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Mohammad Hafeez’s Bowling Action is Legal (Yet Again)

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The England Cricket Board (ECB) has cleared the bowling action of former Pakistan captain and Middlesex all-rounder, Mohammad Hafeez. The 39-year-old can now bowl in England’s domestic competitions.

 

Hafeez’s bowling action came under scrutiny once again in August last year during a T20 match between Somerset and Middlesex.

After the match, Hafeez underwent an independent assessment at Loughborough University, which revealed that his elbow extension for off-break deliveries exceeds the 15-degree tolerance limit. As a result, ECB banned him from bowling in any of the competitions held under its umbrella.


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In December, the Professor decided to contest the findings of the assessment and lodged a review appeal with a Bowling Review Group at Lord’s. However, the review panel upheld the decision, asking the all-rounder to remodel his action. Moreover, the review panel asked Hafeez to undergo a re-assessment after tweaking his action.

Just recently, Hafeez underwent another assessment at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) after changing his action. His elbow extension has been found within the tolerance limit this time around. Therefore, ECB has now lifted the ban.

Not a First

Hafeez’s bowling action has been reported, suspended, and cleared numerous times during his career.

During an ODI tri-series in Australia, his action was reported for the first time in 2005. The regulations dealing with illegal actions were not strict back then, therefore, Hafeez made a quick comeback after remodeling his action.


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His action came under scrutiny in the Champions League T20 and later during a Test match against New Zealand in 2014. As a result, ICC slapped a 12-month ban on Hafeez.

In 2016, Hafeez tweaked his action and made a comeback. His action was found illegal once again in 2017 during an ODI series against Sri Lanka at Abu Dhabi, resulting in yet another ban.

Hafeez was again cleared and he is currently eligible to bowl in international matches.


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