The least-hyped but most successful and assured Pakistan pace product of the last few years, Umar Gul is the latest in Pakistan’s assembly-line of pace-bowling talent. 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. He had played just nine first-class matches when called up for national duty in the wake of Pakistan’s poor 2003 World Cup. On the flat tracks of Sharjah, Gul performed admirably, maintaining excellent discipline and getting appreciable outswing
He had hinted at that by being leading wicket-taker in the 2007 World Twenty20; over the next two years he impressed wherever he went, in the IPL for the Kolkatta Knight Riders and in Australia’s domestic Twenty20 tournament. Confirmation came on the grandest stage: having poleaxed Australia in a T20I in Dubai with 4-8, he was the best bowler and leading wicket-taker as Pakistan won the second World Twenty20 in England. The highlight was 5-6 against New Zealand, the highest quality exhibition of yorker bowling. He is not a one-format pony, however, and will remain a crucial cog in Pakistan’s attack across all formats.