Thursday, February 4, 2016

How are Pakistan able to produce so many Good Fast Bowlers?

If you ever ask a cricket fan from India what is it about Pakistan cricket that they envy and the answer will almost be instantaneous. India has always had the batting strength but its fast bowling stocks are often bare. On the other hand Pakistan has managed to produce fast bowlers as though they are made on an automatic assembly line. I was not fortunate enough to see the legendary Imran Khan in action but have been lucky enough to witness Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Aaqib Javed and Shoaib Akhtar during the late 1990's through to the early 2000's.

They have continued to produce fast bowlers even after the retirements of the above mentioned fast bowling magnates. The answer as to why and how Pakistan is able to produce such Fantastico fast bowlers one after the other is one which we can only contemplate and think upon with our own assumptions thrown in.

The most important factor I guess is that Imran Khan took bowlers like Wasim and Waqar under his wings and mentored them. When a legendary figure guides you and teaches you the nuances of the game and if you are eager to learn yourself and quick to pick up then it forms a potent concoction for success. Imran was a star and he always had a hand wrapped around the shoulder of his young turks, Wasim and Waqar continued the trend by guiding Shoaib through his early years. The young kids growing up, when they have heroes to look up to, someone they can try to emulate makes for a very important factor in Pakistan being so successful at finding raw fast bowlers.

Another factor is the popularity of taped tennis ball cricket culture in Pakistan. In every street and lane, you come across kids playing cricket with a tennis ball which is taped to make it slightly heavier. Now if you decide to bowl fast with a tennis ball you must have a strong upper body and a quick arm action so as to be able to hurry the batsmen. This early lesson certainly has a big impact when the kids go on to play international cricket.

The last factor which I can only guess helps Pakistan produce fast bowlers is the respect and adulation that they get from their fans. The average Pakistani fan adores a fast bowler and a fast bowler is worshipped in Pakistan just like we Indians swear and worship our batsmen. This manic encouragement is such an important ingredient which goes into producing legends we know.

Till the time Pakistan continue to nurture and adore their fast men, till their kids have stirring figures to look up to, Pakistan will continue to produce fast bowlers who are the envy and at the very same time the pride of the entire cricketing world.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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