KARACHI: Pakistan’s cricket authorities are confident that key all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez will soon manage to get a green signal from the International Cricket Council (ICC) to bowl at next year’s World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand.
Hafeez, who is currently in the South Indian city of Chennai for an unofficial testing of his bowling action, was stopped from bowling after his action was reported as suspect during the first Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi last month and he was subsequently suspended after a bio-mechanical test found it was illegal.
Hafeez’s elbow extension was found to be “well over 15 degrees” in an ICC report leading to his suspension.
Though the test in Chennai is an unofficial one, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials are confident that if Hafeez clears it, he will go on to pass the official test as well.
“Hafeez has worked extensively to remodel his action and we are all confident that he will clear the bio-mechanic test in Chennai,” an official told ‘The News’ on Tuesday.
The official said that PCB’s experts tested Hafeez’ action in Lahore and were convinced that he has brought down his elbow extension to within legal limits.
“It was after the experts reached this conclusion that the Board decided to send Hafeez for unofficial testing in Chennai,” he said.
The Board is trying its best to get an ICC go-ahead of Hafeez before the January 7 deadline to announce the final World Cup squad. The World Cup will be played in February-March.
“The idea is to have Hafeez available as an all-rounder so that the selectors will not need to take the tough decision of picking him just as a top order batsman,” said the official.
If Hafeez fails to clear the ICC hurdle in time then it will be the second major blow for Pakistan after their top wicket-taking bowler Saeed Ajmal was also sidelined over his illegal action in September.
The off-spinner last week announced his withdrawal from the World Cup as his remedial work will not be completed before the January 7 deadline.The PCB said Hafeez has worked with former spinner Saqlain Mushtaq and spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed.
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