Pakistan has a number of records in the T20 format, including being the world number one for the longest period of 824 days and getting the highest rating of 286 in history.
With the internationalization of the T20 format, Pakistan’s global hegemony began and one of the few players who laid the foundation was Umar Gul. The same Umar Gul who said goodbye to all forms of cricket a few days ago.
At a time when the best bowling duo in history, consisting of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, had said goodbye to the world of cricket, Shoaib Akhtar was slowly losing his charm, even the likes of Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir He slipped out of national cricket with a slip, then only Umar Gul proved himself with his performance at every step.
In his heyday, there was no better bowler in the T20 format than Umar Gul, nor has there been a bowler after him who has performed so consistently and instilled his terror in rival players. That is why no other bowler has been able to reach the position that Umar Gul has reached in the individual rankings of T20 bowlers.
In his heyday, Gill scored 857 points in the T20 International bowlers’ rankings, and to date no world number one T20 bowler has been able to hold that position.
In his 13-year international career, Umar Gul played 60 T20 matches, 130 ODIs and 47 Tests in which he took a total of 427 wickets. The most impressive T20 figures are those in which Umar Gul took 85 wickets with an average of less than 17.
His best bowling was 5 for 6 and it was the first time a bowler had taken 5 wickets in T20 Internationals and Umar Gul became the first bowler in history to play all three formats of Test, ODI and T20 International cricket and took 5 wickets in an innings. It is an honor that no one can take away from Umar Gul.
However, this match was no ordinary match. It was the most important match of the biggest tournament in 2009, the T20 World Cup. It was important for Pakistan to beat New Zealand to make it to the semi-finals. Then Umar Gul gave only 6 runs in his 3 overs and dismissed 5 New Zealand batsmen. From Shahid Afridi’s catch to Kyle Mills’ dismissal, Umar Gul’s spell is worth a look.
The first 2 T20 World Cup tournaments are enough to prove the greatness of Umar Gul. Although the 2007 T20 World Cup ended in a very disappointing way for Pakistan, they lost to India in the final, but Umar Gul was the most prominent bowler in the tournament. He took the most 13 wickets in 7 matches, while in 2009 when Pakistan won the final and lifted the T20 World Cup, Umar Gul was still the highest wicket-taker with 13 wickets.
The 2010 T20 World Cup was a disappointment for Pakistan. Despite scoring 191 against Australia in the semi-finals, the loss was due to Michael Hussey’s innings, which should undoubtedly be considered one of the greatest innings in T20 history. Hussey smashed Pakistan’s dream of playing the third consecutive final by scoring 60 off just 24 balls. One of the reasons for this was the absence of Omar Gul and this was proved in a few months.
The Pakistan-Australia series was played in England just two months after the 2010 T20 World Cup. Australia had a target of 168 to win the first T20 and needed 35 runs in the last three overs. Michael Hussey was on the crease again and the ball of the previous match was spinning in everyone’s mind.
Australia needed 35 runs in 3 overs and could have easily won because Michael Hussey was standing. As soon as Hussey faced Gul in this over, his lamp went out. An incredible in-swinging ball blew the league stump of the best batsman in the world. We can call it the best ball in the history of T20 because Hussey was at his peak at that time, and it was amazing for Umar Gul to knock him off all fours. Then commentator Nasir Hussain had said that if Umar Gul had been in this semi-final, the result would have been different.
Another feat of Umar Gul came to light in 2013 in some of the best spells in T20 history. This was the second T20 match of Pakistan’s tour of South Africa in which South Africa had scored 48 runs in just 4 overs following Pakistan’s 195 runs. Gul’s one over then turned the match around so that South Africa were bowled out for just 100 runs. Umar Gul took 5 wickets in this match by giving only 6 runs in 2.2 overs.
Umar Gul bowled the best bowling of his ODI career in the most disappointing time of Pakistan cricket. The 2010 tour of England is a black mark on the history of Pakistan cricket, with a spot-fixing scandal. The ODI series was also to be played in the Lord’s Test after three players, including the Pakistani captain, were sacked.
There were several demands to cancel the series, but it was probably due to the pressure of the broadcasters and the fear of financial loss. Pakistan lost the first two matches and the situation was ‘kill or die’. It was then that Umar Gul, with the best bowling of his career, led Pakistan to a victory that was much needed to boost morale. Pakistan was defending 241 runs when Gul bowled out 6 England players for just 42 runs, something like this:
Although Umar Gul’s Test career did not last long, the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore proved to be a blessing in disguise for him in this format. Umar Gul’s three best performances in the Tests were on the same field. First 6 wickets against Sri Lanka and then 5, 5 wickets in the innings against West Indies and India. But the most memorable of them is the spell against India in which Umar Gul bowled out 5 for 31, including the wickets of great batsmen like Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid. ۔ Pakistan later won the Test by 9 wickets and were declared man of the match.
By the way, one of the secret strengths of Omar Gul was his smoky batting ability, yes! He has also led Pakistan to incredible batting success in some of the toughest matches, such as in the World T20 match against South Africa in 2012 when Pakistan lost 7 wickets for just 76 runs. Umar Gul came in to bat at number nine. South Africa were confident that no one would score 58 runs in 5 overs, and the smile on the face of bowler Jacques Kallis soon faded when they had to eat two consecutive sixes, not one, at the hands of Umar Gul. ۔ In the next over, Gul also hit a six and a four to Albie Morkel and made things much easier for Pakistan.
Now it was South Africa’s turn to be disappointed as they had to defend only 22 runs in 3 overs. Umar Gul did his part by scoring 32 off just 17 balls and Pakistan won the match in the last over with Umar Akmal’s brilliant sixes and Saeed Ajmal’s four.
In Pakistan cricket, fast bowlers keep coming from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and there is always a bowler who maintains Pakistan’s fast bowling tradition. Omar Gul was one of those torchbearers. Omar Gul’s path was repeatedly blocked by injuries, otherwise we would have seen him at an even higher place.