Former Pakistan pacer Umar Gul on Wednesday has been appointed as the new bowling coach of Afghanistan. Gul's first assignment will be Afghanistan's upcoming limited-overs away series against Zimbabwe in June. This will be Gul's first coaching assignment in international cricket after serving as the bowling coach of Quetta Gladiators in the 2021 season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Gul was roped in by the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) as its bowling consultant during the side's training and preparation camp at Abu Dhabi in April. His former Pakistan team-mate Younis Khan had joined in as batting consultant for the camp. "The Pakistani veteran worked with the fast bowlers in our national line-up and considering his effectiveness in the camp as well as based on the need, it was decided to offer him a permanent contract as the national team's bowling coach," said the ACB in an official statement.
Gul, 39, retired from all forms of cricket in October 2020 after playing for Balochistan in the National T20 Cup. In his career for Pakistan from 2003-2016, Gul played in 47 Tests, picking 163 wickets at an average of 34.06. He also played in 130 ODIs, taking 179 wickets at an average of 29.34 and featured in 60 T20Is, earning 85 wickets at an average of 16.97. He was a member of the Pakistan team winning the 2009 Men's T20 World Cup in England apart from being the leading wicket-taker in Pakistan's run as runners-up, picking 13 scalps at an average of 11.92 and economy rate of 5.60. Afghanistan departed for Zimbabwe on Wednesday afternoon, where they will play three ICC Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs and as many T20I matches from June 4 to 14 in Harare.