Pakistan allrounder Mohammad Hafeez has been banned from bowling in international cricket for 12 months after his action was found to be illegal for a second time since November 2014. He will be able to have his action reassessed by the ICC only after this period is completed.
Hafeez, 34, had undergone testing at an ICC-accredited lab in Chennai on July 6, after his action was reported following the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle in June. The tests revealed Hafeez's action exceeded the permitted 15-degree limit.
"As this report has constituted the player's second report within a two-year period, the first of which led to a suspension, he is now automatically suspended from bowling in international cricket for a 12-month period," the ICC said. "Hafeez is entitled to appeal any procedural aspect of an independent assessment that has led to this automatic suspension. However, only after the expiry of this one-year period will he be entitled to approach the ICC for a reassessment of his bowling action."
Hafeez had been reported for a suspect action after the Abu Dhabi Test against New Zealand in November last year, and in December his action was found to be illegal following tests at an ICC accredited centre in Loughborough, England. He was found to have an elbow extension up to 31 degrees.
He underwent remedial work at a biomechanics lab in Chennai, but failed an unofficial test on his action on January 3. Later that month the PCB requested the ICC to retest Hafeez's action in February in Brisbane, so that he could bowl at the World Cup if cleared, but he was ruled out of the tournament with a calf injury. Hafeez was finally cleared to bowl again in international cricket on April 21, after more tests on his action in Chennai.
After he was reported following the Galle match, Hafeez bowled in the second Test in Colombo, where he took one wicket before travelling to Chennai to have his action tested. He missed the third Test in Pallekele as a result, but returned to play the first two ODIs in Sri Lanka, taking 4 for 41 and 2 for 61.