‘Rested’ for Zimbabwe series, Gul aims return

Fast-bowler working hard to regain place in the team.


Express August 14, 2011

KARACHI: After being left out of the Zimbabwe touring party, Pakistan fast-bowler Umar Gul said that he is focusing on returning to the national team soon enough.

Gul, who has spearheaded the team’s pace attack after fast-bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were banned by the International Cricket Council, was not picked for the Zimbabwe series along with Wahab Riaz.

While chief selector Mohsin Khan said the pacemen had been rested, there has been speculation that Gul was overlooked on grounds of poor fitness and an unimpressive show in recent assignments.

However, the fast-bowler, who has 125 Tests and 134 One-Day International wickets, was not becoming a part of the debate and focusing on his return.

“I’m just working hard to get my place back in the national team,” Gul told reporters in Karachi.

“I’ve increased my training and giving my best to regain the rhythm.”

The 27-year-old said that he was targeting the forthcoming series against Sri Lanka and England. “I’ll feature in domestic tournaments to show my true worth,” he said. “I’m hoping to put on a good show to impress the selectors.

“Hopefully, I will get a chance for series against Sri Lanka and England.”

Gul, who has played 35 Tests and 90 ODIs, added that he had a lot left in him and was expecting to serve the country for a long time.

“I feel I can serve the country for many more years. Temporary setbacks do come but one has to overcome them by positive thinking.”

Shahzad vows to make a comeback

Meanwhile, discarded opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad has said he would make a comeback by proving his worth in domestic events.

“It’s always difficult to make a comeback because you have to work twice as hard,” said Shehzad.

“But I’m hopeful that I’ll get my place back after giving a good show in the coming domestic season.”

In a recent interview, former team manager Intikhab Alam said that the opener was ignored due to disciplinary issues but the 19-year old refuted the claim.

“I don’t have attitude problems and I didn’t breach discipline. If that’s the case, I want to ask the PCB to tell me where I was wrong.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2011.

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