The decision comes at a particularly beneficial time for Hafeez, with PSL just around the corner
Mohammad Hafeez is free to play again after his bowling action passes a benchmark test. The Pakistani all-rounder, who has struggled with the legality of his bowling action throughout his career, was flagged in a Vitality Blast match in August last year. An assessment at Loughborough University then concluded that the bowler’s elbow extended beyond the allowable 15-degree threshold, and he was banned from bowling in ECB competitions.
However, after undergoing tests at LUMS University – also an ICC accredited testing center – in Lahore, an independent panel concluded that his elbow did not exceed the maximum 15 degree mark and, therefore, the suspension was lifted.
The move comes at a particularly beneficial time for Hafeez, with PSL just around the corner. Due to agreements between international cricket boards, the ECB’s ban meant it was banned from bowling in international games as well as in competitions hosted by other boards around the world, including included in the PSL.
Hafeez has been reported, suspended and subsequently cleared several times over the past six years when the ICC began cracking down on illegal bowling with greater frequency. But Hafeez’s problems with his bowling action go back a long way. He was first reported over 15 years ago during an ODI tri-series in Australia in 2005. In 2014, his action was reported during the T20 Champions League and then again after a match. test against New Zealand later in the year. Having been found twice above the legal limit for elbow extension, Hafeez was banned from bowling for 12 months.
After his ban ended, he returned to bowling after passing a bowling test in 2016, but the issue arose again in October 2017, when it was reported during an ODI against Sri Lanka . He was suspended from bowling again, before being cleared by Loughborough University in May 2018. A few months later, during an ODI against New Zealand, Ross Taylor hinted that Hafeez was playing with one arm. folded, which led Pakistani captain Sarfaraz Ahmed to slam Taylor. “shameful” gesture.