Bad news for Pakistan before the start of the third and the decisive Test against Sri Lanka which starts in Pallekele on Friday as they will be missing the services of two of their mainstream players, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Hafeez.
Wahab was already ruled out of the series due a hairline fracture injury in his left hand in the previous Test in Colombo. Pakistan had to play a significant part of the match without him, which hugely affected their bowling attack, which in turn contributed to their 7 wicket loss to the home team. Sri Lanka were able to level the series 1-1 .
Hafeez now has been ruled out the third Test because of his reported bowling action and has been barred from bowling his off-spin. He will have to obtain a clean chit form an ICC accredited bowling centre in Chennai. If he fails to clear the test, then he might face a bowling ban for a year minimum, as according to the ICC rules, if a bowler is reported twice in a calender year, the bowler won’t be allowed to bowl for a minimum span of one year.
Hafeez was previously reported in November 2014, in a series against New Zealand.
Any bowler reported by the umpires for suspect action must appear for a test within 14 days. Hafeez’s action was reported on June 21 after the first Test ofthe series in Galle.
The allrounder went on to play the second Test of the series as the ICC rules allow to bowl until the test results on the bowling action are out. He was granted Indian visa only on Wednesday afternoon.
This is a serious blow to Pakistan as Hafeez was a regular opener for the team, and now they have to reshuffle their strategy and come up with another batsman in the opening slot.