The greatest left-arm bowler of all time and among the very greatest of any kind, ever. Akram had everything you could ask for in a fast bowler: pace, swing and cut, brains, brawn. Imran Khan said he was the most naturally gifted bowler he had seen and who are we to argue? Akram was a good enough batsman as well to be considered an allrounder. He remains Pakistan's leading Test wicket-taker, the only one with over 400 victims.
Imran transformed himself from a middling medium-pacer to one of the foremost, most complete fast bowlers the world has seen. At his peak, in the late 70s and early 80s, he was also one of the quickest. He reverse-swung the old ball viciously, bent the new one like a banana, and in his youth, happily and successfully engaged in the bouncer wars of the era. He also had the most athletic, awe-inspiring action to boot. His 12-wicket haul in Sydney in 1976 arguably changed the face of Pakistan fast bowling and cricket forever.
Few fast bowlers around the world have been capable of as much instant destruction as Waqar. When he burst onto the scene in the early 90s, he was the quickest bowler around and reverse-swung the ball with greater effect than even Imran and Wasim. Proof of his destructive qualities lies in the remarkable statistic that no bowler with over 200 Test wickets has a better strike rate than him; once he got going, at his peak, he was difficult to stop. The majority of his wickets were bowled or leg-before. Even after losing his pace, he transformed himself into a very good new-ball bowler.
Sarfraz is the father of modern-day reverse swing and was one of the smartest bowlers Pakistan has produced. He didn't have the pace of an Imran or a Waqar, but his nous with the new ball was enough to see him through. He was an essential part of Pakistan's advance in the 70s, forming a very formidable new-ball pair with Imran, and always had the attitude of an out-and-out quick: he was easily drawn into bouncer wars. He remains a vastly underrated link in the chain that joins Fazal to the modern-day greats.
Though his career has been ravaged by injuries and scandal, on good days Shoaib could be as dangerous as any modern-day fast bowler. He was always frighteningly quick, but as he got older, he also became much smarter with the ball. He swung the new ball out and brought the old one back in and developed, late in the day, an excellent loopy slower ball.
Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo