LAHORE - Muhammad Hafeez Thursday said that he had never regarded himself as much of bowler and would continue to focus on his batting at international level. He also assured he would overcome the scrutiny on his action.
In the space of two months, the umpires both in domestic and international cricket have reported his action. He first had trouble in September during the Champions League T20 and then after the first Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi last week. He will fly to England at the weekend to undergo testing at Loughborough University, one of the newly accredited ICC testing centres on November 24.
Talking to the reporters here at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) following his release from the Test squad in UAE, Hafeez said: "I never considered myself as an off-spinner. I am a batsman and honestly, I never even rated myself as a bowler. I just bowl naturally, bowl straight deliveries and some spin. It's not like I do it myself to control the variation.”
"I don't see myself on the basis of my bowling and never tried to be in the team as an off-spinner. I am always a batsman and focus on batting but, yes, bowling has been a plus point. It is also important for my career as well as after all it's helping my country and team. I am hoping that I will get through this tough time and will continue to play my natural cricket," he added.
Hafeez revealed the umpires had reported four deliveries from one spell during the first Test against New Zealand but said he could not see anything different from the thousands of other balls he has sent down. Despite the two reports against his action, Hafeez has constantly remained defiant and continued to do so after seeing footage of the deliveries the umpires have questioned.
When asked if he is trying to bowl doosra, he said: "They have shown me the balls they deemed suspect and those are as normal, as I usually bowl. So, I don't think there should be any problem at all. I bowl naturally and will continue to bowl that way in the testing.
"Nothing is different from what I have been bowling in the last 11 years. I never even tried changing or adding any variation in my bowling . At international level I am told that four of my deliveries were reported and umpire and referee feel they need to be scrutinized.
"They think that by watching those deliveries with the naked eye they exceed the 15-degree limit. I have to go through with the test, there is nothing complex in it and I optimistic that I should be cleared," he added. Hafeez also brushed aside the perception that he was ruled out from the second Test against New Zealand due to the cloud over his action, insisting his hamstring injury had not recovered sufficiently. "I could have played, there was 50/50 chance for me," he said. "But on the morning of the second Test the team management decided to rest me ensure I'm 100% fit," he concluded.