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Umar Gul, the Pakistan fast bowler who was ruled out of the World Twenty20, revealed he had voluntarily opted out of the squad owing to fitness concerns arising from the bowling-shoulder injury he picked during the pre-tournament training camp.

"I am 70 to 80% fit at the moment but I do not think that is enough to play in an international event which demands 100% fitness," Gul told the News. "Everyone including the coaching staff was keen to have me on the team considering the fact that my bowling was of some help during the previous two editions of the World Twenty20. Majority of the stakeholders believed that I can regain fitness in ten to fifteen days but that is something that was entirely based on hope." he said.

Gul, the world's leading wicket-taker in Twenty20 internationals, felt going into the tournament with a question mark over his fitness would have been risky. "I knew very well that it was a big opportunity for me to bag some more wickets. But it was a risk that I think the country and the team was not in a position to afford. I think you can only stake a claim when you feel you are in a position to deliver. I may be able to regain fitness or could never have been in a position to bowl a single delivery in West Indies. That would have been a blow to the team's chances," Gul said.

Gul was prescribed three weeks of rest before resuming action. "I even have bowled four overs on Sunday but it is the comfort level that is more important. I do not think I was feeling all that relaxed and tension-free while delivering the ball. If that is the case, it means you need rest and some weeks off from training," he said. "I think I would be ready to offer my services for the England tour. The specialists are taking care of my injuries and hopefully I would be back in action in less than a month."

Allrounder Yasir Arafat was the other injury casualty during the rigorous training camp. After some amout of confusion, the PCB had named Mohammad Sami and left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman as the replacements.

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