Pakistan Super League to uphold Hafeez’s bowling ban

Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez will not be allowed to bowl in the upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL) after the league administration decided to follow the International Cricket Council standards for playing conditions and uphold the ban on the player.

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Hafeez is currently serving a 12-month ban for an illegal bowling action and will not be able to apply for reassessment until his suspension ends.

The ICC policy does not allow banned bowlers to bowl in domestic competitions until and unless the home board gives the green signal and keeps the bowler under observation.

Although Hafeez was allowed to bowl in domestic cricket after his ban, the PSL has decided to follow strictly the rules set by the ICC.

“The rules we are following are from the highest standard and we decided to stick with the ICC’s ruling against any player,” the PSL management told ESPNcricinfo.

“We understand that Mohammad Hafeez is presently banned and we will endorse the ICC’s decision and carry it in the league.

“On the draft day before the players were picked, we were intimated that Hafeez was named as a batsman only as his bowling action was banned by the ICC.

“We are sticking with that. The team who picked him agreed beforehand they were taking him only as a batsman. The rules were already cleared before the final pick and it was mutually agreed.”

Hafeez’s bowling action was reported during the final of the Quaid-e-Azam trophy between Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGPL) and United Bank Limited (UBL) in Karachi.

He had earlier been reported for a suspect action after the Abu Dhabi Test against New Zealand in November 2014.

The top-order batsman then underwent testing at an ICC-accredited lab in Chennai on July 6 last year, after his action was reported following the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle in June.

The tests revealed that his action exceeded the permitted 15-degree limit.

In the PSL, Hafeez was initially placed in the Platinum category of the players’ draft, but was later devalued to the Diamond category after no team picked him in the top category.

He was finally signed by Peshawar Zalmi for $70,000.

Zalmi confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that they had picked Hafeez purely as a batsman.

“I picked him as a batsman,” Zalmi’s head coach Mohammad Akram said.

“I know he has the ability to win games and it would have been a bonus if he was allowed to bowl but we will have to respect the authorities and rules of the game,” he added.

Peshawar Zalmi play their first match against Islamabad United at Dubai on February 5.

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