Mohammad Hafeez Banned From Bowling
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has banned Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez from bowling after independent analysis revealed his bowling action is illegal.
Off-spinner Hafeez was reported for bowling with a suspected illegal action following the first Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi.
He missed the second Test and underwent analysis on 24th November at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough.
Analysis revealed that none of his deliveries comply with the 15 degree level of tolerance allowed by the ICC.
As such, he is unable to bowl in international cricket until he has completed re-assessment and his bowling action is deemed legal.
Hafeez, who has played 40 Tests, 149 One-Day Internationals and 60 Twenty20 Internationals for his country, was also reported during the Champions League Twenty20 tournament earlier this year.
However, no further action was taken because the rules of that tournament state that a bowler must only undergo analysis if they are reported twice.
He is the latest of a number of cricketers who have been suspended for bowling with an illegal action this year, including team-mate Saeed Ajmal, Kane Williamson, Sachithra Senanayake, Prosper Utseya and Sohag Gazi.
The blow is particularly ill-timed for Pakistan, just one month before they have to name a final 15-man squad for the Cricket World Cup 2015.
Both Ajmal and Hafeez were included in Pakistan's 30-man preliminary squad and Hafeez is part of Pakistan's ODI squad to play New Zealand in a five-match series beginning tomorrow (8th December).
However, as a top-order batsman, he may - as Williamson has done - choose to play as a specialist batsman and not go through the process of remodelling his action.
© Cricket World 2014