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Hafeez banned from bowling in all ECB competitions

Pakistan and Middlesex all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has been suspended from bowling in all English cricket’s domestic competition after his action was found to be illegal following an independent bowling-action assessment. According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, Hafeez, who had signed on mid-season as a replacement for AB de Villiers, had his action reported on August 30 after the T20 Blast match in Taunton between Somerset and Middlesex following which he underwent independent assessment at Loughborough University.

The 39-year-old contested the findings of the assessment, which held that his elbow extension for his off-break exceeded the 15-degree tolerance limit for bowling actions.

A bowling review group, which heard his appeal at Lord’s on Tuesday, suspended him from bowling in ECB competitions, and advised him to correct his action.

In a statement, Hafeez said on Tuesday: “I have received the ECB Bowling Review Group report on my bowling action. Despite identifying procedural testing flaws, which have been accepted by the review committee, as well as realising the findings will potentially affect my reputation as a world-proven all-rounder, I accept the Bowling Review Group findings.”

“As per ECB regulations, I am ready to appear for an independent analysis at an ICC-accredited centre so that I become eligible to play in ECB-organised events.”

This is not the first time when Hafeez has been reported. In 2005, his action came under scrutiny for the first time and since, has been reported, suspended and cleared on multiple occasions.

Hafeez, a veteran of 218 ODIs, 89 T20Is and 55 Tests, was part of Pakistan’s 2019 World Cup campaign but has since not been offered a new contract by the national board. The all-rounder has retired from Test cricket but has indicated that he is available for selection in the shorter formats of the game.

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