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Aus set to face ex-fixer in day-night Test

AAP logoAAP 11/12/2016 Rob Forsaith

Many words have been used to described Pakistan paceman Mohammed Amir but "another player" appears to be the catchcry Australia will stick with.

Amir was one of three Pakistan cricketers embroiled in a 2010 spot-fixing scandal, when at age 18 he deliberately bowled a series of no-balls in a Test at the request of captain Salman Butt.

He spent three months in prison and was banned from cricket for five years.

The comeback of the swing specialist, who looms as the tourists' most potent weapon in the day-night Test that starts at the Gabba on Thursday, has been far from seamless.

Teammates Azhar Ali and Mohammed Hafeez boycotted a training camp last year because of Amir's presence, while New Zealand crowds taunted him earlier this year.

Amir's quest for redemption, guaranteed to be retold throughout Australia this moth, is divisive.

Some past players including Mitchell Johnson suggest the left-armer deserves sympathy, because he was a teenager coerced by a captain.

Others, including Ian Healy and former England skipper Andrew Flintoff, wanted harsher sentences after the scandal.

Mitchell Starc was unwilling to shed any light on where he sits.

"He's playing Test cricket. He's another player in their team and we'll address him in the team meeting. That's all that needs to be said I think," Starc said in Brisbane.

"To be honest, not at all," Australia's spearhead added, when asked if he'd read up on Amir's story.

It is a situation Steve Smith's side dealt with earlier this year, when they came up against Amir in the pool stage of the World Twenty20.

On that occasion, both Smith and David Warner referred to the spot-fixer as "just another player" in the lead-up.

"What is done in the past is in the past. We're not going to try and go out there and get under his skin for something that's probably not warranted," Warner said at the time.

"They've accepted him back in the team and you have to accept that."

Amir is expected to be a handful with the pink ball at the Gabba and that was the case in Cairns last week, when he generated plenty of unplayable swing in a tour game.

The highlight was a 12-ball spell at night that featured three wickets.

"He's got great skills, everyone in world cricket knows that," Starc said of the left-armer.

"We're going to have to discuss him in our team meeting and the guys who have faced him in the past can speak up and we'll see what little things they've picked up but he's just another one of their players."

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