All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has been given a clean chit after his outburst against the ICC’s process of calling suspect bowling actions landed him in hot waters.
The veteran cricketer, who was served a show-cause notice by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) last month after he criticised the cricket governing body for its rules related to reporting suspect bowling actions, was cleared by the PCB on Tuesday after his clarification was accepted by the board.
A three-member PCB disciplinary committee was told by Hafeez that it was not his intention to criticise ICC protocols. “The interview was all about my suggestions to improve the [bowling action test] standards and to remove doubts from the minds of cricket fans,” he clarified, adding that his comments were misinterpreted and used out of context.
The committee, which comprised Director Cricket Operations Haroon Rasheed, Media Director Amjad Hussain and General Manager Salman Naseer, accepted his explanation.
Finally cleared to bowl again after a third suspension over suspect action, Hafeez had told BBC Urdu that the results of his testing showed that he flexed his elbow only a couple of degrees over the acceptable limit of 15. “So I have my doubts about this calling system. This is suspicious, why are match referees or on-field umpires not able to see those flexing up to 35, but me with 16 degrees,” he had questioned.
Hafeez was first suspended from bowling in December 2014 after he was reported in November 2014 during a Test series. Following remedial work on his bowling action, he was re-assessed and permitted to resume bowling in April 2015.
The off-spinner was then suspended from bowling again in July 2015 for 12 months. He was re-assessed and permitted to resume bowling in November 2016.
He was reported for the third time during the Abu Dhabi ODI against Sri Lanka in October 2017, and was subsequently suspended from bowling in November 2017 before being cleared again in May this year.