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ICC suspends Hafeez over ‘illegal’ bowling action

DUBAI: After suspension of spin maestro Saeed Ajmal over chucking, the Pakistan all-rounder Muhammad Hafeez has also been suspended over ‘illegal bowling action’, ARY News reported Sunday.

AFP adds: Hafeez, 34, had his action reported during the first Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi last month.

“The ICC confirmed that an independent analysis has found the bowling action of Pakistan’s Hafeez to be illegal and, as such, the off-spinner has been suspended from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect,” the ICC said.

The analysis revealed that all his deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations, the ICC added.

Hafeez can apply for a reassessment after he has modified his bowling action in accordance with the rules, the ICC said.

The analysis was performed on 24 November by the ICC’s accredited team of human movement specialists using the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough, England.

The suspension is a further blow for Pakistan before the next year’s World Cup as they are already reeling from leading off-spinner Ajmal’s suspension in September.

Hafeez, who also opens the batting, gives balance to the one-day international side having taken 122 wickets in 149 matches.

He will now miss Pakistan’s five one-day internationals against New Zealand, the first of which is in Dubai on Monday.

Hafeez will have to undergo remedial work and becomes the sixth bowler suspended under a crackdown by the ICC launched in June this year.

Besides Ajmal, Sri Lanka’s Sachitra Senanayake, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, Zimbabwe’s Prosper Utseya and Bangladesh’s Sohag Gazi have also been suspended.

Only Bangladesh’s pace bowler Al-Amin Hossain was reported by umpires and then cleared on bio-mechanical analysis.

Zimbabwe’s Malcolm Waller and the United Arab Emirates’ Salman Farooq and Mohammad Shahzad are others who have been recently reported for suspect actions.

Under the ICC rules, bowlers are permitted to straighten their bowling arm by no more than 15 degrees during delivery.

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