LAHORE - Pakistan’s experienced pace bowler Umar Gul has expressed his desire to lead the Twenty20 side but only if he is fully fit and regains his top form.
Talking to the reporters here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday, Gul said that if the cricket board offered him this responsibility he would be delighted. “But honestly speaking, right now my main focus is on regaining my full fitness because the knee operation I had last year has affected my career a lot,” he said.
“I also wish to be a captain so that when I retire I will be remembered as former captain. But it depends on the PCB what they think. I want to return to performing like I used to in the past, and if so then why not consider the captaincy. But I have no issue playing under any captain, either the senior or junior, and recently I have fully supported Hafeez as well,” he asserted.
He further said: “It’s very difficult to come back after injury in international cricket but still I am lucky enough to survive. Though things were a bit up and down I am feeling much better in this summer camp. I am trying to do hard training more than others so that I could be as fit as I was before operation.”
Gul has struggled with his fitness since last year and admitted missing the last eight Tests of the national side were a big setback for him. “It is disappointing to miss out of these matches but now I am targeting a comeback for the tour to Sri Lanka in July and August. Obviously, I am working hard on my fitness because that is the only way I can be in contention for the World Cup 2015,” he added.
“I haven’t yet decided whether I am fully fit for Test matches but this summer camp will obviously give me a great opportunity to fine-tune myself in the time without international cricket. I can’t say whether I will be fit again for Test cricket but I will see later after the camp whether I am fit for Test matches or not,” he maintained.
“T20 is easier than Test and ODI. In one hour 20 minutes you have to bowl a four-over spell, every player prefers to play and you don’t need that much fitness for it. But for the sake of fitness and for the ongoing training camp, I had turned down an offer from Somerset so that I could prepare hard for the upcoming international cricket,” Gul stated.
Gul, who was part of the first season of the IPL, rued the missed opportunity. “We miss IPL because we are deprived of sharing a dressing room with the best players in the world,” said Gul. “Being a professional, you learn a lot by sharing a bench with players like Hussey and many more. In fact, even our junior players should go out and play such leagues whether it is county cricket, Big Bash or IPL. It will make you more professional,” he concluded.