ISLAMABAD-Test pacer Umar Gul is hoping to back into practice soon after recovering from a broken hand injury, he sustained during the first playoff of the PSL against Peshawar Zalmi.

In an interview with The Nation, Gul said his left hand was on the mend as plaster has been removed and he would be able to start training after two weeks upon doctor’s advice. “It was heartbreaking for me that after the absence of long three months, I once again sustained injury during the PSL playoff.”

He said staging the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final in Lahore made him very happy. “It was a historic occasion and I wanted to be part of the Quetta Gladiators and helped them lift the title, but sometimes things are not in your hands. Anyhow, I want to give credit of successfully hosting the final to PCB, PSL chairman Najam Sethi and our law enforcement agencies, who made the day possible.

“It was a big challenge, which the government and security agencies accepted and sent a very clear message to handful miscreants that Pakistanis love sports and no matter how tough conditions and things are, we just focus on positives,” he added.

Gul termed holding the final in Lahore very helpful in bringing international cricket back to country and said: “It was a huge step towards restoration of international cricket in Pakistan. Off course, the ICC will not give us international tournaments over the night but they can give us bilateral series with immediate effect. When these foreign players will share their pleasant memories in Pakistan with their fellow cricketers and respective boards, it will help Pakistan cause and compel the ICC to allow Pakistan host international matches.”

He said the day was not far, when this cricket-mad nation would start witnessing international players in action at their home soil. “Although holding the PSL final in Lahore was a huge risk and not many international stars were ready to play in Lahore, but even then, those foreign players, who came to play here, deserved a big thanks, as they sustained huge pressure from different quarters including their families, but they supported cricket and Pakistan at the time of need.

“Nobody can risk life for money and I don’t agree with that. It was sheer love and respect for Pakistan cricket that top international players showed despite all the negativity and they never turned their backs and arrived to play for Peshawar Zalmi and Gladiators,” he added.

About Gladiators’ one-sided defeat in the final, he said: “The absence of foreign players in Gladiators’ rank was the main difference between the two sides. I am a bit disappointed with Gladiators’ thrashing defeat, but the team deserves credit for putting up brave show despite a number of hurdles.”

“I had my eyes on the West Indies tour, but injury forced me to stay back, but my time will come soon and I will be spearheading Pakistan bowling very soon,” determined Gul concluded.