Pakistan off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez has been banned from bowling for a year after his action was found to be illegal for the second time, the International Cricket Council said on Friday.
The 34-year-old’s action had been reported after the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle last month, but he had been allowed to play on till the assessment results were declared.
The assessment, carried out in Chennai on July 6, revealed that Hafeez’s “elbow extension exceeded 15 degrees while bowling and, thus, he employed an illegal bowling action,” an ICC statement said.
“As this report has constituted the player’s second report within a two-year period, he is now automatically suspended from bowling in international cricket for a 12-month period,” the statement added. Hafeez had been reported earlier during the Abu Dhabi Test against New Zealand last November. But in April he was cleared to resume bowling after being tested at the same bio-mechanics clinic in Chennai.
This time, Hafeez played in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo before travelling to Chennai. He missed the third and final Test in Pallekele, but returned to take part in the first two matches of the ongoing one-day series where he claimed six wickets. All-rounder Hafeez can also play in the remaining three one-dayers, but will not be allowed to bowl.
Hafeez is entitled to appeal “any procedural aspect” of the independent assessment that has led to this automatic suspension, the ICC said. “However, only after the expiry of this one-year period will he be entitled to approach the ICC for a re-assessment of his bowling action,” the governing body added.
Hafeez, who made his international debut in 2003, has claimed 52 wickets in 44 Tests, 129 wickets in 163 one-dayers and 46 wickets in 62 Twenty20 matches. – AFP