Inzamam has vowed to keep using offspinner Mohammad Hafeez
by AFP

Player:Mohammad Hafeez, Inzamam-ul-Haq
Event:VB Series 2004/05

DateLine: 20th January 2005


Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq has vowed to keep using offspinner Mohammad Hafeez in the triangular international series despite his being reported to the International Cricket Council for a suspect bowling action.


Inzamam admitted his country's bowlers had a throwing problem but said he had few selection options and it wouldn't stop him using Hafeez.


Hafeez became the fourth Pakistani in recent times and the second off-spinner in two months to be cited for a suspect action.


He was reported by umpires Rudi Koertzen and Peter Parker and match referee Chris Broad during Pakistan's tri-series win over the West Indies in Brisbane on Wednesday.


Inzamam said he did not believe his team was being targeted by umpires and match referees and agreed they had an inherent problem.


Quick bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Shabbir Ahmed have also been reported for suspect actions while off-spinner Shoaib Malik has been banned from bowling after being found to illegally flex his elbow by human movement experts at the University of Western Australia in Perth last month.


"This is definitely not being targeted, but definitely there is a problem there," Inzamam said on arriving at Sydney Airport on Thursday.


"I think (Hafeez's) problem is not much, it's very little and hopefully he will cope with that problem."


Under ICC rules, Hafeez must meet with approved biomechanics in the next six weeks for testing of his action but he is allowed to bowl in international matches during that period.


If it is found that he flexes his elbow in a delivery more than the five degree tolerance limit set for spinners, Hafeez would be banned from bowling until he corrects the fault.


But Malik's current ban and a hamstring tear to opening bowler Shoaib Akhtar mean Pakistan have little choice but to continue bowling Hafeez during his six-week non-reporting period.


"We have a limited choice and we are carrying a lot of injuries and that's why we don't have choices, so he's bowling in the next game," Inzamam said.


Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, who admitted surprise at Hafeez's citing, said his players had no objection to facing him before he was tested at the University of Western Australia in less than a fortnight.


"It's been a bit of a trend with Pakistani off-spinners in the last few years, they have very similar actions ... you look at Saqlain, Shoaib Malik and this guy," he said.


Ponting praised the ICC for its recent crackdown after Muttiah Muralitharan and Harbhajan Singh were reported and tested last year.


"It is good to see now that they are patrolling it very closely and I'm sure anyone that is outside those boundaries will be pulled up very quickly," he said.


Hafeez, barred from speaking to the media on Thursday, will be tested around the time they play two one-day matches in Perth on January 30 and February 1.


ICC chief Malcolm Speed indicated he would be tested under current guidelines, despite the ICC meeting on February 3-4 to debate a proposed change to the rules allowing all bowlers to flex 15 degrees.


"At this stage these are only recommendations and Mr Hafeez's action will therefore be reviewed on the same basis as all of the other bowling actions that have been reported in 2004," Speed said.


Pakistan manager Haroon Rashid said the 24-year-old, who has played three Tests and 23 international one-dayers, had little to be concerned about.


"We think it's just a matter of minor adjustments," Rashid said.


Pakistan's next tri-series match is against Australia on Sunday.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)


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