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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Pakistan's Hafeez can bowl in Sharjah ODI even as bowling action is reported

Off-spinner reported for suspect bowling action in Wednesday’s third one-day international in Abu Dhabi

Mohammed Hafeez bowled well in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday but his was reported after. Francois Nel / Getty Images
Mohammed Hafeez bowled well in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday but his was reported after. Francois Nel / Getty Images

Pakistan all-rounder Mohammed Hafeez has been allowed to bowl in the fourth one-day international against Sri Lanka at Sharjah on Friday.

Hafeez, who opens the batting in limited-overs cricket but is also a fairly successful off-spinner, was reported for a suspect bowling action in Wednesday’s third ODI in Abu Dhabi, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Thursday.

The ICC said the match officials’ report, which was handed over to the 'home team’ management, cited concerns about the legality of Hafeez’s action.

“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,” an ICC release said.

This is the third time that his action has been reported as suspect. He was first suspended from bowling in December 2014 before he was cleared the following April.

His action was reported for a second time in June 2015 and as this was his second suspension within 24 months of the initial suspension, he was suspended from bowling in internationals for 12 months from July 2015.

In November, 2016 Hafeez underwent a reassessment of his bowling action at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane and was allowed to resume bowling after his action was found to be legal.

He bowled eight overs and took 1-39 in the match which Pakistan won by seven wickets to secure an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

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Pakistan has a history of problems with illegal bowling actions with quick bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Shabbir Ahmed, as well as spinners Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi and Bilal Asif all reported in the past.

Ajmal’s career ended after he failed to achieve the same success with a remodelled action in 2015 while Bilal’s action was cleared after reassessment.

Under the new ICC regulations, all bowlers are allowed to bend their arm by 15 degrees – beyond which the action is deemed illegal.

Hafeez has claimed 136 wickets in 193 one-day internationals, 52 wickets in 50 Tests and 46 wickets in 78 Twenty20 internationals.