Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez was on Thursday suspended from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect due to illegal action. The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that an independent assessment has found Hafeez's bowling action to be illegal. According to an ICC press release, Hafeez's majority of his deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations. In accordance with Article 11.1 of the ICC Illegal Bowling Regulations, Hafeez's international suspension will be recognised and enforced by all National Cricket Federations for domestic cricket events played in their own jurisdiction.
However, pursuant to Article 11.5 of the Regulations and with the consent of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Hafeez may be able to bowl in domestic cricket events played under the auspices of the PCB.
Hafeez came under the radar during the third One-Day International against Sri Lanka on October 18 and had undergone an independent assessment of his bowling action on November 1 at Loughborough University.
With the suspension in place, the 37-year-old can apply for a re-assessment after modifying his bowling action in accordance with clause 4.5 of the regulations.
Prior to this, the right-arm bowler was first suspended from bowling in December 2014. Following which he was suspended the second time for his illegal action in the Galle Test against Pakistan in June 2015. Due to his two-time suspension within 24 months, he was suspended from bowling in international cricket for 12 months from July 2015.
Hafeez has played 50 Tests, 195 ODIs and 81 T20Is for Pakistan and has picked 52, 136 and 49 wickets respectively.
Pakistan is the worst hit country in terms of illegal bowling action, with ace spinner Saeed Ajmal forced to leave the game after his remodelled action left him ineffective.
Not selected for the national side since 2015, Ajmal announced retirement from all cricket on Monday.