'Match-winner, wonderful human being': Pakistan's cricket fraternity pays tribute to Umar Gul

Faizan Lakhani
Shan Masood poses for a pic with Umar Gul who retired from all forms of cricket on Friday.

Pakistan cricket team’s head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, captains Azhar Ali and Babar Azam and former teammates have paid tribute to fast bowler Umar Gul who played his last professional match on Friday.

Gul’s career ended after his domestic side Balochistan failed to qualify for the semi finals of the National T20 Cup in Rawalpindi. He bade farewell to the sport with an emotional speech.

His former captain and current head coach of Pakistan national team, Misbah-ul-Haq described Gul as a "true match-winner".

“You were always a tough competitor and a true match-winner in any format of the game. I enjoyed your company as a friend and as a teammate on the field,” said Misbah.

Shahid Afridi, another former captain of Gul, called him "one of Pakistan’s bowling greats".

“I had a great time playing with him. He was a great exponent of reverse swing and always played for Pakistan with pride. A good friend and a wonderful human being,” said Afridi, under whose captaincy Gul played a lengthy part of his career.

Pakistan’s current red-ball team captain, Azhar Ali, recalled Gul's early playing days, and said it was emotional moment for him, like many others, to see the bowler deliver his final speech as a professional cricketer.

“Thank you Gully Bhai for everything you did for Pakistan cricket. Congratulations on a wonderful career,” Azhar tweeted.

Babar Azam, the white-ball captain of Pakistan team, tweeted the video of Umar Gul getting a guard of honor from the players of Southern Punjab and Balochistan.

“Thank you Gully Bhai for everything you did for Pakistan cricket. Congratulations on a wonderful career,” Babar wrote.

Saeed Ajmal, a former colleague of Umar Gul, hoped that the fast bowler will stay connected with the game to help the next generation of fast bowlers.

Ajmal said that Gul’s commitment to the game was a lesson for everyone to learn.

“Hope you continue to be connected with the game in different ways, because everyone will gain from your expertise and knowledge,” he said.

“I will miss your pin-point yorkers,” Ajmal added.

The young members of the Pakistan cricket team also paid their respect. Shadab Khan said that seeing Gul bowling yorkers and taking wickets with style made him want to play alongside him one day.

Shan Masood, Mohammad Irfan and Sarfaraz Ahmed also echoed similar sentiments and wished him best in his future endeavours.

The 36-year-old Gul played 47 Tests, 130 ODIs and 60 T20Is for Pakistan and has numerous match-winning performances to his credit. He was also considered one of the masters of the reverse swing.

Pakistan's cricket fraternity pays tribute to Umar Gul