Umar Gul brought an end to his celebrated career following his side Balochistan’s defeat to South Punjab in the semi-finals of the ongoing National T20 Cup.
Gul, who was the spearhead of Pakistan’s fast-bowling unit in white-ball cricket in the mid to late 2000s, recalled his sides’ semi-final defeat to India in the 2011 World Cup as one of his biggest regrets.
Gul had come into the World Cup semi-final against arch-rivals India on the back of outstanding form in the league-stage, having taken 14 wickets in seven games.
But in the semis, the fast bowler had a rare off day as he gave away 69 runs in his eight overs, with Virender Sehwag smashing him for five fours in an over followed by Suresh Raina’s onslaught in the end.
“I will always regret that I couldn’t perform in that match. That defeat hurts me, and will continue to hurt me. I believe that it was a match Pakistan deserved to win. We were in top form during the tournament but against India in the semi-final, we couldn’t do what we were able to.” Umar Gul said.
“Everyone on the ground was confident that Sachin was out”- Umar Gul
Gul also recalled the controversial DRS call that proceeded to overturn the on-field LBW call that gave Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar a reprieve against Saeed Ajmal.
Tendulkar led a charmed life in that game as Pakistani fielders dropped a plethora of catches post that DRS call. Tendulkar went on to score 85, which eventually proved to be the difference in the end.
“Everyone on the ground was confident that Sachin was out and everyone was surprised to see what DRS showed. I don’t know what happened there but it looked like that it was out. If we had managed to take Sachin’s wicket earlier, the result of match could have been different,” he said.
Chasing 261, Pakistan got off to a good start and with Mohammad Hafeez and Asad Shafiq going along steadily, it looked like the Men in Green would successfully overhaul the target.
But a needless shot by Hafeez triggered a collapse, from which Pakistan could never recover, eventually falling 31 runs short of the target.
“As long as Hafeez was playing, I was confident. Everyone was confident that we are going to chase but after his wicket we couldn’t get any more partnerships,” he recalled.
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