin, I dont think hell be facing as much spin as he did
    there.Theyve got a very good bowling attack, with a lot of variety, backed up by
    good spin. But it was a very close series. I dont think 2-0 quite reflected the
    sides. We are a bit more comfortable in those conditions, but we were unlucky in
    that first Test.
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