Carl Crowe, one of world’s leading spin-bowling consultants, believes Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez will be able to pass the bowling action test he gave on Wednesday at Loughborough.
Hafeez was reported for the third time in his career for a suspected illegal bowling action after third Sri Lanka ODI in Abu Dhabi last month.
Crowe, who earlier helped West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine and also counselled Pakistan off-spinner to help him return to action after being banned for a year from bowling, believes Hafeez’s bowling action tests will turn out to be in the favour of the number one all-rounder in ODIs.
Former Leicestershire and spinner added Hafeez did not need any further help with his action. “Did we do any work on his action at the moment? No. There are one or two things we’ve discussed in terms of skill development, not necessarily action development, because we’re confident he doesn’t necessarily really need that,” he said.
Hafeez is the only bowler to be reported thrice after the International Cricket Council launched a crackdown in 2014 against bowlers with a suspected illegal action, however Crowe believes the 37-year-old’s action doesn’t show ‘anything particularly wrong’.
“Every bowler has different degrees of flex in their arm,” said Crowe. “Many bowlers have idiosyncrasies in their action that make it look a certain way. I’m not sure, to be honest, if there is anything particularly wrong about Hafeez’s action.”
Crowe continued by saying that Hafeez, when worked with him last time, didn’t just want to straighten his arm, but also wanted to become more effective.
“When we worked together in 2016, he was very keen to take on board any kind of techniques that would help him become more efficient,” he recalled. “My view is that it’s about being a better bowler. It can’t be that I am bowling with a straight arm now but disappearing. I’ve worked a lot with Narine over the years, and the performance has got to be high. Same with Hafeez, last year, when we worked together it was about being a better bowler, not just with a straighter arm.”
Hafeez was a part of the squad which won the 2017 Champions Trophy and also part of the T20I which jumped to the number one spot on Wednesday, and Crowe’s words will be a treat for the Pakistan Cricket Board’s eyes as he places his trust in the all-rounder.
“He’s been playing, since he’s remodelled his action, all over the world and I’m confident his action been the same for a while. I’m confident that he’ll go fine, that his flex won’t be a problem,” said Crowe.
He concluded: “To the naked eye, of course, it is difficult to tell, but from what I can tell, I am confident. It’s been a consistent action since I’ve seen him. I’ve played back his action on my phone in slow-mo and am confident.”