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Umar Gul (Urdu: عمرگل, Pashto: عمرګل‎) (born 14 April 1984) is a Pakistani cricketer, who plays all three formats of the game as a right arm fast medium bowler for the Pakistani cricket team.[1][2] He has gained fame as one of the most successful bowlers in Twenty20 cricket finishing as the leading wicket taker and bowler in both the 2007 and 2009 Twenty20 World Championship tournaments.[3][4]

Umar Gul
عمرگل عمرګل
Umer Gul.jpg
Personal information
Full nameUmar Gul
Born (1984-04-14) 14 April 1984 (age 35)
Peshawar, Pakistan
Height1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
BattingRight handed
BowlingRight arm fast medium
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 175)20 August 2003 v Bangladesh
Last Test14–17 February 2013 v South Africa
ODI debut (cap 145)3 April 2003 v Zimbabwe
Last ODI15 March 2013 v South Africa
ODI shirt no.55
T20I debut (cap 21)4 September 2007 v Kenya
Last T20I17 January 2016 v New Zealand
Domestic team information
2006–Habib Bank Limited
2008–2009Western Australia
2008Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
2001–2006Pakistan International Airlines
2016-2017Quetta Gladiators (squad no. 55)
2018–Multan Sultans (squad no. 55)
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI T20I FC
Matches 47 130 60 84
Runs scored 577 457 165 1,156
Batting average 9.94 9.72 9.16 12.04
100s/50s 0/1 0/0 0/0 0/1
Top score 65* 39 32 65*
Balls bowled 9,599 6,064 1,203 16,456
Wickets 163 179 85 327
Bowling average 34.06 29.34 16.97 28.54
5 wickets in innings 4 2 2 16
10 wickets in match 0 0 0 1
Best bowling 6/135 6/42 5/6 8/78
Catches/stumpings 11/– 17/– 18/– 20/–
Source: Cricinfo, 15 March 2013

Umar Gul is the second most highest wicket taker (74) in Twenty20 International cricket, only behind Saeed Ajmal.[5][6] He won the Twenty20 International Performance of the Year 2013.[7]


Personal life

Gul was born on April 14, 1984 in Peshawar, Pakistan in a middle-class family and frequently played tape-ball cricket. He was encouraged by his friends to become an international cricketer as they saw his excellent bowling.

In October 2010, Gul was married to a Dubai based doctor.[8][9][10] Umar Gul's daughter, Rehab Umar, was born in May 2012.[11] In the same month, Pakistan Army Commandos mistakenly raided Umar Gul's house in Peshawar and arrested his brother Meeraj Gul on the charge of hiding a wanted militant. However, the commandos later on apologized to Meeraj.[12]

Domestic career

In February 2008, Gul signed with the Indian Premier League and was drafted by Shahrukh Khan's Kolkata Knight Riders franchise for US $150,000.[13] He played in six matches, taking 12 wickets at an average of 15.33,[14] including a player of the match award in Kolkata's final game in which Gul took 4–23 and scored 24 runs from 11 balls.[15]

In December 2008, Gul signed with the Western Warriors to compete in the Australian domestic 2008-09 KFC Twenty20 Big Bash tournament.[16] He performed very well in his debut match for the Warriors, taking 4 wickets for 15 runs in a losing side. He was among the most successful bowlers in the competition. Despite not being available for the entire tournament, he finished second top wicket-taker with 12 wickets.[17]

In July 2014, he played for the MCC side in the Bicentenary Celebration match at Lord's.[18]

Gul had signed a one-year contract with Gloucestershire to play in 2007, but the Pakistan Cricket Board failed to give them their permission.[19]

In April 2018, he was named in Baluchistan's squad for the 2018 Pakistan Cup.[20][21] In March 2019, he was named as the captain of Sindh's squad for the 2019 Pakistan Cup.[22][23]

International career

Early years

Gul was first called up for the team in April 2003, playing four one-day matches at the Cherry Blossom Sharjah Cup against Zimbabwe, Kenya and Sri Lanka,[24] where he took four wickets, and he was in and out of the one-day team after that tournament. However, he played the whole of the 2003–04 home series against Bangladesh, making his Test debut and taking 15 wickets in the three Tests, and took the second-most wickets of any Pakistani bowler in the series, behind Shabbir Ahmed with 17. However, Shoaib Akhtar, who took 13 in third place, only played two of the Tests.

Gul was retained for the ODIs against Bangladesh, taking a List A best five for 17 in nine overs in the third match, and ended with 11 wickets in the 5–0 series win. However, he could still not command a regular spot, playing three of Pakistan's nine next ODIs before finally getting dropped after one for 36 against New Zealand.

Test cricket

He was recalled and played two Tests after that taking four wickets in a drawn Test against New Zealand before coming in as replacement for Shabbir Ahmed in the second Test of the three-Test series against India. After coming on as first-change bowler, Gul dismissed Virender Sehwag in his second over, and then bowled unchanged for 12 overs either side of lunch to take five Indian top order wickets – including Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar, who both had Test batting averages above 50, as did Sehwag. Gul finished with five for 31 in his spell, earning him commendation from Cricinfo journalist Dileep Premachandran, who praised his "control of line and length",[25] and he was also named Man of the Match despite conceding runs at five an over in the second innings in a nine-wicket win.

After a length injury lay-off, which kept him out of international cricket for nearly two years, Gul returned to the Pakistan fold in 2006. Firstly with quiet away series against Sri Lanka then followed by a tour to England in 2006. Gul was quickly made the lead bowler in the side due to the injuries to other front line bowlers. Gul to 18 wickets in four tests, justifying the selectors faith in him.

Later in 2006, against West Indies at home, Gul had perhaps his most successful test series. He took 16 wickets in 3 tests, including notable spells of reverse swing bowling. He was responsible for breaking Ramnaresh Sarwan's toe with a dipping yorker.

In February 2009, Gul recorded his best test figures in the Pakistan team, taking 6 for 135 on a flat pitch. In July 2010, Pakistan faced England at Trent Bridge and were 147/9 in their first innings. Gul scored 30* before the day was called off due to bad light. He returned the next day with Mohammad Asif and batted with intent to add another 35 runs in five overs. This saw Pakistan avoid the follow-on against England and therefore survive an innings defeat.[26]

Gul then suffered a hamstring injury in the second test when he was touring England in 2010 he was ruled out for three weeks that meant he would miss the remaining two tests. However Gul managed to recover and became fit enough to play in the fourth test[27] However they decided to rest Gul for the final test match despite the fact that he had recovered quicker than expected.

His next chance to play test cricket came against South Africa in November 2010 when he took 3 wickets in a first innings and triggered a South African collapse of 380 on a flat wicket. He took the crucial wicket with an excellent inswinger against AB de Villiers.[28]

Twenty20 Internationals

With injuries limiting Gul's test cricket participation, he made a distinct change to his bowling set-up, making a focus on bowling in the late overs of T20. He got his opportunity with the absence of Shoaib Akhtar and Abdul Razzaq in the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 held in South Africa. He bowled from the 13th over onwards and finished the tournament with 13 wickets, becoming the leading wicket taker ahead of Shahid Afridi and RP Singh.

In the 2009 ICC World Twenty20, he performed well, earning the mantle from at least one pundit of "the outstanding seam bowler of the World Twenty20".[29] His five-wicket haul for just six runs, when Pakistan defeated New Zealand, won especial acclaim. The spell made him the first bowler in history to take a five wickets in a Twenty20 international, and he held the record of best T20 bowling figure until 8 August 2011, when surpassed by Ajantha Mendis (6/16).[30] Mutterings were made about a possible correlation between ball tampering and the exorbitant amounts of reverse-swing he was able to extract, but he denied them categorically: "whenever an Asian bowler performs and uses the reverse-swing, the Western cricketing countries raise the issue of ball-tampering against them."[31]

He was also part of the Pakistan team that lifted the trophy at Lord's while also finishing as the leading wicket taker of the tournament for the second consecutive time.[32] He gained a lot of wickets bowled, in particular with late reverse swinging yorkers, which dip late to slide under the bat and leave little room for batsmen to maneuver the ball. Consequently, he has also an excellent economy rate in this format of the game.

Internationally, Gul has taken 47 wickets in 32 games at an average of 14.65. He is the second leading wicket-taker in Twenty20 Internationals behind teammate Shahid Afridi.

One Day Internationals

Gul appeared in all three of Pakistan's group matches in the 2007 World Cup taking four wickets with an economy rate of 3.13, only Shane Bond of those to deliver 100 balls was more economical.[33] He also appeared in all of Pakistan's matches at the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 taking 3/15 off 4 overs in the semi-final victory over New Zealand. He took three wickets in the final to finish as the tournament's leading wicket-taker.[34]

In January 2016, Gul was suspended from international cricket for a doping offense. Gul was recalled into the ODI squad on 9 August 2016 for the England and Ireland tour.[35]


However, Gul was then ruled out of the third Test with a back injury which kept him out of cricket for an entire year. He returned to play two games at the 2004–05 Faysal Bank T20 Cup, and played some matches for Pakistan A and a Pakistan XI in warm-up games before the Test matches against England the following season, but he was not selected for the matches and has instead played three matches with Peshawar at the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

Shortly after making a six-month come-back from a shoulder injury in July 2010 Gul picked up a hamstring injury against England in August but it wasn't too serious and he only missed the two Test matches.


Despite being a bowler, Gul can perform well as a lower order batsman and has proved his ability as a His finest moment with the bat came in a test match against England in August 2010 when Pakistan were at 103/7 and Gul came into bat at 8. He scored 29 off 30 deliveries, and when play ended that day, two more wickets had fallen and the team were at 148/9. Pakistan needed 11 more runs to avoid the follow-on, and Gul then came in with his number 10 partner Mohammad Asif. Gul scored 34 runs in just 11 deliveries however his partner Mohammad Asif was run out at the other end and Gul ended on 65 not out.


  1. ^ "Umar Gul", ESPNcricinfo, 5 April 2012, retrieved 5 April 2012
  2. ^ "Profile: Umar Gul", CricketArchive, 5 April 2012, retrieved 5 April 2012
  3. ^ "ICC World Twenty20, 2007/08 / Records / Most wickets", ESPNcricinfo, 5 April 2012, retrieved 5 April 2012
  4. ^ "ICC World Twenty20, 2009 / Records / Most wickets", ESPNcricinfo, 5 April 2012, retrieved 5 April 2012
  5. ^ "T20I-Most wickets in career", ESPNcricinfo, 2 October 2012, retrieved 2 October 2012
  6. ^ "Umar Gul needs at least a month to recover after knee surgery – NDTV Sports".
  7. ^ MidDay (13 December 2013). "ICC Annual Awards: Pujara wins 'Emerging Cricketer of the Year, Clarke wins 'Cricketer of the Year'". Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  8. ^ Pakistani pace bowler Umar Gul marries Dubai doctor, Gulf News, 10 October 2010, retrieved 5 April 2012
  9. ^ Pace bowler Umar Gul marries Dubai doctor, PakTribune, 10 October 2010, retrieved 5 April 2012
  10. ^ Pace bowler Umar Gul marries Dubai doctor, Daily Times, 10 October 2010, retrieved 5 April 2012
  11. ^ Pakistani pacer Umar Gul with his new-born daughter, UrduWire, 25 May 2012, retrieved 1 November 2012
  12. ^ "Army raids Umar Gul's house; arrests his brother". 30 May 2012.
  13. ^ Kumar, Shiv; Dhoni bought for Rs 6 crore; Tribune India; 20 February 2008
  14. ^ "The Home of CricketArchive".
  15. ^ Varghese, Mathew; Ganguly and Gul end Kolkata's campaign on a high; 25 May 2008
  16. ^ WA sign Pakistan star Umar Gul for Twenty20; Perth Now; 23 December 2008
  17. ^ Hope, Shane; Gul excited about WACA wicket; The West Australian; 2 January 2009
  18. ^ "MCC v Rest of the World – 5 July". Lord's. 5 July 2014. Archived from the original on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  19. ^ "Edmondson bolsters Gloucestershire bowling".
  20. ^ "Pakistan Cup one-day tournament to begin in Faisalabad next week". Geo TV. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  21. ^ "Pakistan Cup Cricket from 25th". The News International. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  22. ^ "Federal Areas aim to complete hat-trick of Pakistan Cup titles". Pakistan Cricket Board. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  23. ^ "Pakistan Cup one-day cricket from April 2". The International News. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  24. ^ "Cherry Blossom Sharjah Cup – 1st match", ESPNCricinfo, 5 April 2012, retrieved 5 April 2012
  25. ^ "Yuvraj stands alone after Gul heroics".
  26. ^ "Pakistan in England Test Series 2010 – 1st Test". Retrieved 2 August 2010.
  27. ^ "Umar Gul winning fitness race".
  28. ^ "Pakistan fight back to leave contest level". Cricinfo. 13 November 2010.
  29. ^ Booth, Lawrence. "Myths; And stereotypes." The Spin, 30 June 2009.
  30. ^ Associated Press (8 August 2011). "Ajantha Mendis spins Sri Lanka to T20 series victory over Australia". Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  31. ^ Quoted in Booth 2009.
  32. ^ ICC World Twenty20, 2009;; 22 June 2009
  33. ^ "The Home of CricketArchive".
  34. ^ "Cricket Records – ICC World Twenty20, 2007/08 – Records – Most wickets – ESPN Cricinfo".
  35. ^ "Umar Gul returns to Pakistan's ODI squad". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 9 August 2016.

External links