Pakistan cricket is well known for its incredible reputation for producing top-quality fast bowlers. History tells us that the country has produced great pace bowling sensations. Be it pace, bounce, or swing, the bowlers had these deadly weapons in their repertoire. The true essence of a fast bowler is using all the tricks to deceive the opposition batsman when it mattered the most.
Pakistan had wicket-taking bowlers who have broken crucial partnerships to tilt the game in their favour. Over the decades, the Pakistani pacers have been quite successful in extracting the positives from the green pitches. This particular surface turned out to be a paradise for the pacers as it helped them operate the ball quite well as the ball doesn’t grip much to the pitch but moves after pitching.
Now, in this listicle, let’s take a glimpse at the greatest Pakistani fast bowlers of all time.
1. Imran Khan
Imran Khan was not just a world-class bowler but also a fantastic leader as well. Besides that, he operated as an all-rounder, which made him one of the most complete cricketers. Having played 88 Tests, he took 367 wickets including 23 fifers and scored 3807 runs including 6 centuries and 18 fifties. He took 182 wickets in 175 ODIs including 1 fifer and scored 3709 runs including 1 century and 19 fifties.
2. Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar was the fastest pacer in the history of Pakistan cricket. Popularly known as “Rawalpindi Express”, he was best known for his breathtaking pace. Moreover, he was the first bowler to be recorded bowling at 100 miles per hour, an extraordinary achievement that he unlocked twice in his career. He took 178 wickets in 46 Tests including 12 fifers and took 247 wickets in 163 ODIs including 6 fifers.
3. Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram was widely acknowledged as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time. His contribution to Pakistan cricket has never been in doubt. Moreover, he has been statistically really impressive in numbers in Tests and ODIs. Having played 104 Tests, he took 414 wickets including 25 fifers. On the other hand, he took 502 wickets in 356 ODIs including six fifers to his credit.
4. Waqar Younis
Waqar Younis was also one of the greatest Pakistani fast bowlers of all time. He took 373 wickets from 87 Tests including 22 fifers and 5 ten-wicket-hauls. On the other hand, he took 416 wickets in 262 ODIs including 13 fifers. Nicknamed “Burewala Express”, Waqar Younis was one of the most feared bowlers just like Wasim Akram during the playing days of his career.
5. Aaqib Javed
Aaqib Javed operated as a right-arm fast-medium pace bowler who was best known for his potential to swing the ball both ways. He represented the Pakistan cricket team for a period of 10 years (1988 to 1998). Having played 22 Tests, he accounted for 54 dismissals including one fifer whereas he has taken 182 wickets to his name in 163 One-Day Internationals including four five-wicket-hauls.
6. Sarfraz Nawaz
Sarfraz Nawaz played a substantial role in Pakistan’s first Test series memorable wins over India and England respectively. Notably, the Lahore-born was best known as one of the earliest strong exponents of reverse swing. He went on to represent the Pakistan national cricket team in 55 Tests and 45 ODIs in his cricketing journey. Notably, he took 4 fifers in the longest format of the game.
7. Fazal Mahmood
Fazal Mahmood was a Pakistani fast bowler who represented the national cricket team from 1952 to 1962. He has played as many as 34 Tests in his career wherein he took 139 wickets to his name including 13 fifers. It is worth mentioning that he was the first Pakistani to go past the landmark of 100 wickets in the longest format of the game. He accomplished the landmark in his 22nd Test.
8. Mohammad Amir
Mohammad Amir is one of the top bowling talents who is actively playing the sport in international and domestic cricket. The left-arm pacer’s biggest USP was his potential to swing the ball at a brisk pace. Amir accounted for 119 dismissals from 36 Tests including 4 fifers. On the other hand, he took 81 wickets in 61 ODIs including 1 fifer.
9. Mohammad Asif
Mohammad Asif was touted to be the next big thing in Pakistan cricket given his reputation as a fast bowler. He was one of those bowlers who had a smooth bowling action and he was best known for his potential to swing the ball both ways. Having played 23 Tests, he took 106 wickets. On the other hand, he took 46 wickets in 38 ODIs wherein he took 13 wickets in 11 T20Is.
10. Umar Gul
Umar Gul was one of the productive pace bowlers of the Pakistan cricket team during his playing days. Moreover, he was one of the very few Pakistani fast bowlers who played across all three formats of the game. The former Pakistani pacer took 163 wickets in 47 Tests including four five-wicket-hauls wherein he took 179 wickets in 130 ODIs including two fifers. He took 85 wickets in 60 T20Is including two fifers.