Irfan Afridi: Uganda’s all-rounder suspended from bowling in international cricket

Umpires talk to Cricket Cranes Captain Roger Mukasa during the game against USA about Irfan Afridi bowling.

Uganda all-rounder Irfan Afridi has been suspended from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect.

The suspension comes after his bowling action was found illegal following video analysis taken at ICC World Cricket League Division 3 Qualifiers in Oman.

Afridi was reported after Uganda’s opening match at the tournament against Denmark which the Cricket Cranes won by five wickets, with Afridi taking 1 for 25 in his ten overs.

The news was revealed in an ICC press release early Tuesday morning before Uganda’s third match against Kenya, and Afridi was replaced in the starting XI by Frank Nsubuga.

Per Article 3.6.2 of the ICC Regulations for the Review of Bowlers Reported with Suspected Illegal Bowling Actions, video footage of Irfan’s bowling spells were provided to the Expert Panel of Mark King and Andrea Cutti, who are members of the ICC Panel of Human Movement Specialists, for their analysis and assessment. 

The assessment revealed that the amount of elbow extension in Irfan’s bowling action was above the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations.

ICC Press Release

How it all started

The controversy around Afridi’s bowling started during Uganda’s second match against USA after umpires told captain Roger Mukasa that they would no-ball Afridi on the field if he continued to bowl. At that point, Afridi had bowled just one over in the game.

The umpire called me and told me after the first over he [Afridi] bowled. They told me he was chucking. He’s suspect of chucking, he chucks the ball. Then they told me he’s not allowed to bowl the next over. If he bowls the next over, it will be called a no-ball.

Cricket Cranes captain Roger Mukasa told ESPNcricinfo

And with Uganda’s top bowler kept out of the attack, USA posted 252 which Cricket Cranes found challenging to chase, eventually falling short by 54 runs.

They’re saying he’s bowling offspin and Lala [Afridi] doesn’t bowl offspin. He’s bowling legspin. So I don’t know what they’re talking about. It disorganised us from that time and I had to come and bowl some overs. I think it disturbed our momentum. I have no words to say.

Roger Mukasa told ESPNcricinfo

Afridi’s suspension from bowling will remain until he submits to a further assessment of his bowling action by an Expert Panel or at an ICC approved Testing Centre and the assessment finds his bowling action legal.

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