Free-scoring batsmen delivering blistering knocks by smashing bowlers all over the ground is an exquisite sight for any cricketing fan. However, somewhere along the line, this has done a bit of injustice to the bowlers.
The game of cricket is arguably the hardest for a fast bowler. While we do appreciate their long, bounding run-ups, a number of us fail to see through it to admire their tireless industry. A common, although not entirely correct, metric to measure a fast bowler's efficiency is how fast the pacer can bowl.
Presently, the record of fastest ball in world cricket is proudly held by Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar - also recognized by his nickname ‘Rawalpindi Express’. Akhtar achieved the feat against England on February 22, 2003 in a World Cup match at Newlands, Cape Town in South Africa when he delivered a 161.3 kph (100.2 mph) thunderbolt.
On that note, let's take a look at 5 active bowlers who are capable of surpassing Shoaib Akhtar's said record.
Also read: 5 oldest players in Cricket World Cup 2019
#5 Mark Wood
Mark Wood's physique as a fast bowler downplays his raw, terrifying pace. In 2015, the express bowler turned heads of selectors, allowing him a Test debut against New Zealand. In that series, the English quick continued to intimidate the batsmen with his above-90 mph bowling.
Before the start of World Cup 2019, Wood was paired with England's pace sensation Jofra Archer and the duo has turned out to be a brute force since then. In the series against Pakistan, Wood injured Imam-ul-Haq on the left arm in a match and the Pakistani southpaw had to depart immediately for hospital treatment and an X-ray.
Despite being bogged down with injuries sporadically, Wood continues to be a key component of the England bowling lineup. Maybe if the 29-year-old can maintain his fitness, we might see him dethrone Shoaib Akhtar someday.
Also read – World cup all time records