Mohammad Hasnain has been cleared to bowl internationally again. The verdict was based on an assessment of his action, where he bowled three overs under supervision, and it was revealed that his elbow extension has dropped within the permissible limit – it has come down from the earlier flex of 17-24 degrees to 12-13 degrees.
Hasnain, reported for a faulty action in January this year during the BBL, where he represented Sydney Thunder, and suspended from bowling in international cricket the following month, is now eligible to resume his international career. During the suspension, Hasnain was eligible to bowl in Pakistan’s domestic circuit, but the PCB had decided against it. Instead, he had to focus on tweaking his action.
After considering sending Hasnain to an independent consultant, the PCB decided to assign its high-performance coach, Umar Rasheed, to work with him at Lahore’s High-Performance Centre. His tests took place at Lahore University of Management Sciences, an ICC-accredited testing laboratory on January 21. The test report, which was reviewed and verified by Cricket Australia’s independent expert, found his bowling action to be illegal.
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An early assessment had found that Hasnain was rotating his arm to swing the ball. This process was inconsistent and caused a jerk. To bowl quicker deliveries, his landing was wild, making his alignment go off. It is understood that the structure of his new bowling action remains the same though his wrist, arm rotation and landing have been tweaked allowing him to bowl with consistent and repeatable action. Rasheed helped rework his alignment, for which Hasnain delivered over 5000 balls and practised shadow bowling.
Before Hasnain was suspended, he had been in and around Pakistan’s white-ball squads and had a T20I hat-trick to his name. He had impressed in his short stint at the BBL after being recruited as a replacement for English quick Saqib Mahmood. He had a successful debut, taking 3 for 20 in Thunder’s 28-run win over Adelaide Strikers.
Hasnain was among the few young fast bowlers the PCB had invested in after the international appearances for Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz went became less and less frequent. He was also among a select few in Pakistan who hit the 145kph mark consistently. Whether he is able to retain the pace after remedial work is to be seen.
He hasn’t played competitive cricket since the suspension. However, Rasheed is certain that his action is repeatable and that he is stronger than ever.