Mohammad Hafeez has been cleared to bowl again after an independent assessment revealed his elbow did not exceed the 15-degree limit.
Hafeez was 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.
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, which decided to suspend him from bowling in all ECB competitions.
However, he underwent an independent assessment at ICC-accredited Lahore University of Management Sciences, which concluded that his action was legal. He will now be free to bowl in all games.
Hafeez made a comeback to the national side against Bangladesh in the recent T20I series but didn’t bowl in the two T20Is played in Lahore. The clearance of his action comes as an important factor as he will now be able to bowl in international matches as well due to an agreement between cricket boards.
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.
In 2018, 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 in 2018, where he [Taylor] looked at the umpire and mimicked the bowler delivering the ball with a bent arm.