The International Cricket Council (ICC) on February 12 (Wednesday) cleared veteran Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Hafeez to bowl again after he cleared an assessment test. Incidentally, Hafeez has struggled with the legality of his bowling action throughout his career and had to undergo a lot of change to pass the test.
He was reported in a Vitality Blast game in August last year. An assessment at Loughborough University then concluded the bowler's elbow extended beyond the permitted 15-degree threshold, and he was banned from bowling in the ECB competitions. However, Mohammad Hafeez underwent testing at LUMS university – also an ICC-accredited testing centre – in Lahore.
An independent body concluded that his elbow didn't exceed the maximum 15-degree mark. As a result, the ban was lifted from the veteran all-rounder. The ruling comes at a crucial time with Pakistan Super League looming ahead. Due to agreements between international cricketing boards, the ECB ban meant he was banned from bowling in international matches as well as tournaments organised by other boards across the globe, including at the PSL.
Incidentally, Mohammad Hafeez was first reported over 15 years ago during an ODI tri-series in Australia in 2005. In 2014, his action was reported during the Champions League T20, and then again following a Test match against New Zealand later that year. Having twice been found over the legal limit for elbow extension, Hafeez was banned from bowling for 12 months.
Following that ban, Hafeez received sanction two more times – one during an ODI against Sri Lanka in 2017 and another during a match against New Zealand in 2018. The recent news will also be a massive booster with the ICC T20 World Cup lined up in Australia later this year.