Pakistan news October 2, 2014

Hafeez defiant over legality of action

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mohammad Hafeez has defiantly suggested that he has no need to modify his bowling action less than a week after he was reported during a Champions League game.

Hafeez was one of four offspinners reported by Kumar Dharmasena, a former ICC umpire of the year, during the Champions League, but it would have needed a second report for any of them to be banned from bowling in the tournament.

Although any sanction would have only applied to Indian-run domestic tournaments, Hafeez is bound to feel that his action will be under greater scrutiny than normal during Pakistan's series against Australia that begins with a Twenty20 international in Dubai on Sunday.

"I am surprised over my action being reported because I am bowling like this for the last 11 years," he said. "I have played six major world events: two World Cups and three World Twenty20s and nobody had ever questioned my action, this is a big surprise for me.

"I will bowl the same way I have been bowling throughout my career. I don't bowl a doosra. I bowl simple offbreaks and that doesn't come under chucking."

Hafeez has a wealth of experience, with over 200 international wickets behind him, and his action has never attracted widespread qualms, but his suggestion that he cannot be questioned because he does not bowl a doosra will cause raised eyebrows: chucking a conventional offspinner is entirely possible.

Three new ICC testing centres are now operational, with Brisbane and Chennai joining Cardiff on the list of approved facilities, and there seems to be a clear campaign against potentially illegal actions - with offspinners to the fore - before next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Pakistan's coach, Waqar Younis, has expressed misgivings that the development could "shatter" Hafeez's confidence but the player himself issued a strong-willed defence of his action before departing with the rest of the squad to the UAE.

The ICC began a crackdown on illegal bowling actions in June. Sri Lanka's Sachithra Senanayake and New Zealand's Kane Williamson were suspended, Saeed Ajmal followed, with his conventional offspinners, not just his doosra, also found to be beyond the 15 degree maximum of arm straightening permitted in the regulations.

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