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Hafeez raises doubts over ICC’s process for reporting suspect actions

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KARACHI: Experienced Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has called into question the International Cricket Council’s process for reporting suspect bowling actions.

The 37-year-old off-spinner Hafeez, who was suspended from bowling in international cricket for the third time late last year and was finally cleared to bowl by the ICC around two weeks ago, has raised doubts about the process calling it “suspicious”.

 

“There are so many things influencing [who gets called for suspect actions], it has a lot to do with the power of [some] boards and nobody wants to take them on,” Hafeez told BBC Urdu.

“Mostly there are soft corners and relations between people which no one wants to spoil. What I say is why not implement the rule and get every bowler in the world to go through [the testing process]. What’s the difficulty in that?”

The Sargodha-born all-rounder said he was surprised when he found out that the degree of flex in his bowling action was only marginally above the 15-degree limit.

“When match umpires called me [for a suspect bowling action], I went for my test only to find the flex was recorded up to 16, 17 and 18 degrees,” Hafeez said.

“I was surprised: how can anyone with the naked eye see flex from 15 to 16, and at times they are not able to call those whose flex is 25 and even 30-plus.

“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?” the veteran campaigner with 50 Tests, 200 ODIs and 81 T20 Internationals under his belt questioned.