After 47 Tests, 130 ODIs and 60 T20Is, Pakistan pacer Umar Gul, on Friday, decided to draw the curtain to his illustrious playing career as his domestic team, Balochistan, crashed out of the National T20 Cup against Southern Punjab.
The 36-year-old, who last played an international game for Pakistan in September 2016, thanked his family, coaches and team-mates after the game and was given a guard of honour by the players from both the teams.
"It has been an honour to represent my club, city, province and country at various levels for two decades," Gul said after the game.
With a very heavy heart and after a lot of thinking, i have decided to bid farewell to all formats of cricket after this National T20 Cup. I have always played for Pakistan with all my heart and 100% of hardwork. Cricket is and will always be my love n passion 1/3— Umar Gul (@mdk_gul) October 16, 2020
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my cricket, which has taught me the values of hard work, respect, commitment and determination. 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.
but all good things have to come to an end. Praying that the future will hold much more for me. Secondly, i would like to thank @TheRealPCB and all the coaches and people who have been a part of my cricketing journey. Special thanks to media, my fans and followers 2/3— Umar Gul (@mdk_gul) October 16, 2020
"I owe a big thank you 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 people on the planet."
Emotional scenes at the #NationalT20Cup as a 20-year-career comes to a close.— ICC (@ICC) October 17, 2020
Umar Gul, star of Pakistan's win in the 2010 @t20worldcup, retired from all cricket with 987 wickets against his name 🌟 pic.twitter.com/46KZ2eo1BR
Gul made his international debut in 2003 against Zimbabwe in Sharjah; a game where he picked 2/25 in seven overs. He went on to play his first Test in the same year - against Bangladesh in Karachi. He represented Pakistan in 130 ODIs and 47 Tests, picking 179 and 163 wickets respectively. As far as T20I is concerned, he developed a reputation of being one of the best in the format, having picked 85 wickets at 16.97. Instrumental in Pakistan's success at the T20 World Cups in 2007 and 2009, he ended both the tournaments as the leading wicket-taker with 13 scalps to his name.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Glyn Kirk