Umar Gul


Full name Umar Gul
Born April 14, 1984, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Playing role Bowler
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
Major teams Pakistan, Gloucestershire, Habib Bank Limited, Kolkata Knight Riders, North West Frontier Province, North West Frontier Province Panthers, Pakistan A, Pakistan International Airlines, Peshawar, Peshawar Panthers, Sussex, Western Australia

Umar Gul is a right arm fast-medium bowler and has been the leader of the bowling attack in all three formats of the game. Gul made his debut by taking four wickets in April 2003 in the Cherry Blossom Sharjah Cup against Zimbabwe, Kenya and Sri Lanka.

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Gul continued to represent Pakistan in tests against Bangladesh and New Zealand. However, he truly announced his arrival onto the international stage in the Lahore Test match against India in 2004. Gul moved the ball sharply both ways and ended up with innings figures of 5 for 31 including the scalps of Sehwag, Dravid and Tendulkar. Unfortunately, due to a serious back injury Gul was subsequently out of action for over a year. However, he returned to the side and has proved to be a key feature in the line up by taking wickets in all three forms of the game.

Umar Gul is Pakistan’s premier bowler in the shorter format of the game, bowling with considerable hostility and accuracy and his inswinging yorker being key. He has particularly impressed in the final overs of limited overs cricket, with his ability to reverse swing the ball as well as bowl accurate tight spells at the batsmen’s toes. In the Test match arena he has not quite fulfilled his early promise. He has had his moments though, no more so than his impact with the new ball as Pakistan whitewashed England in the UAE in 2012.
The best T20 fast bowler since the introduction of the format, he was the leading wicket taker in the 2007 ICC World T20, helping Pakistan reach the final and went one better in 2009, his match-defining performance in the semi-final against South Africa remembered for the six reverse-swinging yorkers he bowled in one of the latter overs.

A team player, Gul was a key stabilising influence to the Pakistani bowling line-up after the spot fixing scandal and when fit continues to be in the mix for all formats.

Personal Life

Gul was born in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan he was born in a middle-class family and frequently played tape-ball cricket. People on the street encouraged Gul to become an international cricketer as they saw his superb bowling. On October 2010 Gul’s family announced that he was to wed a Dubai Doctor. The doctor is from the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and she was born there as well.

Cricket Career

Early career

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, 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 matches

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”, 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.

Test appearances however remained few and far between due to injuries and lack of test cricket for Pakistan.

In February 2009, Gul recorded his best test figures in the Pakistan team, taking 6 for 135 on an otherwise 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.

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. 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.


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 was generally used by Pakistan from the 13th over onwards and finished the tournament with 13 wickets, making him the leading wicket taker ahead of Shahid Afridi and RP Singh.

In the 2009 ICC World Twenty20, he performed excellently, earning the mantle from at least one pundit of “the outstanding seam bowler of the World Twenty20”. His five-wicket haul for just six runs when Pakistan dismantled 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 T20I bowling figures until 8 August 2011, when surpassed by Ajantha Mendis (6/16). 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.”

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.

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.

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. He played in six matches, taking 12 wickets at an average of 15.33, 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.

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

Internationally, Gul has taken 47 wickets in just 32 games at an average of 14.65, a truly outstanding statistic. 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. He also appeared in all of Pakistan’s matches at the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 taking 3/15 of 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.


Despite the fact that Gul is a bowler he can perform well as a lower order batsman and has proved that he has the ability to score runs quickly he finest moment with the bat came in a test match vs England in August 2010 when Pakistan were at 103/7 and Gul came into bat he scored 29 of 30 deliveries when play was ended on that day however two more wickets had fallen and the team were at 148/9 by night-time Pakistan would need 11 runs to avoid the follow-on. Gul then came and 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*.


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.

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

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.

Five-wicket hauls

Umar Gul, after taking five-for in Twenty20 International Cricket, became the first ever bowler to own five wickets haul in all international formats of the game.

Batting and Fielding Averages

Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 47 67 9 577 65* 9.94 1204 47.92 0 1 63 20 11 0
ODIs 124 63 17 451 39 9.80 637 70.80 0 0 36 13 15 0
T20Is 56 25 8 164 32 9.64 153 107.18 0 0 11 10 18 0
First-class 87 113 15 1170 65* 11.93 0 1 20 0
List A 175 87 26 630 39 10.32 0 0 21 0
Twenty20 123 64 16 466 32 9.70 431 108.12 0 0 30 27 34 0

Bowling Averages

Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10
Tests 47 90 9599 5553 163 6/135 9/164 34.06 3.47 58.8 12 4 0
ODIs 124 122 5782 4966 173 6/42 6/42 28.70 5.15 33.4 4 2 0
T20Is 56 56 1131 1340 80 5/6 5/6 16.75 7.10 14.1 4 2 0
First-class 87 16780 9487 341 8/78 27.82 3.39 49.2 19 18 2
List A 175 8233 6927 243 6/42 6/42 28.50 5.04 33.8 5 2 0
Twenty20 123 123 2611 3164 174 5/6 5/6 18.18 7.27 15.0 8 2 0

Umar Gul News

India, Sri Lanka set for thrilling Test finale 26 Aug 2015

Colombo – Virat Kohli’s buoyant India will chase their first series win in Sri Lanka in 22 years when the third and decisive final Test starts in Colombo on Friday. The tourists thrashed the hosts by 278 runs in the second Test at the P....

Ganguly hopes IPL recovers from betting scandal 15 Jul 2015

London – Former India captain Sourav Ganguly insisted it was possible for the lucrative Indian Premier League to “get back on track” following a betting scandal that saw two of its eight teams dramatically suspended on Tuesday. A panel a...

IPL turmoil as teams banned in betting scandal 14 Jul 2015

New Delhi – Cricket’s Indian Premier League was thrown into turmoil Tuesday when a Supreme Court-appointed panel suspended two of the eight teams after officials were found guilty of illegally betting on matches. India’s board said it wo...

Adil’s injury adds to Pakistan woes in Bangladesh, Umar Gul comes in 19 Apr 2015

Karachi – Pakistan’s cricket team have suffered another injury on their tour of Bangladesh after paceman Ehsan Adil was ruled out due to a hamstring injury, an official said Saturday. Adil’s injury is the fourth setback for Pakistan afte...

Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal back for Bangladesh tour 3 Apr 2015

Lahore (Pakistan) – Pakistan recalled star spinner Saeed Ajmal in all three formats as selectors announced the squads for the national side’s Bangladesh tour Friday, but there was no place on the plane for under-performing batsman Umar A...

Injury-hit Sri Lanka seek Scottish balm 9 Mar 2015

Hobart (Australia) – Sri Lanka will look to tie up some loose ends ahead of the World Cup quarter-finals when the former champions take on winless minnows Scotland in their last group match in Hobart on Wednesday. The Islanders, who have...

Please bring Sarfraz for South Africa match, echo ex-cricketers 4 Mar 2015

Opener Nasir Jamshed’s dismal performance with the bat in the ongoing World Cup has disappointed many but the fact that he has been picked in three straight games, has made it much more painful for the ex-cricketers. “I wasn’t surprised ...

World Cup 2015 match preview: Pakistan vs United Arab Emirates 1 Mar 2015

Pakistan’s world cup campaign is back on track following the hard-earned victory over Zimbabwe. It can get a massive fillip if they can score a big win over United Arab Emirates (UAE) tomorrow at McLean Park in Napier. So far in the tour...

India unbeaten at World Cup after UAE rout 28 Feb 2015

Perth (Australia) – India’s World Cup confidence continued to climb as they thrashed the United Arab Emirates by nine wickets in their Pool B match at Perth’s WACA Ground on Saturday. The UAE managed just 102 after winning the toss and e...

England and Pakistan seek World Cup boost 28 Feb 2015

Sydney – England and Pakistan will both look to revive their faltering World Cup campaigns on Sunday. England’s opening two matches against co-hosts Australia and New Zealand yielded thumping defeats by 111 runs and eight wickets respect...

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