No matter whether it’s Dennis Lilly, Michael Holding, Courtney Walsh, Bob Willis, Kapil Dev, Alan Donald, Imran Khan, Richard Hadlee, Jeff Thompson, or Wasim Akram, fast bowlers have always been notorious among the batsmen for destroying the batting line ups. Nothing is more exciting than witnessing a fast bowler sprinting towards the batsmen and bowling them out. Fast bowlers from the very early days of cricket have been the trump cards for any fielding team. The fast bowlers have probably won more matches for their teams than spinners. Teams like West Indies and Pakistan are in fact renowned for their destructive fast bowlers.
Unlike spin bowling the fast bowling department has never gone through a rough patch; there is at least one fast bowler in every era that can destroy the whole batting line up on his own. During the early 70’s West Indian fast bowlers literally blown everything away with their pace and won their team two consecutive world cups. Even in recent times bowlers like Glenn Mc Grath (Australia), Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka), Zaheer Khan (India), Brett Lee (Australia), and Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis from Pakistan have played a major role in many successes of their teams. These bowlers at their best were worse nightmares for the opposing batsmen. The current era has also seen some noticeable names in the fast bowling department. Bowlers like Brett Lee and Shoaib Akhtar have got great fame as express fast bowlers and have taken many wickets with their lethal deliveries some of them touching 150 KPH mark.
A good Fast bowler is unarguably the most important asset for any team and this is why each team strives to get the best possible option in its fast bowling department. You will probably see teams without having a spinner however it is very rare that you will find an International cricket team without a fast bowler regardless of the pitch conditions.
Here is video footage of the fast bowler's competition held back in 1979. Some of the best fast bowlers of that era participated in the competition.