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Top 10 fastest bowlers in the history of cricket

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Ritabrata Banerjee

Glenn McGrath is the most successful Test bowler of all-time, but he isn't the fastest green top, bouncy pitches are a paradise for fast bowlers. But especially so, for the following set of bowlers who used speed as their primary weapon. Unlike bowlers who made use of a variety of skills, like swing and variation of pace, these bowlers terrorized opposing batsman thanks to the sheer speed of their deliveries. So who was the fastest bowler of all-time? Does any current bowler make it into this list? We at Sportskeeda decided to list the top 10 fastest bowlers in the history of world cricket.

10. Shane Bond(Fastest ball: 156.4 kmph)

This Kiwi fast bowler was an incredible talent who got noticed at the early stages of his career for his speed. But Bond was plagued by many injuries which affected the longevity of his career. He still managed to pick quite a few wickets in his career and was considered to be a big threat by many batsmen around the world.

Bond’s fastest delivery was 156.4 kmph during the World Cup in 2003.

9. Mohammad Sami(Fastest ball: 156.4 kmph)

Mohammad Sami is the second fastest bowler in the history of Pakistan cricket. He came into the limelight at the very beginning of his career but could not last long in international cricket due to a series of injuries and bad form. His fastest delivery, 156.4 kmph was against Zimbabwe in April 2003.

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8. Mitchell Johnson(Fastest ball: 156.8 kmph)

Mitchell Johnson is the first of a few Australian fast bowlers to feature in our list of fastest bowlers of all time. While he enjoys playing against England, his record in Tests suggests that there are few countries against whom he doesn’t play well. Given his liking for English batsmen, it is no surprise to note that his fastest ball came against them.

His fastest delivery was clocked at 156.8 kmph against England in December 2013 at MCG.

7. Fidel Edwards(Fastest ball: 157.7 kmph)

Fidel Edwards is the second fastest West Indian bowler of all-time. His fastest delivery of 157.7 kmph came against South Africa in 2003. He held the record of being the fastest current bowler until a certain Australian came along and bowled a thunderbolt in 2015.

6. Andy Roberts(Fastest ball: 159.5 kmph)

This former West Indian fast bowler was a part of the legendary four-headed fast bowling attack of West Indies in the 1970s. Roberts was the fastest among all and was one of the most feared bowlers of his era. His fastest delivery was 159.5 kph against Australia in Perth 1975.

5. Mitchell Starc(Fastest ball: 160.4 kmph)

Coming into this list, courtesy of a thunderbolt against New Zealand in the second Test at the WACA is Mitchell Starc. The unfortunate batsmen, who was at the receiving end was Ross Taylor, who kept out a vicious yorker from Starc, which is the second-fastest delivery in the history of Tests.

Renowned for his ability to bowl fast, in-swining yorkers, Starc reaffirmed the belief that he is the fastest bowler currently playing the game. Unfortunately for him, he isn’t even the fastest Australian bowler nor did he deliver the fastest ball at the WACA. That honour goes to the bowler directly above him in this list.

4. Jeff Thomson(Fastest ball: 160.6 kmph)

Legendary Australian fast bowler Jeff Thomson was known for his incredible speed. He was the fastest bowler of his era. Thomson recorded 160.6 kmph against West Indies in Perth 1975.

3. Shaun Tait(Fastest ball: 161.1 kmph)

Shaun Tait came into international cricket with a lot of promise. He made his debut in 2007 and soon came in the limelight due to his unbelievable speed. But unfortunately, he decided to retire from international cricket at the age of 28 in 2011 as he was plagued by a series of injuries.

Tait bowled his fastest delivery of 161.1 kmph against England.

2. Brett Lee(Fastest ball: 161.1 kmph)

This Australian speedster is considered to be one of the best fast bowlers of all time. He had incredible speed and was an impeccable wicket-taking bowler. Unlike his contemporary speedsters, the longevity of his career was enviable.

Lee’s fastest delivery was 161.8 kmph against West Indies at Brisbane in 2003.

Channel Nine later came up with a correction stating that their recording for 161.8km/h was indeed a mistake. His fastest delivery is officially recorded at 161.1km/h, the one against New Zealand in 2005.

1. Shoaib Akhtar(Fastest ball: 161.3 kmph)

Shoaib Akhtar, popularly known as 'Rawalpindi Express' is considered to be the fastest bowler in the world. He clocked a speed of 161.3 kmph against England in 2003 World Cup making it one of the fastest ball in the cricket history. His average bowling speed varied between 145 to 150 kmph.


Edited by Staff Editor
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