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I was not given chance to play for Pak, so joined ICL: Taufeeq

New Delhi, Nov 17 (UNI) Out of favour Pakistan Test opener Taufeeq Umar today said he was not given fair treatment by the PCB and that was the reason why he chose to join the 'rebel' Indian Cricket League (ICL).

''I have a Test average of above 41 as opener and no other current Pakistani opener has that figure. But, I had played only three Tests in the last three years,'' he said at a cricket clinic organised by ICL here.

When asked if he thought the PCB had not given him a fair treatment, he replied, ''You can say that.'' Taufeeq, though, hastened to add that he still nurtures to play for Pakistan even after joining ICL and PCB had declared that no cricketer who aligns with the unofficial Indian league can play for that country.

''I am only 26 and playing for Pakistan is my first priority. I am hoping to play for my country again, but at the same time I have to honour my contract with the ICL,'' said Taufeeq, who warmed the bench in the recent home series against South Africa.

On whether what would happen if his national duty, in case he was selected, clashes with that of ICL, he said, ''I have to see. At present I am not in the national squad and ICL is for just a little over two weeks duration.'' Taufeeq said ICL provided a great opportunity for the players from abroad and for the youngsters of India.

''It gives a platform for players from different countries and the youngsters of India to learn from each other. It (ICL) will be a competitive league and is meant for the improvement of the game. So there is nothing wrong to play for it (ICL),'' said Tufeeq who has played 25 Tests and 19 ODIs for Pakistan.


Story first published: Saturday, November 17, 2007, 22:07 [IST]
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