Hafeez set for Loughborough testing

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Mohammad Hafeez, the Pakistan allrounder, has been released from the Test squad so that he can undergo independent testing on his suspect bowling action on November 24 at Loughborough University in England.

He was ruled out of the ongoing second Test against New Zealand with a hamstring injury after his action was reported following the opening Test in Abu Dhabi which Pakistan won by 248 runs. An ICC accredited team of biomechanics experts at one of the newly authorised laboratories in Loughborough will assess Hafeez’s action

“Allrounder Mohammad Hafeez is returning back home tonight,” Moin Khan, the team manager said in a statement, “from where he shall proceed to Loughborough University, the latest of ICC accredited facilities for testing on bowlers with suspect actions, on November 23 for his appointment for tests on November 24.

“After tests at Loughborough, Hafeez shall fly back directly to Dubai from Birmingham on Nov 25. If physically fit, he shall be in contention to regain his spot for the third Test against New Zealand at Sharjah.”

Hafeez, 34, has become the second Pakistan bowler in recent months to have come under ICC’s scanner. The drive against suspect actions has focused mostly on offspinners with Saeed Ajmal, Sohag Gazi, Sachithra Senanayake, Prosper Utseya and Kane Williamson, all suffering suspensions. Bangladesh pace bowler Al-Amin Hossain, whose bowling action was also reported suspect, has found to be legal following testing.

Hafeez, who has been defiant about his bowling action, was initially reported following the Champions League T20 match between Lahore Lions and Dolphins although reports in that tournament did not have international jurisdiction. He was given a warning at the event but was allowed to continue bowling.

Hafeez’s team-mate Ajmal has recently undergone an unofficial re-test at Loughborough following the extensive work on his action which was measured to significantly breach the 15-degree limit. He was found to have made substantial progress but still needed further work.