The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has again refused to side with Mohammed Hafeez, only this time after he criticized the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) process for reporting suspect bowling actions.
Not long ago, Hafeez was suspended from bowling at the international level for the third time last year. Upon receiving the news that his action has been reported again, in a series against Sri Lanka, Hafeez claimed that he was shocked and that he could not understand the ‘suspicious’ process adopted by ICC.
Hafeez’s remarks were not taken lightly by the PCB as a top official has confirmed that the former captain of Pakistan will receive a show cause notice. The official said:
PCB is issuing show cause notice to Hafeez for his ill-conceived remarks against ICC in an interview to BBC.
A Matter of Shame
When you look at other Test playing nations, you notice that the majority of them back their players when it comes to reported bowling actions by the ICC. To point out the most recent case; Steve Smith was caught, masterminding a ball tampering incident against South Africa.
Although the Australian board did publicly hand out the punishments to Warner, Bancroft and Smith himself but the board also has played a huge role in persevering the image of all these players through media.
On the other hand, if you look at how Indian cricket board has backed its players — sometimes in matters where there was no justification to do so — it puts a question mark over PCB and its commitment to the national players.
Hafeez’s claims, although harsh, were based on facts. Ravichandran Ashwin, who is one of the leading spinners in the world right now, has not been reported once despite having a questionable action, which has been pointed out by Saeed Ajmal and legendary Muralitharan himself.
Here’s a video of Ashwin bowling with his dodgy action:
So why exactly do countries such as India, Australia and England escape the same standards that others have to follow? Is it because they are a part of the Big Three? Or is it because that their boards are strong enough to deal with matters internally?
A former South African cricketer, who remained anonymous, had this to say about ICC’s administrative prowess. He said that ICC does not bring matters to the front if boards are willing to cooperate behind closed curtains depending on the nature of the issue. He further revealed that this courtesy is often restricted to the the Big Three.
To put it simply, Hafeez’s claims that there is a bias against Pakistani bowlers, holds weight. Let’s not forget that Saeed Ajmal was also called out and referred to the ICC when he reached the peak of his career.
What do you make of this whole situation? Let us know in comments below.