New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor
New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor. Image Credit: Reuters

Abu Dhabi: Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmad blasted New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor for expressing his displeasure over Mohammad Hafeez’s bowling action live on television during the first ODI at Shaikh Zayed Stadium on Wednesday.

Taylor tried to capture the attention of the umpires at the end of Hafeez’s first over by gesturing that the latter was bending his arm while bowling.

It forced Sarfraz to intervene immediately and have a lengthy chat with the two umpires, Shozab Raza and Joel Wilson. Sarfraz was also seen giving a piece of his mind to Taylor as well.

And the skipper didn’t mince words in the post-match conference, saying that the act from a senior pro like Taylor was simply “disgraceful”.

“Taylor didn’t need to make that action in front of everyone, especially to see that on the television according to me was disgraceful,” said Sarfraz. “It is not his job, his job is to bat and he should be focusing on that. What I told the umpires was his action wasn’t sportsmanship.

“First of all he shouldn’t have done that because it is the duty of umpires to look into it. He reacted two to three times and being a professional cricketer he shouldn’t have done that.

“Giving the reaction on television was not right, he could have gone on and said that to umpires.

“I don’t see any problem in Hafeez’s action. He has clear action and I feel they were trying to create an issue out of nowhere.”

Hafeez has been on the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) radar with regards to his action in the past and has been slapped with bans. He was first reported for suspect action during the 2005 ODI tri-series in Australia. Then again in 2014 during the Champions League T20 and the same year during the Test match against New Zealand.

Again Hafeez served a ban for bending his elbow more than the permissible 15 degrees and was give the OK to bowl in April 2015. However, a month later a similar offence saw him being handed a 12-month sabbatical. Following a biomechanical test in 2016, he was booked again for a similar offence in 2017 only to get a reprieve in April this year.

It remains to be seen what ICC’s response to this episode that unfolded during the first ODI would be.