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To understand the culture of fast bowling in Pakistan, look no further than Imran Khan -- once a feared quick, and now the country's prime minister. Not all of Pakistan's pacemen will fly so high, but Khan's rise underlines a tradition where speed is king, and blistering pace is essential for any team. As if to reinforce the point, Pakistan have eight quicks in their man squad for the three-Test series against England, starting on Wednesday, ready to unleash their trademark pace and swing. They carry the baton passed by predecessors such as Khan, left-arm great Wasim Akram and his destructive partner Waqar Younis, the unassuming Aaqib Javed, and Shoaib Akhtar, the feared "Rawalpindi Express" who is considered the fastest bowler in history. The production line is so consistent that when one player goes, another is ready to take over -- as seen in when Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, banned for spot-fixing, were replaced by Junaid Khan, Riaz, Mohammad Irfan, Ehsan Adil and Rahat Ali. Even Amir's decision to retire from Tests at just 27 did not slow Pakistan, as Shaheen became the spearhead and Naseem announced himself with a stunning Test hat-trick. But the steady emergence of quicks -- left-armers, right-armers, even one who is ambidextrous -- raises an obvious question: how does Pakistan keep doing it? Former fast bowler Sarfarz Nawaz, regarded as the pioneer of reverse swing in s, said the factors included Muslim Pakistan's meaty diet -- unlike mainly vegetarian India, once known for its spinners.
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