Pakistan pacer Umar Gul announces retirement from cricket

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Rawalpindi: Pakistan pacer Umar Gul has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket – signing off with 47 Tests, 130 ODIs and 60 T20Is to his name. The 36-year-old made the announcement on Friday, after his domestic side – Balochistan – were knocked out of the National T20 Cup by Southern Punjab.

Gul, 36, burst into the circuit in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2002 in New Zealand by claiming 11 wickets at 12.72 following a poor debut 2000-21 season. The lanky pacer played 125 first-class, 213 List-A and 167 T20 matches, in which he collected 987 wickets. In a 237-match international career from 2003 to 2016, Umar captured 427 wickets.

Umar played professional cricket in Australia, England, India and Sri Lanka, representing Western Australia, Gloucestershire, Sussex, Kolkata Knight Riders and Uva Next, respectively, while his domestic sides were HBL, Multan Sultans,  North-West Frontier Province (now known as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa),  PIA, Peshawar and Quetta Gladiators.

“It has been an honour to represent my club, city, province and country at various levels for two decades. I have thoroughly enjoyed my cricket, which has taught me the values of hard work, respect, commitment and determination,” Gul said.

“During this journey, I have had the pleasure of meeting numerous people who have helped and supported me in some way. I want to thank all those people as well as my teammates and peers for their support. I owe a big time to the fans who supported me throughout my journey. They have been an inspiration, especially at times when the going was not great.

“Lastly, I thank my family for standing firmly behind me throughout my career and helping me to cherish my dreams of not only playing cricket but traveling across the country and globe. They have sacrificed a lot, while I too have missed their presence and company. I now look forward to spending valuable time with them but it will be difficult to stay away from cricket and I now look forward to giving back to the sport and the country that has made me one of the most fortunate and luckiest persons on the planet,” said the pacer.

PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said, “Umar’s career will not only be defined by the number of matches he played and the wickets he took, but also by upholding the Spirit of Cricket every time he put on the shirt for his club, city, province and country. He is highly respected both as a person and as a cricketer.

“I have attended a couple of PCB Cricket Committee meetings with Umar and he is a thorough gentleman with an intelligent cricket head on his shoulders and a sound knowledge and understanding of the game.

“On behalf of the Pakistan Cricket Board, I congratulate Umar for an outstanding career and thank him for the contribution he made towards helping to enhance the image and reputation of Pakistan cricket. I am sure he will continue to add immense value off the field within the game. We wish him well in his future endeavours”.

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