Pakistan and Middlesex all-rounder, Mohammad Hafeez, has been suspended from bowling in all ECB domestic competitions after his bowling action was found to be illegal.
His action was reported during a Vitality Blast competition between Somerset and Middlesex (August 30) and went an independent assessment at Loughborough University. Hafeez was signed as AB de Villiers’ mid-season replacement for five T20 matches.
He contested the findings of the assessment, which had declared his bowling action was exceeding the 15-degree limit. A bowling review group heard his appeal at Lord’s on Tuesday, which decided to suspend him from bowling in all ECB competitions.
"I have received the ECB Bowling Review Group report on my bowling action,” said Hafeez in a statement as quoted by Middlesex CCC.
“Despite identifying procedural testing flaws, which have been accepted by the review committee, as well as realising the findings will potentially affect my reputation as a world-proven all-rounder, I accept the Bowling Review Group findings.
"As per ECB regulations, I am ready to appear for an independent analysis at an ICC-accredited centre so that I become eligible to play in ECB-organised events."
Hafeez, 39, has had longstanding issues with his bowling action in the past. His action was reported for the first time in 2005 and since then, he has been suspended and cleared multiple times.
Last year, Hafeez had landed in hot waters when he questioned ICC’s illegal bowling action policy. “I have my doubts about this calling system. This is suspicious, why are match referees or on-field umpires not able to see those flexing up to 35 but me with 16 degrees,” he said in an interview with BBC Urdu. He was served a show cause notice by the PCB but clarified his comments in front of a three-member disciplinary committee.
The controversy appeared once again when Ross Taylor questioned the legality of his bowling action during the first ODI at Abu Dhabi, where he looked at the umpire and mimicked the bowler delivering the ball with a bent arm.