Despite sealing the ODI series against Sri Lanka, Pakistan are rocked by the news that veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has been reported for suspected bowling action during the 3rd ODI against the Lankans in Abu Dhabi yesterday. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed the report today (October 19).
The match officials are the ones who’ve spotted some irregularity in Hafeez’s action. Their report was handed over to the Pakistan team management, citing concerns about the legality of his bowling action during the match on Wednesday. An ICC release said, “Hafeez’s bowling action will now be scrutinised further under the ICC illegal bowling action regulations. He is required to undergo testing within 14 days, and, during this period, Hafeez is permitted to continue bowling in international cricket until the results of the assessments are known,”
Sadly for Hafeez, his bowling just can’t catch a break as it seems. This is the third time that his action has been reported. He was suspended from bowling in December 2014 before getting the all-clear later in April.
However, Hafeez’s action was under the magnifying glass, with a 2nd reporting by the match officials were done in June 2015. As this was his second suspension within 24 months of the initial suspension, he was suspended from bowling in international cricket for 12 months from July 2015 as per the rule book of ICC.
Hafeez is also a persistent person. He underwent assessment on 17th November 2016 at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane and was again allowed to bowl following his action being dubbed ‘positive’. This new report by the officials handed over today is deemed to be a first report and the procedure outlined in clause 4.1 of the ICC Illegal Bowling Regulations shall now apply.