Pakistan have bolstered their fast-bowling attack for the three remaining One-Day Internationals against Sri Lanka in the UAE by calling up the fit-again Umar Gul.
Gul last played an international match in March, but picked up a knee injury which ruled him out for over seven months. He travelled to Australia for an operation earlier in the year and had hoped to make an international comeback before now.
For the past couple of months, the 29 year-old has been finding his feet after his long lay-off by playing in Pakistan’s domestic competitions, the four-day President’s Trophy and 45-over President’s One-Day Cup, for his department Habib Bank Limited. He took 11 wickets his most recent outing as they beat Port Qasim Authority at the end of last week.
Gul, a renowned death bowler, will strengthen a Pakistan bowling attack that has struggled in the first two ODIs to stem the flow of runs in the closing overs of the innings. They almost lost the first match from a strong position as Sachithra Senanayake and Seekkuge Prasanna ran amok, before Angelo Mathews took Sri Lanka over the line yesterday in a contest that was evenly poised heading into the final 15 overs.
A Pakistan Cricket Board spokesman said, "Gul is being flown to join the team on the request of the tour management and national selectors who want the bowling attack to be strengthened for the last three one-dayers.”
The five-match series is curently tied at 1-1 ahead of the third ODI tomorrow in Sharjah. The teams then move onto Abu Dhabi for the final two matches on 25th and 27th December.
Pakistan ODI squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez (vice-captain), Abdur Rehman, Ahmed Shehzad, Anwar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Bilawal Bhatti, Haris Sohail, Umar Gul, Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal (wicket-keeper).
© Cricket World 2013