Watching young Mohammad Amir make Ricky Ponting dance to his tune is both a sight and statement. Despite the turmoil in Pakistan cricket, the crop of quality fast bowlers has rarely seen a downswing. Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, the lineage is potent.
So what is it about Pakistan that ensures their supply line is never dry? After all, fast bowling is one of the most gruelling aspects of the game.
It ought to do with genetics. They come across as a tough race with an aggressive streak, which is an indispensable factor to bowl quick.
They are born fighters and that streak ensures that they keep coming back at you. Then, there's a strong culture of playing tennis ball cricket in Pakistan.
But unlike the usual tennis ball, they tape the ball to make it slightly heavier and also to get the swing. Now, you can either be a fast bowler or a batsman to survive in that format, for spinners would be ineffective with a tennis ball.
If you choose to bowl quick, then you must develop a quick arm action, strong shoulders and an even stronger back to generate pace with a ball as light as a tennis ball.
Another thing that I have observed while playing with them in England is that fast bowlers from Pakistan are an extremely confident lot. Perhaps bordering on over-confidence, but I'd rather err on that side if I'm a fast bowler because that very nature, at times, makes you vie for a comeback when all seems lost.
If all these factors do their bit, this seals the deal — the legacy. Their fast bowlers have always been larger than life figures, who inspire millions to take up to the game or follow it. Their persona and flamboyance is what a 10-year-old would want to emulate the most, as a youngster.
The credit should not be given solely to the system, for their meteoric rise is a part of a sustained campaign by the nation as a whole.
Respect and legacy are much bigger incentives than the technical support a nation offers its budding players.
Usain Bolt, the fastest man on the planet, doesn't run for Jamaica but for his village. Guess what, he never had proper shoes to train.
In fact, he would run barefoot on the beach all the time. Resources can surely help but only if there's a genuine concern for talent.
As long as Pakistan as a country can feel proud in the achievements of their pace department , they will keep producing Amir's by the dozen in the days to come.