Moments That Turned The Tables

Moments That Turned The Tables

The small moments in life provide the biggest joy.

This common saying applies to the IPL and cricket in general as well.

The small moments, running the twos and threes, the catches, diving saves, and the direct hits, these narrow margins tilt the games.

Also Read: Best Fielders of All-Time, Favorite Players From Each Country, Best Commentators of All-Time

Recap

In the first week of IPL 2020, we witnessed several close games, Tewatia’s magic, and the Indian youngsters on the show. Some said this is the closest IPL ever?

What followed in the next couple of weeks was a thoroughly one-sided tournament.

It seemed that Delhi Capitals were running away with from the rest of the table, and Mumbai Indians were back at their best. RCB were playing….consistently well and even an underperforming KKR were snatching victories out of jaws of defeat.

Where are we now? Two days to go in the league stague, and the points table look something like this. Mumbai Indians are the only team to seal qualification, while CSK are the only team officially out…barely.

On the other hand, RCB at #2 can still fail to make it and KKR at #7 are still alive.

Also Read: All-Time XIs RCB, CSK, SRH, MI, RR and KKR, KXIP and RR

How Did We Get Here?

Did you miss the major moments of the day? Do not worry! Here are the moments of the day from our perspective on Twitter – funny run-outs, unusual hit-wickets, Super Over chaos, and much more.

Here are the hashtags we used for each day.

  • #BCDoftheDay: Broken Cricket Dream of the Day
  • #RedemptionoftheDay: Comebacks and Redemptions
  • #SamCurranoftheDay: All-Rounder or the Game Changer of the Day
  • #UniverseBossoftheDay: Chris Gayle is back, so a new # was needed just for him

We have several videos linked in the tweets and the headlines, so feel free to watch the highlights of the moments if you missed out!

What were your favorite moments of the past two weeks or the IPL in general? Comment below, subscribe below for more such articles, and follow us on our Twitter and Facebook pages!

Defining Moments

Day 25 – Rashid’s Hit Wicket for the Win!
Day 27 – RCB Batting Order or KKR? ABD at 6?
Day 28 – Dinesh Karthik finishes….his captaincy career at KKR
Day 29 Game 1 – Superhuman ABD Crushes Everybody’s Dreams
Day 29 Game 2 – Gabbar is Back Part I and Axar Finishes it Off in Style

Faf-Rabada Collision was scary but the hug was beautiful.

Day 30 Game I – Super Sunday Super Over Part I Feat Lockie Ferguson
Day 30 Game II – Super Sunday Double Super Over Part II Feat Shami
Day 31 – Buttler’s Day Out
Day 32 – Gabbar is Back Part II….But Delhi Capitals Are Not
Day 33 – KKR’s 84 Survives RCB’s 49 Record but Siraj’s Dream Day

(Broken Dreams for KKR fans…cough, cough – me).

Day 34 – Pandey and Shankar Revive SRH

Uthappa was always going to lose the battle against Holder there….

Day 35 – CSK Not Qualifying? Say What? 2020….
Day 36 – Courageous Narine and Architect Varun Bamboozle Declining Delhi
Day 37 – Comeback Weekend Part I Via SRH Collapse
Day 37 Game 1 – Gaikwad Shows the “Spark”
Day 37 Game 2 – The All – Round Show. Stokes Trumps Pandya’s Brilliance
Sources: Twitter, IPLT20.com – Magic Moments (Videos)

Image Courtesy: Eoin MorganNAPARAZZI, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Top Commentary Highlights

Top Commentary Highlights

What is the first thing that comes in your mind when you think of cricket highlights? Fast bowling wickets compilation? Catches Win Matches? Stylish Cover drives?

How about classic commentary highlights? Well, today we will discuss exactly that!

Last week, we created a Fantasy team of Commentators XI. Harsha Bhogle was our team captain, Gaurav Kapur the opener, and the dynamic duo of Simon Doull and Pommie Mbangwa as the fast bowlers.

So naturally we asked our Twitter audience to respond with #BestCommentary for:

  • Best #IPL2020 Commentary Highlights
  • Most Favorite Iconic Cricket Commentary Memory

Commentators come in all shapes and sizes—a few serious, others insightful, and some extremely hilarious.

Who is your favorite commentator? Bill Lawry, Michael Holding, Tony Greig, Ian Bishop, Richie Benaud, Ravi Shashtri? COMMENT BELOW AND LET US KNOW!

And for more such articles, subscribe below, and share/retweet with others!

Anyway, here are their twitter responses! So, sit back, relax, and watch some of the best cricket commentary videos!

There are lots of videos. Like a lot. Watch till the end for all the good ones.

The Tweets – Commentary Highlights

Here are the favorite IPL and cricketing memories from the fans in their own words. We have categorized the commentary in categories—The Jaw Drop, The Heartbreak, and The Critical, and then, some more.

The Jaw Drop feat Ravi Shastri

Here are some of the jaw dropping moments in recent cricketing history captured by iconic commentators.

1. Mohd Shamir Ansari (@ShamirMohd)

My Fav. #BestCommentary will be Ravi Shastri commentating on Yuvraj Singh Six sixes in an over to Stuart Broad in first T20 World Cup. And best #IPLT20 will be First time I saw sunny sir doing Hindi Commentary that was really an awesome moment for me

Yes Really It was very nice especially I was watching this match Live… So still remember those exciting sixes and commentary by Ravi Shastri.

What a great day for cricket. One just imagines what would have happened had Flintoff kept his cool to Yuvi that day?

2. Jonny (@Leathernwillow)

IPL comms just wash over me a bit. Sunny Gavaskar is the master of the box as much as he was at the crease, especially when he’s annoyed. KP’s ‘Pingo Pongo’ moments are fun. Best ever is Fazeer Mohammed “Why did he do that?!” to Gabriel’s brainfade against Yasir #BestCommentary

Try #RCBvSRH on 21 September as I checked and mentioned it that day. Also you’ve got to have Richie Benaud from Botham Headingley 1981 – “It went in to the confectionery stall and out again…”

3. Pratyush (@ps26_11)

For me, #BestCommentary All-Time – by Ravi Shastri Sir on India WC 2011 wining moment (Dhoni’s 6) ~ ” Dhoni finishes off in style..A magnificent strike into the crowd…India wins after 28 years…& it’s the Indian capt who’s been absolutely magnificent in the night of the final

Also Read: MS Dhoni and SK Raina Retire: An End of an Era

The Ian Bishop

Ian Bishop recently celebrated his 53rd birthday at the IPL. With Harsha Bhogle, Mark Nicholas, and JP Duminy, the banter among the group was hilarious!

He has had so many iconic moments in recent times, that he deserves a category by himself.

1. JustCricket (@justcricketblog)

My fav in #IPL2020 Bish, Danny M, Mark Nicholas, Sanga . All time Nasser H. Favorite moment :normally love all the 3rd man and Masterclass segments(Nasser and Murali) in sky sports. But generally I think it’s Bishop calling brathwaite and Ravi S in natwest series #bestcommentary

2. Rahul Kumar (@rahulk_1019)

Mine from ipl is AB v steyn(SRH one) 2014.. Simon doull & ramiz raja in comm… All time fav.. Bit biased, will select two: 1) Ravi shastri calling Dhoni’s six, wc 2011 final 2) Bish in manchester 2019 wc “Surely the hopes have been ignited enough for them to be extinguished!”

“Can he? Can he really?” “The dream has diminished for CB, here in manchesterrr..”

Watching late at night.. Was preparing for the exams..but couldn’t take my eyes off.. Even after the fall of 7th wkt.. For some reason didn’t switch it off… Treated with a phenomenal & memorable game.. The heart sank but was a special knock from brathwaitte..

Wow what a memory! The detail is impeccable. What would have happened had Boult dropped the catch?

Which Bish phrase is your favorite? Remember the Name“, ” The Dream is Alive”, or “The Dream is Diminished”?

The Heartbreak feat Ian Smith

1. My Favorite Commentary Highlight (@cricket_broken)
  1. Best #IPL2020 moment – Sanga-Mahela banter
  2. All-Time – “Grant Elliot – Superman! by Ian Smith

Joy for New Zealand, heartbreak for South Africa.

4 years later, heartbreak for New Zealand, joy for England. How the tables turn.

2. Arnob (@Arnobchitchats)

#BestCommentary for me is certainly by Ian Smith from CWC 2019 Final written below:-

“This is the moment – it’s Archer to Guptill. Two to win. Guptill’s got to push for two, they’ve gotta go! The throw’s gotta go to the keeper’s end. He’s got it! England have won the World Cup – by the barest of margins. By the barest of all margins.”#BestCommentary Chilling!

Want more New Zealand? Here is Starc’s 6-28 in that breathtaking finish.

The Critical

Not all commentary is hilarious or heartbreaking. Some commentary moments deal with serious cricketing issues.

  1. Vandit – West Indies T20 League Exodus

2011 Pakistan Vs West Indies ODI. The highlight was Michael Holding exclaiming, “I was told he played in the IPL this morning. I almost fell over. A feather duster could have knocked me over”

2. Here is another serious commentary by Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain on Muhammad Amir’s comeback following the Spot Fixing ban. Do watch the full interview here.

The Best Commentary Highlights

1. Sparsh Telang (@_cricketsparsh)

#BestCommentary Harsha Bhogle: “Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seat belts. We are ready for the take-off.” This was when AB started his innings with a bang in one IPL match.

Did not find the exact Harsha video but here is Harsha Bhogle at his very best.

2. Tony Greig – Sharjah Sachin Tendulkar

3. YouTube – Best Commentary
4. Richie Benaud – BBC Tribute

Here is the BBC Tribute to Richie Benaud’s marvelous career, both as a player and a commentator. Here are some of his other Benaud’s other best moments.

5. My Personal Favorite – That. Is. Very. Good.

Any other videos or memories? Comment below and send us your favorite commentary highlights!

What did you think of the videos, the tweets, and the article? Please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to our blog for more such articles and follow us on twitter/facebook!

Also Read:

Sources: ICC, YouTube, IPLT20.com

Image Courtesy: Ravi Shastri – Bollywood Hungama, CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Fantasy Cricket – Commentators  XI

Fantasy Cricket – Commentators XI

“How is the food in Dubai?” asks Kumar Sangakkara. Mahela responds, “Limited but enjoyable.”

Oh yeah? Because it shows.” (Laughs all around). After a brief pause, Mahela responds, “Well, I thought he was a proper commentator, but obviously he is not…”

I just love this banter between these two legends and friends.

Kumar Sangakkara’s addition in IPL 2020 has been a breath of fresh air in the commentary box, although he replaced an unusually enthusiastic Kevin Pietersen earlier in the tournament.

This gave me an idea. Why not make a Fantasy Cricket team from the commentators in IPL 2020?

We have all played fantasy cricket or picked our All-Time World XI before. Today let us jump out of our comfort zones and do something slightly more creative – IPL 2020 Commentators XI.

Today’s Twist – Fantasy Cricket

Build two teams from IPL 2020 commentators such that (1) is a team made up of any commentators whatsoever, and (2 ) consists of only ex-cricket players.

Here are some additional rules:

  • By IPL rules, each team can field a maximum of 4 foreign players.
  • Pick from the list of commentators stated at the end of the article below.
  • The team should actually be able to field with 1 keeper and 5 bowling options necessary.

The Catch

What do you look for from a commentator? Serious analysis, insightful in-game interviews, or hilarious banter? I like a combination of all of them.

A little bit of analysis, a tinge of entertainment, and of course, a drop of controversy.

Well here are my teams. What about you? Comment below with your FAVORITE COMMENTATORS. Oh yeah and hit the subscribe button as well for more such articles!

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IPL 2020 Commentators XI

Just Imagine what role these commentators would play on the cricket field. Take creative license with this. Also Note: The 4 foreign players are in bold.

  1. Aakash ChopraDefensive opener, aggressive commentator. Love the phrases. #Aakashvani
  2. Gaurav Kapur Complimentary youthful enthusiasm for the opening partnership. Also BWC.
  3. Alexis Nunes A West Indian at No. 3 is a necessity. Best Mute Me/ PoliteEnquiries host?
  4. Harsha Bhogle (C) Need solidity in the middle order. Moments like these makes Harsha special.
  5. Lisa SthalekarWorld Cup winning captain at #5. Brings experience and analysis to the table.
  6. Gautam Bhimani – Need a transition or a finishing argument? No better than Bhimani, the finisher.
  7. Deep Dasgupta (WK) One of the better analysts at ESPNCricinfo and the keeper in our team.
  8. Ajit Agarkar – Same as above for the analysis but also a Lord’s ton and some wickets too.
  9. Joy Bhattacharjya – The ‘mystery spinner’ in our team. At times, calculative. If the spin does not bamboozle you, Joy Factor definitely will.
  10. Simon Doull – “Field your best XI on the field. Not your most expensive XI.” Cough, cough KXIP.
  11. Pommie Mbangwa Always has a smile. Accurate analysis. A fast bowler in his heyday.

12th Man: Shaun Pollock. – Slowing swinging his way to the commentary box.

Ex-Players XI

  1. Virender Sehwag – “Some CSK batsman thinks it is a government’s job”
  2. Sunil Gavaskar
  3. Kumar Sangakkara (WK)
  4. Kevin Pietersen Here is a day in KP’s life at IPL 2020.
  5. Anjum Chopra (C)
  6. Tom Moody Has some good views about Super Overs.
  7. Ajay Jadeja
  8. Irfan Pathan
  9. L. Sivaramakrishnan
  10. Ian BishopRemember his name? Has the best analysis in world cricket right now in my opinion.
  11. Murali Karthik
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The List

The full list of IPL commentators were as follows:

  • India: Harsha Bhogle, Deep Dasgupta, Rohan Gavaskar, L. Sivaramakrishnan, Murali Karthik, Sunil Gavaskar, Anjum Chopra, Aakash Chopra, Irfan Pathan, Gautam Gambhir, Ashish Nehra, Nikhil Chopra, Sandeep Patil, Sanjay Bangar, Ajit Agarkar, Kiran More
  • New Zealand: Simon Doull, Danny Morrison
  • West Indies: Ian Bishop, Darren Ganga
  • Australia: Michael Slater, Lisa Sthalekar
  • Zimbabwe: Pommie Mbangwa
  • England: Kevin Pietersen, Mark Nicholas
  • Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara
  • South Africa: JP Duminy
  • Cricbuzz Live Panel: Gaurav Kapur, Ajay Jadeja, Gautam Bhimani, Joy Bhattacharjya, Shaun Pollock, Michael Vaughan, Arjun Pandit, Manoj Tiwary, Virender Sehwag
  • Cricinfo Panel: Raunak Kapoor, Tom Moody, Alexis Nunes, Sanjay Manjrekar
  • *Star Sports Dugout: Graeme Swann, Brett Lee, Brian Lara, Scott Styris, Dean Jones

*I did not choose from this list because did not have enough sample size of listening to Star Sports commentary, but you are free to do so.

So from this list, who makes it in YOUR COMMENTATORS XI? COMMENT BELOW AND LET US KNOW! Do check out our other World XI with Twists Articles here, follow our social media pages, and share the article ahead!

Sources: ESPNCricinfo, CricbuzzLive, IPLT20.com, List of Commentators

Image Courtesy: Kevin PietersenTourism Victoria from Australia, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

My Favorite Player from Each Country: Unity In Diversity XI – #5 Will Shock You

My Favorite Player from Each Country: Unity In Diversity XI – #5 Will Shock You

“Is there any player you do not like?” asked a friend.

The question stumped me.

I have always remembered loving the game and enjoyed watching cricket on TV, no matter what team or player was playing. One of my fondest childhood cricketing memories was even playing a Bangladesh vs. Zimbabwe Test Series with a friend although we were not from either country. We would memorize every players’ names, imitate each bowling action, and change our batting styles accordingly.

This got me thinking. Why not create A World XI with favorite players from every major cricketing nation?

Today’s Twist – Unity in Diversity:

Create a World XI squad consisting of exactly 1 player from each country. Here are the rules:

  • Pick a player from each of the 12 Test playing nations
  • Pick one more player from an Associate Nation for a total of 13 players.
  • The team should be able to field in an actual match – at least one wicketkeeper and 5 bowling options are necessary

The Catch:

The team should be diverse enough to represent any format – Test, ODI, and T20. Alastair Cook and Shivnarine Chanderpaul are two of my favorite players. Although they would be ideal candidates for an All-Time Test XI, they may struggle in the T20 era.

Who are your favorite players from each country? Comment below with your XI!

The choice for the Associate player would be interesting to see. Maybe it is from a Netherlands team that surprised England in the 2009 T20 World Cup or from the classic Kenya team from 2003? Steve Tikolo, the Obuyas, and Odoyo, remember?

Without further ado, here is my All-Time Favorite XI.

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Unity in Diversity XI

Note, my team only consists of players from the last 20 years.

  1. Rahul Dravid (IND) The Wall—architect of India’s greatest Test victories. My Role-Model.
  2. Tillakaratne Dilshan (SL) Inventor of the Dilscoop. Energetic cricketer, opener, and fielder
  3. Younis Khan (PAK) Tenacious. Beautiful Batting style, conversion rate, and studious?
  4. Ross Taylor (NZ) Does anyone have a better leg side slog? Underrated ODI player.
  5. Nicholas Pooran (WI)WK I think he is the next big talent in West Indies Cricket.
  6. Paul Collingwood (ENG) C Calm captain, good all-rounder, and best fielder of all time.
  7. Shakib Al Hasan (BAN) Bangladesh superstar and one-of the best all rounder of all-time.
  8. Ryan Ten Doeschate (NETH) Averages 67 in ODI cricket after 33 ODIs. A delight to watch.
  9. Rashid Khan (AFG) How much has he achieved already at this age? And the googlies
  10. Brett Lee (AUS) Pace, smooth action, best chainsaw celebration, and great musician
  11. Dale Steyn (SA) Best Test fast bowler? Intensity in the eyes and overseas record
  12. Brendon Taylor (ZIM) Zimbabwe’s best in the current era. Easy on the eye.
  13. Niall O’Brien (IRE) Starred in the upset vs Pakistan in 2007 WC. Love his commentary!

Honorable Mentions

This was a really tough exercise. Maybe even harder than All-Time Test or ODI XIs. Here are just some of the others I considered.

  • INDDinesh Karthik, Mohammad Kaif, Robin Uthappa, and the Golden Generation – Sachin/Sehwag/VVS/Ganguly/Zaheer/Harbhajan/Yuvraj/Raina/MSD
  • SL – Sangakkara-Jayawardene and the M Factor – Mendis, Malinga, Murali
  • Pak – Mohammad Yousuf, Babar Azam, and numerous bowlers including the recently retired Umar Gul
  • NZ: How does one not like every player from New Zealand? Kane Williamson, Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill, Dan Vettori, and all the rest. Lockie Ferguson – KKR fans?
  • WI – Chanderpaul, Brian Lara, the Universe Boss, and captain Darren Sammy
  • ENG – Marcus Trescothick, Cook, Ian Bell, Jimmy Anderson, Jos Buttler, KP
  • BAN – The Fab Five
  • Associate Nations – Coetzer/Sharif (Scotland)
  • AFG – Mohammad Nabi
  • AUS – Adam Gilchrist
  • SA – Faf Du Plessis, AB De Villiers, Amla, Graeme Smith, Kallis, Morne Morkel, Quinton de Kock
  • ZIM – Tatenda Taibu, Andy Blignaut
  • IRE – Kevin O’Brien, Tim Murtagh, Porterfield, and Eoin Morgan (oops different country now)
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Reflection

I love underdog stories and love discussing cricket at every opportunity.

Whether it is the IPL or a hard fought day of test cricket, The Ashes or the India-Pakistan rivalry, a World Cup Final or the group stage of a qualifying tournament, women’s or men’s cricket, be assured, I will be following.

Diversity is such a beautiful thing. It is completely okay to be a fan of various different players from different countries. As long as the on-field battle is competitive, the game is fair, sportsmanship moments are abundant, and cricket continues to grow, that is all we need.

LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON CRICKET, COMMENT Below on your All-Time Favorites, and SUBSCRIBE!

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Sources: Vandit (Friend), cricket.com.au, IPLT20.com

Image Courtesy: Getty Images, Sachin Tendulkar – British High Commission, New Delhi, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Magician With the Yorker – Umar Gul

The Magician With the Yorker – Umar Gul

What is the first image that comes in your mind when you think of a magician? Pulling a rabbit out of the hat? Doing a card trick? Walking on water?

For me, it is a fast in-swinging yorker that dips underneath the bat, surprises the batsman, and castles the stumps.

Let us look back at the magnificent career of someone who did exactly that, Umar Gul – The Magician With the Yorker.

Umar Gul’s retirement evoked an emotional response from all around the world following his final match at the National T20 Cup. Here is our take on Umar Gul’s most memorable moments, his legacy, and what we can learn from him.

COMMENT below on Your favorite Umar Gul memories, SHARE with your friends and family, and SUBSCRIBE below for more such articles.

If you love watching fast bowlers and stumps rattled, stay tuned. Several videos ahead! Watch till the end to listen to Gul in his own words.

The Beginning

Pakistan cricket is known for unearthing fast-bowling talents one after the other, especially left-arm quicks. Pakistan is world cricket’s pace bowling factory. Imran Khan and Sarfaraz Nawaz created a rich legacy.

Over the years, they have produced the intimidating Wasims, Wahabs, and Waqars, the breathtaking Shoaibs and Samis, and the gifted Asifs and Amirs. The list is endless. Recently, with the rise of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah, it never seems to stop.

Notice something?

Umar Gul, the architect of Pakistan’s 2009 T20 World Cup victory, is not even mentioned. That is exactly how Gul’s career panned—under the radar.

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Debuting in 2003, he burst onto the Test scene later in 2004 against India at Lahore with a brilliant 5-wicket haul and man of the match performance. Unfortunately, injuries kept him out of the squad until he cemented his place later between 2006-2012.

Amidst the artistry from the other end, the numerous controversies and turmoil, and the general ebbs and flows of Pakistan cricket, Umar Gul stayed a constant.

Regardless of whatever happened around him, he just kept swimming.

Pinned his yorkers—day in and day out, consistently took wickets, and bowled at the death.

The Statistics

The Highlights

  • 5th highest wicket-taker in T20I and 2nd highest for a fast-bowler
  • Highest Wicket taker in 2007 and 2009 T20 World Cup
  • Highest Wicket-taker for Pakistan in 2011 ODI World Cup
  • Features twice in top 10 T20I bowling figures – both 5/6 vs New Zealand and South Africa
  • 6th best T20I strike rate among all bowlers

The Stats

Tests: 47 matches, 163 wickets, 34.06 average, Best Innings – 6/135, Best Match – 9/134
ODIs: 130 matches, 179 wickets, 29.34 average, Best 6/42
T20Is: 60 matches, 85 wickets,16.97 average,14.1 strike rate, Best 5/6, 4 4-fors, 2 5-fors
T20s: 167 matches, 222 wickets, 20.16 average, Best 6/24, 9 4-fors, 3 5-fors

The Memory

Umar Gul and the first two T20 World Cups were inseparable. He took 13 wickets in each tournament, ending as the highest wicket-taker in both.

Although Pakistan did not win the 2007 final, his exploits in the world cup were scintillating. One of the moments of the tournament happened earlier when the long and silky haired Gul castled counterpart MS Dhoni.

My favorite memory of Umar Gul though is from the 2009 T20 World Cup. It was just a great World Cup to watch – Netherlands upsetting England courtesy Stuart Broad, the Dilscoop mesmerizing spectators on the international stage, and a clinical Pakistan team.

Gul’s best performance came at a crucial Super 8 stage, when he picked 5 for 6 against New Zealand, reducing them from 73-4 to 99 all out.

Wow.

Due to his death bowling skills, Gul laid a solid platform which led Pakistan to go one step further this time around—winning a World Cup after 27 years.

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The Legacy

The IPL is the flavor of the season right now. Guess what? He even took 4-23 at the IPL with Kolkata Knight Riders in the inaugural season!

Gul was well and truly one of the premier fast bowlers from 2007-2012 across formats. His stellar 6-42 against England was judged as ESPNCricinfo’s Best ODI Bowling Performance of 2010.

He continued his form as Pakistan’s highest wicket-taker in the 2011 ODI World Cup and was a regular member of the international squad till 2013, when injuries began to halt his career. Unfortunately apart from a brief recall in 2016, Gul’s international career was over at the age of 32.

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Gul’s legacy is forever etched in stone with the 2009 World T20 triumph, but his impact in cricket is much more.

He taught the world how to bowl in T20 cricket.

These days, T20 leagues invest in “death-overs specialists” with the likes of Andrew Tye, Jasprit Bumrah, Chris Morris, and Shaheen Afridi, but this would not have been possible without Umar Gul’s contribution. He practically created that spot.

Although death bowling was his focal point, Gul was more than just yorkers.

He had the skills as a proper line and length pace Test bowler but evolved his art with reverse swing, bouncers, and most importantly, change of pace slower deliveries, which was uncommon at that time.

Only Lasith Malinga had a death-overs game to compete with Umar Gul and these two pioneered the art of death bowling in T20 cricket.

What Can We Learn?

Right in the middle of his career, Pakistan cricket entered a tumultuous period. Between 2008-2010, an attack on Sri Lankan cricketers, the 2010 spot-fixing saga, and home games shifting to the U.A.E. jolted Pakistan cricket.

As always, Umar Gul would adapt. New situation, new environment, new teammates. Mentorship has been one of his great characteristics throughout his career.

He partnered with the likes of Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, and Mohammad Irfan to transition to another era. In the dry tracks of UAE, they would find new tricks to the fast bowling trade, bringing life out of these pitches.

Adaptability is what makes Umar Gul great.

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He was not the fastest of the Pakistani bowlers, nor could he swing it like Asif, but he made sure to reinvent himself when the time was required. He was a shrewd and thinking cricketer. Always one step ahead of the batsman. Having a variety of skills is one aspect. Utilizing the skill at the right moment and varying it effectively—now that is what makes him great.

Animated on the field and quiet off the field, he did his duty. He changed cricket and inspired millions of budding cricketers around the world, mentoring youngsters in the domestic team even to the last day.

We can all learn from Umar Gul and apply these traits in our daily life as well. Change is the only constant in life, and we should learn to adjust accordingly. If we focus on the process and continue to improve our skills, there is no reason why we cannot compete with the best in the world.

Life will throw several challenges at you. You may get injured, have a bad day at the office, go through emotional turbulence, but do not worry.

Hang in there and just keep swimming as Umar Gul did.

What will I miss? Personally, I just adored Umar Gul’s action. It was fluent, uncomplicated, had a slight stop, but was straight to the point.

He was truly a magician.

Thank you, Umar Gul. Have a happy and healthy retirement.

Umar Gul in his Own Words

The best way to end this journey is Umar Gul in his own words. A wonderful send-off to a champion bloke. Listen below.

Sources: ESPNCricinfo, ICC, IPLT20.com
Image Courtesy: Getty Images, Umar Gul – the junes, CC 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons