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Umar Gul calls time on his professional career
End of an Era

Umar Gul calls time on his professional career

Umar Gul has retired from all forms of cricket with his last appearance on the competitive arena coming during the National T20 Cup clash between Balochistan and Southern Punjab.

Gul had earlier announced that the domestic T20 tournament would be his last professional stint but his team failed to advance to the knockout stages as they were beaten by Southern Punjab in dramatic fashion.

The lanky pacer finishes his illustrious career with 163, 179 and 85 wickets in Tests, ODIs and T20Is respectively. Gul particularly found fame with his white-ball prowess and canny ability to generate extravagant reverse swing.

He was the leading wicket-taker in both the World T20 2007 and 2009 editions and played an integral role in his side's victorious campaign in the latter event. Gul was also the first bowler in T20 internationals to pick up a five-wicket haul when he achieved the spectacular feat against New Zealand in 2009.

The 36-year-old was awarded a souvenir by the PCB for his outstanding services to Pakistan cricket following Balochistan's defeat on Friday night in Rawalpindi. 

A teary-eyed Gul then thanked the board, his family, fans, coaches and teammates for his tremendous journey in the sport as his voice shuddered with profound emotion. 

"It’s difficult to let go since cricket is my passion but everyone has to give up someday. All our past legends had to go in due course and it is a natural process. I would just like to wish our juniors the best and I hope they serve Pakistan well," Gul said in the post-match presentation, prior to which he was given a guard of honour by rivals and teammates.

Although not a longstanding member of the Test unit, Gul had his moments to relish in the traditional format. He registered figures of five for 31 against arch-rivals India to set up Pakistan's nine-wicket victory over India in the 2004 Karachi Test.

Gul's batting skills were not highly rated but he delivered a memorable cameo against South Africa in the World T20 2012 group stage clash. He struck three sixes in his knock of 32 from 17 balls to drive his team over the line.