Umar Gul Named as Afghanistan Men’s Cricket Team Bowling Coach

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Umar Gul
Umar Gul

Former Pakistan cricketer Umar Gul has been named as the bowling coach of the Afghanistan men’s cricket team.

Afghanistan Men’s Cricket Team Bowling Coach

Gul was the top wicket-taker at the ICC T20 Cricket World Cups in both 2007 and 2009 and is seventh in the all-time list for wicket-takers in T20 Internationals.

Of the six players above him, only Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan can better Gul’s average of 16.97 or strike rate of 14.1.

Gul’s first job will be to steer Afghanistan’s bowlers through a three-match ICC Cricket World Cup Super League series against Zimbabwe as they push towards automatic qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

In a recent interview Umar Gul had revealed why he turned to coaching, he had said, “I wanted to stay close to the game, be in the field, so I told myself: why not coaching? I gave myself a long, hard look, and thought about my temperament.

“…and I realised I have always been generous about helping my colleagues when working in the nets – giving them tips, listening to others, chipping in with my knowledge. I wasn’t just bowling but learning a lot around the art of bowling.”

The 39-year-old made 237 international appearances for Pakistan across formats, making a particularly notable impact in the white-ball game, taking 179 wickets in 130 ODI matches and bagging 85 in 60 T20Is with a miserly career economy of 7.19

When asked about his coaching philosophy he had said, “Your actual job starts when a player is down and going through a rough patch. Form, good or bad, is inevitable. You can easily lose your way with one patch of bad form and fade away like you never existed.

“It’s basically working with the psyche of the player. You have to go into his mind to figure out the problem. I have been through so many phases in my career and I know what a player expects from a coach and what a coach should be doing to lift up a player.”

Afghanistan are fifth in the Super League Standings having won seven of their nine matches to date, while opponents Zimbabwe are above the only Netherlands at the foot of the table.

A three-match T20I series follows the 50-over matches, with Afghanistan continuing their preparation towards the ICC T20 World Cup later this year, for which they are one of eight teams already confirmed in the Super 12.