Ross Taylor’s chucking gesture leaves Sarfraz Ahmed fuming
Sarfraz Ahmed slammed 'disgraceful' Ross Taylor. (Getty Images)

Sarfraz Ahmed was irate at Ross Taylor’s ‘chucking’ gesture towards Mohammad Hafeez during the first ODI between Pakistan and New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday and slammed the batsman for his ‘disgraceful’ act.

The match was riddled with controversy when Hafeez’s bowling action was questioned, not by the officials, but Taylor, during his 130-run partnership with wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Latham for the third wicket. The incident occurred at the end of Hafeez’s first over. Taylor made a public gesture to the on-field umpires Joel Wilson and Shozab Raza that the 38-year-old Hafeez, whose action was deemed illegal four times by the International Cricket Council (ICC), three of them in the last four years, is clearly chucking.

Following New Zealand’s 47-run win, Pakistan skipper Sarfraz was pretty miffed. “I will say that Taylor’s action was not correct,” Sarfraz said in his post-match press conference. “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.”

Hafeez, who has made a comeback to the side, was first reported for illegal action, 14 years ago during an ODI tri-series in Australia in 2005. In 2014, his action was under the scanner during the Champions League T20 and then was again reported for suspect bowling action during against New Zealand later that year. Hafeez was suspended after results showed that the flex of his elbow was more than the stipulated 15 degrees.

Regarding a possible sanction on Taylor, Sarfraz said: “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.”

Hafeez got the green signal to bowl in April 2015, but was soon under the scanner again, his second report in two years. The ICC then banned Hafeez’s off spin for 12 months, following which he returned in 2016, but the issue cropped up again in October 2017. After another test, Hafeez was cleared to bowl by the ICC in April 2018.

In the UAE this year, Hafeez has bowled 19 overs in one Test and six T20Is against Australia and New Zealand, without any report of suspect action.