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Dubai, Nov 16: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday banned Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez from bowling his off-spinners in international cricket with immediate effect after an independent assessment found his bowling action illegal.
The assessment revealed that the majority of his deliveries exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations.
"The International Cricket Council today announced that an independent assessment has found the bowling action of Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez to be illegal and, as such, the off-spinner has been suspended from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect," the ICC said in a statement.
"In accordance with Article 11.1 of the ICC Illegal Bowling Regulations, Hafeez's international suspension will also be recognised and enforced by all National Cricket Federations for domestic cricket events played in their own jurisdiction.
"However, pursuant to Article 11.5 of the Regulations and with the consent of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Hafeez may be able to bowl in domestic cricket events played under the auspices of the PCB," the statement added.
Hafeez was reported during the third One-Day International against Sri Lanka, which was played on October 18 in Abu Dhabi and had undergone an independent assessment of his bowling action on November 1 at Loughborough University.
Hafeez can apply for a re-assessment after modifying his bowling action in accordance with clause 4.5 of the regulations.
This is not the first time the veteran Pakistani all-rounder has been banned from bowling in international cricket.
Under ICC rules, though this is the third time he has been suspended from bowling in three years, he will be able to return to bowling as soon as he has rectified his action and passed another assessment.
Hafeez's action was first reported in November 2014, during a Test series against New Zealand and suspended from bowling in December.
By April 2015, he had remodelled his action enough to satisfy another test and he was cleared to bowl again. Just a couple of months later, however, he was reported again during the Galle Test against Sri Lanka.
Tests confirmed again that his action was illegal, and because his action had been found illegal twice within a period of 24 months, he was automatically suspended from bowling for 12 months.
Hafeez's action was also called in Australia as well, way back in 2005 besides also being reported in a Champions League T20 game in India.