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Sarfraz lashes out at Taylor in Hafeez action row

By Our Correspondent
November 09, 2018

KARACHI: Pakistan crashed to their 12th successive ODI defeat against New Zealand on Wednesday night but instead of criticising his misfiring top-order skipper Sarfraz Ahmed took a swipe at senior Black Cap Ross Taylor.

Soon after his team suffered a 47-run defeat in the opening game of the three-match series, Sarfraz slammed Taylor for publicly questioning the legality of Mohammad Hafeez’s bowling action during the match.

In fact Pakistan were so miffed by Taylor’s action that they took the matter to match referee Javagal Srinath.Terming Taylor’s gesture as “disgraceful”, Sarfraz said that he should instead be focusing on his batting.

“I will say that Taylor’s action was not correct,” Sarfraz told reporters after the match. “It’s not his job to give (the) action which was shown on TV. It was disgraceful, for me.“His job is to do batting and if he concentrates on that, it’s better. I complained to umpires that his action did not come under sportsmanship.

“Ross is a professional cricketer and he should not have done that. He did it two or three times - it’s (the) umpires’ job. Hafeez’s action has no problem and (Taylor) was trying to create an issue without a reason.”

Taylor made the gesture at the end of Hafeez’s first over, when he seemed to look directly at the umpires - or his partner Tom Latham - and mimicked delivering the ball with a bent arm. Whether or not it was an attempt to call attention to Hafeez’s action, it enraged Sarfraz, who had a lengthy chat with the umpires, and had to be calmed down.

That wasn’t the end of the episode as Sarfraz persisted with Hafeez, and kept exchanging comments with Taylor, looking none too happy with the New Zealand batsman. The umpires Shozab Raza and Joel Wilson eventually got involved and had a chat with Taylor.

As well as how it impacts how the officials view Hafeez’s action, Taylor could face the possibility of sanctions himself. They may not relate to dissent but it could come under on-field behavior. A similar incident had occurred in 2009 when Saeed Ajmal was called for a suspect action and he felt it had been the result of an opposition batsman - in that case, Australia’s Shane Watson - who had directed the umpire’s attention to the way he bowled his doosra.

That this one involves Hafeez makes it particularly uncomfortable for Pakistan. The ICC has ruled his action illegal no fewer than four times in his career; three of them in the last four years.

Hafeez was first reported almost 14 years ago during an ODI tri-series in Australia in 2005. Regulations concerning illegal actions were different back then and he soon returned. In 2014, his action was reported during the Champions League T20, and then again following a Test match against New Zealand later that year. He was suspended from bowling after results indicated the flex of his elbow was more than the allowed 15 degrees.

Hafeez finally got to bowl again in April 2015, but a month later, he was back under the umpires’ scanner. Since that constituted a second report in the space of two years - with the first one resulting in a suspension - the ICC put his offspin on ice for 12 months.

Hafeez returned to bowling after his ban, clearing a test of his action in 2016, but the issue cropped up again leading to his latest suspension in October 2017. He eventually received a clean chit from the ICC in April 2018. —with inputs from agencies

New Zealand won toss

New Zealand

G Worker c Sarfraz b Shaheen 1

C Munro lbw b Shaheen 29

*K Williamson c Hafeez b Shadab 27

L Taylor b Imad 80

†T Latham lbw b Shadab 68

H Nicholls lbw b Shadab 0

C de Grandhomme c Babar b Shadab 0

T Southee c Junaid b Shaheen 20

I Sodhi c Shadab b Shaheen 24

L Ferguson not out 3

T Boult not out 8

Extras (lb3, w3) 6

Total (9 wickets; 50 overs) 266

Fall: 1-13, 2-36, 3-78, 4-208, 5-208, 6-208, 7-210, 8-252, 9-254

Bowling: Junaid 9-1-56-0, Shaheen 8-1-46-4, Hasan 9-0-62-0, Imad 8-0-38-1, Shadab 10-1-38-4, Hafeez 6-0-23-0


Imam-ul-Haq c de Grandhomme b Ferguson 34

Fakhar Zaman b Boult 1

Babar Azam c Taylor b Boult 0

Mohammad Hafeez lbw b Boult 0

Shoaib Malik c Williamson b de Grandhomme 30

*†Sarfraz Ahmed b de Grandhomme 64

Shadab Khan c Latham b Sodhi 7

Imad Wasim c de Grandhomme b Southee 50

Hasan Ali c Boult b Ferguson 16

Shaheen Shah Afridi b Ferguson 0

Junaid Khan not out 0

Extras (lb4, nb1, w12) 17

Total (all out; 47.2 overs) 219

Fall: 1-8, 2-8, 3-8, 4-71, 5-73, 6-85, 7-188, 8-219, 9-219

Bowling: Boult 10-1-54-3, Southee 9-1-31-1, Ferguson 9.2-0-36-3, de Grandhomme 10-0-40-2, Sodhi 9-0-54-1

Result: New Zealand won by 47 runs

Man of the Match: Trent Boult (New Zealand)

Umpires: Joe Wilson (West Indies) and Shozab Raza (Pakistan). TV umpire: Nigel Llong (England). Match referee: Javagal Srinath (India)