Hafeez banned from bowling for one year
Calcutta/ Karachi: In a major setback to Pakistan cricket, all-rounder Mohammed Hafeez was on Friday banned from bowling in international cricket for 12 months after he failed an independent assessment of his suspect action.
The assessment was carried out at the Sri Ramachandra University in Chennai on July 6 and the ICC said that Hafeez's bowling action was found to be illegal.
The 34-year-old was assessed after the legality of his bowling action came under question by the match officials during Pakistan's first Test victory over Sri Lanka in Galle.
"It is a big setback for us and our future plans but mentally we were prepared for such an outcome," chief selector Haroon Rasheed said.
"The ban from bowling for 12-months means we now have to rethink our strategy for the next one year for ODIs and T20 cricket," the former Test batsman said.
Pakistan's former Test opener and head coach, Mohsin Khan described the ban on Hafeez as disappointing and a big challenge now for the national selectors.
"They now have to review the entire situation with the cricket board and take tough decisions."
Following the match, Hafeez was reported by the match officials pursuant to the ICC Regulations for the Review of Bowlers Reported with Suspected Illegal Bowling Actions (the "Regulations") and subsequently underwent the independent assessment in Chennai in accordance with the regulations.
The assessment revealed that Hafeez's elbow extension exceeded 15 degrees while bowling and, thus, he employed an illegal bowling action.
Hafeez was originally suspended from bowling in November 2014. Following remedial work on his bowling action, he was reassessed and permitted to resume bowling in April 2015.
As this report has constituted the player's second report within a two-year period, the first of which led to a suspension, he is now automatically suspended from bowling in international cricket for a 12-month period.