By: Azhar ul haq Wahid
Former Pakistani pacer Umar Gul played his last game as a professional cricketer Friday night, marking the end of an era which saw him spearhead Pakistan cricket team’s pace attack and bamboozle batsmen around the world with his lethal yorkers.
The bowler retired after his side, Balochistan, was eliminated from the ongoing National T20 Cup by the Shan Masood-led Southern Punjab.
Gul, who was a key member of the team that won the T20 World Cup for Pakistan in 2009 in England, retired with 427 international wickets to his name. He has played 47 Tests, 130 ODIS and 60 T20s for Pakistan.
A teary-eyed Gul thanked his teammates and the Southern Punjab side for giving him “respect” in his last game. He also thanked the PCB for “feeding him like a mother” throughout his career.
Taking to Twitter after his last game, the right-arm pace said the decision has come 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,” said Gul in a series of Tweets.
Gul said “all good things have to come to an end” and prayed that the “future will hold much more” for him.
The retirement also led many to praise the cricketer on social media, including current and former cricketers, to thank Gul for his services to Pakistan cricket.
Here’s a look at some of the reactions:
Former Pakistan cricket team captain Shoaib Malik loved playing every bit with the “Guldozer”.
‘Performances speak volumes’
‘Most skilled bowler’
‘Impressed in all formats’
Women’s cricket team member Kainat Imtiaz also remembers Umar Gul.
Activist Jibran Nasir calls Umar Gul one of the “best bowlers of our times”.
Even the ruling party thanked Gul for his services.
Held the fort during ‘tumultuous times’.
‘Man with great memories’
This user shared a throwback of the yorker from 2007 T20 World Cup.
The teary eyed fan.
‘The legend signs off’