Cook wants to shift focus from Amir to cricket now


LONDON: England’s test captain is hoping that the upcoming Pakistan and England series will be remembered due to the quality of cricket rather than any controversy that has often happened in the past.

All eyes are on Amir and he has been discussed on every platform, Cook wants to move on from Amir saga and concentrate on cricket as a whole.

“I’ve said all along I don’t think match-fixers should be allowed to play but at the time he [Amir] was given his punishment, he’s served it so he’s entitled to come back. He’s served his time,” said Cook.

“I just hope that we can concentrate on the cricket now. It’s the big story about this Test match, but I thought the way both sides played in the UAE [last year] that the spirit between us was different to in the past, and I hope we can carry that on and talk about the cricket,” he added.

The 31-year Englishman is hoping that the debutant, Jake Ball, will be able to fill the big boots of Jimmy Anderson.

Cook said, “Unfortunately Jimmy has missed out, but it’s a great opportunity for Jake.” He went on to say, “I’m looking forward to seeing how he goes. He’s had a great year with Notts and looks a fine bowler. He’s got wicket-taking balls in him, the ability to get good players out on flat wickets, and he puts the ball in good areas with good pace.”

Anderson suffered a shoulder injury and he is currently in a recovery phase, “He’s not [bowling] quite at full pace, and I think the risk of going into five-day Test match with that injury, an injury that not too many people have had, just had a bit of a doubt about it.”

“I think the selectors decided that there are three other games, and he should be fit for Old Trafford,” Cook explained.

Pakistan seems to be well prepared for the challenge as they have attended a couple of fitness and training camps and have spent around a month in England to get familiar with the conditions. The Men in Green were quite impressive in the two side games that they played.