Pakistan fast bowler Umar Gul announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Friday. He signed off on his 20-year professional career after Balochistan failed to qualify for the National T20 Cup semifinals.
The 36-year-old pacer burst into the circuit in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2002 in New Zealand by claiming 11 wickets at 12.72. 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, Gul captured 427 wickets.
He 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. 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," Gul said in an official release issued by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
"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 travelling across the country and globe. They have sacrificed a lot, while I too have missed their presence and company," he added.
Umar Gul also took to Twitter and bid farewell to the game with a heavy heart. He also thanked his fans and followers who supported him in his journey.
"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 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 who made it all worthwhile n supported me at all times. Thank u so much," he wrote.
Meanwhile, many took to Twitter and thanked the fast bowler. Pakistan batsman Shoaib Malik wrote, "What a career you have had #UmarGul loved every bit of playing with you... #ThankYouUmarGul #Guldozer #Cricket #Pakistan."
#ThankYouUmarGul trended on Twitter. Here are a few Twitter reactions:
(With PTI inputs)