London, July 12: Former England captain Kevin Pietersen feels match-fixers, spot-fixers should be banned for life and should not be given a second chance as in the case of Pakistani paceman Mohammad Amir.
Pietersen has come down heavily on young bowler Amir who was banned for 5 years for bowling no-balls during a Test match at Lord's in 2010 against England, in exchange for money.
The 24-year-old Amir is set to play his first Test this Thursday (July 14) at the same venue since returning from the ban. (Amir won't get hostile reception: Imran Khan)
"Any sportsman or woman caught match fixing, spot fixing or taking drugs should be banned for life. They have broken the rules, should pay the price and not be given a second chance," Pietersen wrote in his column for "The Telegraph" on Monday (July 11).
According to Pietersen, those who cheat the game were also "mugging" their team-mates and the spectators.
"If you cheat the system either by taking drugs or money to under-perform then you are mugging the spectators, your team-mates and a sport that has been around a lot longer than you.
"People always deserve a second chance in life but sport is different. We are paid to play a sport we love and are damn lucky to lead the life of a professional cricketer. To try and gain an advantage by taking drugs or devaluing your sport by being bribed is breaking the 11th and 12th commandments. There can be no way back," he wrote.
Talking about poverty among sub-continent players, Pietersen said bowling no-balls for money was "just greed" on the part of Amir and his team-mate Mohammad Asif.
"I understand that in the sub-continent cricketers come from villages where there is poverty and deprivation. The chance to escape the village and give their family a better life is something they will do anything for. They get the chance to play international cricket and earn massive sums of money and are exposed to temptation. But to bowl a no ball for £50,000 to earn more money is just greed.
"This is not just about Mohammad Amir, who will play for Pakistan against England at Lord's this week, but all cheats. Amir is one of many that has been caught and there are probably plenty of others who have got away with it and are still playing the sport," he explained.
Pietersen played in that Test where Amir, Asif and capatain Salman Butt were involved in spot-fixing. Asif and Butt were also penalised as the International Cricket Council (ICC) handed them bans.