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I was ignored by Pakistan Board: Taufeeq Umar

New Delhi – Pakistan cricketer Taufeeq Umar said Saturday the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) ignoring his consistent performance was the main reason behind his decision to join the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL).

‘As an opener, I have played 26 Test matches with an average of 40, which no other Pakistani batsman has had in recent times. But in the last three years, I played only three matches,’ said Umar, who will be playing for the Delhi Jets team in the inaugural Indian Cricket League (ICL).

‘I was also a part of the team that lost the series to South Africa. But again I was not given a chance to play. They have ignored me repeatedly and out of dissatisfaction I have joined ICL,’ said the opening batsman. With four centuries and nine 50s, Taufeeq had scored 1729 runs from 25 Tests with an average of 39.39.

He made his debut against Bangladesh in 2001 and scored a century on his debut to become only the eighth Pakistani player to do so. ‘I am still 26, and I am hopeful that I will still have a chance to play for Pakistan.

The PCB wanted to stop me but I had already committed to ICL. But I have told them that I will always be available to play for the country,’ said Umar. All the players of Delhi Jets, barring captain Marvan Atapattu of Sri Lanka, attended a cricket clinic at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.

‘Atapattu will join us after the Test series, which he is currently playing in Australia. The morale of the team is high and the boys are ready to play some good cricket,’ said Madan Lal, former Indian cricketer, who is the coach of Delhi Jets.

Former England wicketkeeper Paul Nixon, who is Delhi Jets member, said that the ICL would give the young Indian cricketers a chance to showcase their talents.

All-rounder J.P. Yadav, who was once considered as the genuine all-rounder India needed, said: ‘I am still hopeful of playing for India. The ICL will help me to perform and play with some of the top players of the country.’

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