IPL 2008: Umar Gul Says Indians Were Hospitable in Every City Except Mumbai

Pakistan fast bowler, Umar Gul, recently opened up about his experience of playing in the Indian Premier League. The inaugural edition of IPL was held in 2008 and it was the first of its kind franchise-based T20 league.

Due to hostile relations between Pakistan and India, no Pakistani has taken part in the competition after opening season. Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar, Kamran Akmal, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Salman Butt along with many others were part of the competition.


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Gul who was the highest wicket-taker in the 2007 World T20 with 13 wickets at an average of 11.92, was drafted by Kolkata Knight Riders, captained by Sourav Ganguly who is the current BCCI Chairman.

In a recent interview, Gul said that it was a great experience to take part in the league. He said that back in 2008, the relationship between the two countries was good and the Pakistani players had a massive fan following in India.

The 36-year-old further added that whenever Pakistanis toured India, be it for IPL or a bilateral series, fans were very hospitable. He said it is hard to explain the number of passionate cricket fans in India and the fan following Pakistani players have in the country.

He said, even though we were allowed to travel outside the hotel room and roam around the city, it was impossible for us to get out without a security team and move around freely. Pakistani players were not allowed that luxury in Mumbai though, we did not play in Mumbai due to the security fears in the city. Apart from that, people in every other city were very hospitable and kind towards the Pakistani players.


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Umar Gul is regarded as one of the finest bowlers in T20 cricket history and his record speaks for itself. 85 wickets at an average of 17 and an economy rate of 7.19 in T20 Internationals justify him as one of the greatest bowlers in T20 cricket history.

Umar Gul recently announced that he will soon retire from all forms of cricket. Currently, the 36-year-old is taking part in the ongoing National T20 Cup and will be seen in action donning the Balochistan jersey. This is going to be his last tournament as a professional cricketer and will pursue his coaching after his retirement.



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