Umar Gul was recognized for his services to Pakistan cricket by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani presented top-drawer bowler with a crystal plaque and a ceremony was arranged in his honour at the Chairman's office after the washout of the third T20 between Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Umar's magnum opus 3-0-6-5 against New Zealand at The Oval was one for the memory vault which he delivered during Pakistan's triumphant ICC T20 World Cup 2009 campaign in England. Younis Khan spearheaded the star-studded side to a memorable title win.
Leader of the pace attack, Umar, who was arguably at the pinnacle of his career at that time, ended the marquee tournament as the leading wicket-taker with a tally of 13 and proved to be an important cog in Pakistan's maiden T20 World Cup cup win.
Umar's stupendous figures of 5/6 remained a record until Sri Lanka's mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis snapped up 4-1-16-6 against Australia in Pallekele in 2011. Thereafter, India's bowling spearhead Deepak Chahar currently holds the record for best bowling figures of 3.2-0-7-6 that came against Bangladesh in Nagpur in November 2019.
Umar pulled off a sensational match-winning performance in his illustrious career against South Africa at Centurion where he snapped up 2.2-0-6-5 and showed his genius to the world. He hasn't retired yet and is still giving the young crop of batsmen a tough time in the domestic circuit, epitomizing his insatiable thirst for playing cricket as he reaches the twilight of his career.
The 35-year-old bowling machine used to bowl toe-crushing yorkers with great control and produce lethal reverse swing that used to bamboozle the best in the business. He was on top of his game during the inaugural edition of ICC T20 World Cup 2007 where he did a terrific job in the middle overs and didn't allow the batsmen to tee off.
Umar was exceptional against India in 2003 Test series where he bagged a fifer that proved to be a turning point in the Test match and helped Pakistan romp to the victory.
His career has been marred by injuries and lengthy arduous rehabilitations which culminated in a dip in his form and he gradually fell down the pecking order which was a great source of distress for Umar as he desired to continue representing Pakistan at the top level.
Umar Gul upon receiving the accolade said: “My each and every appearance and performance has been for Pakistan and it has been a privilege to represent my country and team, and play a small part in its successes.
“I am grateful to the PCB for remembering and acknowledging my achievement. This is a welcome change in the way the PCB is operating and respecting cricketers who have contributed to the country’s image and profile building. I sincerely hope this trend continues and all the cricketers get their due recognition in front of their fans.
“Such gestures will not only act as an encouragement for the players, but also play a big role in motivating youngsters to take up cricket as a profession," Umar remarked.