England batsman Kevin Pietersen says there is no excuse to cheat in cricket, whether through match-fixing or taking drugs, and players found guilty of such acts must be banned for life.
In a column published in The Telegraph, Pietersen wrote,"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.
"If you cheat the system either by taking drugs or money to under-perform then you are mugging the spectators, your teammates and a sport that has been around a lot longer than you."
Pakistan fast-bowler Mohammad Amir is set to make a Test return on Thursday at the iconic Lord's Cricket Ground — the venue where his cricketing career had come to a gruesome halt in 2010 for his involvement in spot-fixing.
The-24-year-old bowler hails from a small city of Gujjar Khan, Punjab.
Pietersen's remarks are among a volley of divided opinions on Amir's comeback in Pakistan's Test squad.
His sumptuous in-swingers against Somerset last week were praised by many, but British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Sport labelled Amir a “convicted spot-fixer”.
With harsh criticism and disappointment at Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif's scandal in Pakistan's ill-famed Lord’s Test in 2010, the explosive England batsman went on to soften the blow, lauding Amir's masterful, "vocal" performances.
But Pietersen remained firm.
"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."