Top 10 Best Fastest Bowlers In Cricket History

Top 10 Best Fastest Bowlers in Cricket History- The world of cricket has witnessed the emergence of many fast bowlers who have left an indelible mark on the sport’s history. These speed demons have consistently terrorized batsmen with their blistering pace, swing, and ability to generate bounce from the pitch. They are the true gladiators of the game, capable of instilling fear in even the most accomplished batsmen. In this article, we will delve into the rich history of cricket to unveil the top 10 fastest bowlers ever to grace the sport.

Top 10 Best Fastest Bowlers in Cricket History

In the game of cricket, bowlers play a pivotal role as they aim to dismiss the opposition’s batsmen and restrict their runs. Among these top 10 fastest bowlers, the fastest ones are often the most feared. Speed is a critical weapon in a bowler’s arsenal, capable of intimidating even the most skilled batsmen. The fastest bowlers in history have consistently bowled at speeds exceeding 150 kilometers per hour (93 miles per hour), with some even touching the 160-kilometer-per-hour (99-miles-per-hour) mark. These express pacemen have the ability to swing the ball, extract bounce from the pitch, and pose a serious challenge to batsmen. Their contributions have made them legendary figures in the world of cricket.

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Best Fastest Bowlers in Cricket History Overview

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List Of Top Fastest Bowlers in Cricket History

Rank Bowler Country Recorded Speed (KPH)
1 Shoaib Akhtar Pakistan 161.3
2 Brett Lee Australia 161.1
3 Shaun Tait Australia 161.1
4 Jeff Thomson Australia 160.6
5 Mitchell Starc Australia 160.4
6 Andy Roberts West Indies 159.5
7 Fidel Edwards West Indies 157.7
8 Dale Steyn South Africa 156.2
9 Mitchell Johnson Australia 156.1
10 Allan Donald South Africa 155.7
11 Lasith Malinga Sri Lanka 155.7
12 Mohammad Sami Pakistan 155.3
13 Mohammad Hasnain Pakistan 155.2
14 Anil Kumble India 154.4
15 Shoaib Akhtar (Again) Pakistan 154.0

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Top 10 Greatest Fast Bowlers of All Time in Cricket History

1. Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar, famously known as the “Rawalpindi Express,” is a cricketing legend from Pakistan. His bowling prowess was characterized by sheer speed, consistently sending the cricket ball thundering down the pitch at velocities that often exceeded 160 kilometers per hour. Akhtar’s blistering pace and aggressive approach to fast bowling instilled fear in the hearts of batsmen around the world.

Name Shoaib Akhtar
Date of Birth August 13, 1975
Nationality Pakistani
Role Right-arm Fast Bowler
Height 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 meters)
Nickname Rawalpindi Express
Teams Pakistan
Debut Test Debut: November 29, 1997<br>ODI Debut: November 28, 1997
Fastest Ball Recorded at 161.3 km/h (100.23 mph) against England in 2003
Career Span 1997 – 2011 (International)
Career Stats Tests: Matches – 46, Wickets – 178 ODIs: Matches – 163, Wickets – 247

2. Brett Lee

Brett Lee, known for his lightning-fast deliveries, was a prominent Australian fast bowler. He possessed raw pace, often clocking over 150 km/h. Lee played a crucial role in Australia’s dominance in international cricket during his career. He took 310 wickets in Tests and 380 wickets in ODIs, making him one of Australia’s leading wicket-takers.

Name Brett Lee
Date of Birth November 8, 1976
Nationality Australian
Role Right-arm Fast Bowler
Height 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 meters)
Teams Australia
Debut Test Debut: December 26, 1999<br>ODI Debut: January 9, 1999
Fastest Ball Recorded at 161.1 km/h (100.07 mph)
Career Span 1999 – 2012 (International)
Career Stats Tests: Matches – 76, Wickets – 310 ODIs: Matches – 221, Wickets – 380


3. Dennis Lillee

Dennis Lillee, one of the finest Australian fast bowlers, was renowned for his exceptional skills and consistency. He played a significant role in establishing Australia as a cricketing powerhouse. Lillee’s career spanned from the 1970s to the early ’80s, during which he took 355 Test wickets.

Name Dennis Lillee
Date of Birth July 18, 1949
Nationality Australian
Role Right-arm Fast Bowler
Height 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 meters)
Teams Australia
Debut Test Debut: January 29, 1971<br>ODI Debut: December 9, 1971
Fastest Ball Recorded at 154.8 km/h (96.2 mph)
Career Span 1971 – 1984 (International)
Career Stats Tests: Matches – 70, Wickets – 355 ODIs: Matches – 63, Wickets – 103

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4. Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram, often referred to as the “Sultan of Swing,” was a legendary Pakistani fast bowler. His ability to swing the ball both ways and deliver deadly yorkers made him a nightmare for batsmen. Akram remains one of Pakistan’s greatest cricketing icons.

Name Wasim Akram
Date of Birth June 3, 1966
Nationality Pakistani
Role Left-arm Fast Bowler
Height 6 feet (1.83 meters)
Teams Pakistan
Debut Test Debut: January 25, 1985<br>ODI Debut: November 23, 1984
Fastest Ball Recorded at 156.4 km/h (97.1 mph)
Career Span 1984 – 2003 (International)
Career Stats Tests: Matches – 104, Wickets – 414 ODIs: Matches – 356, Wickets – 502

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5. Glenn McGrath

Glenn McGrath

Glenn McGrath, an Australian fast bowler, was known for his accuracy and ability to extract bounce from the pitch. He played a pivotal role in Australia’s success in both Test and ODI formats, being part of multiple World Cup-winning squads.

Name Glenn McGrath
Date of Birth February 9, 1970
Nationality Australian
Role Right-arm Fast-Medium Bowler
Height 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 meters)
Teams Australia
Debut Test Debut: November 12, 1993<br>ODI Debut: December 9, 1993
Fastest Ball Recorded at 152.5 km/h (94.7 mph)
Career Span 1993 – 2007 (International)
Career Stats Tests: Matches – 124, Wickets – 563 ODIs: Matches – 250, Wickets – 381

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6. Waqar Younis

Waqar Younis, a Pakistani fast bowler, is renowned for his ability to swing the ball both ways at high speeds. He formed a formidable partnership with Wasim Akram, and the duo was often referred to as the “Two Ws.” Waqar made a significant impact in international cricket and was a nightmare for batsmen. Waqar Younis’ ability to swing the ball late and consistently bowl at high speeds made him one of the most feared fast bowlers in cricket history.

Name Waqar Younis
Date of Birth November 16, 1971
Nationality Pakistani
Role Right-arm Fast Bowler
Height 6 feet (1.83 meters)
Teams Pakistan
Debut Test Debut: November 15, 1989<br>ODI Debut: October 14, 1989
Fastest Ball Recorded at 149.6 km/h (93 mph)
Career Span 1989 – 2003 (International)
Career Stats Tests: Matches – 87, Wickets – 373 ODIs: Matches – 262, Wickets – 416


7. Kapil Dev

Kapil Dev, an Indian cricket legend, was a versatile cricketer known for his fast bowling, aggressive batting, and exceptional fielding skills. He led the Indian cricket team to its first-ever World Cup victory in 1983. Kapil Dev’s incredible all-round abilities and his leadership on the field have made him an iconic figure in Indian cricket.

Name Kapil Dev
Date of Birth January 6, 1959
Nationality Indian
Role Right-arm Fast Bowler
Height 6 feet (1.83 meters)
Teams India
Debut Test Debut: October 16, 1978<br>ODI Debut: October 1, 1978
Fastest Ball Notable for his seam and swing bowling
Career Span 1978 – 1994 (International)
Career Stats Tests: Matches – 131, Wickets – 434, Runs – 5,248 ODIs: Matches – 225, Wickets – 253, Runs – 3,783

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8. Richard Hadlee

Richard Hadlee, a New Zealand cricketer, is celebrated for his exceptional fast bowling and his contributions to New Zealand cricket. He was a pioneer of swing and seam bowling and remains one of the greatest cricketers from New Zealand. Richard Hadlee’s ability to swing and seam the ball, coupled with his remarkable batting, made him an iconic figure in New Zealand cricket.

Name Richard Hadlee
Date of Birth July 3, 1951
Nationality New Zealander
Role Right-arm Fast Bowler
Height 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 meters)
Teams New Zealand
Debut Test Debut: February 2, 1973<br>ODI Debut: February 11, 1973
Fastest Ball Recorded at 150.5 km/h (93.5 mph)
Career Span 1973 – 1990 (International)
Career Stats Tests: Matches – 86, Wickets – 431, Runs – 3,124 ODIs: Matches – 115, Wickets – 158, Runs – 1,751


9. Dale Steyn

Dale Steyn, a South African fast bowler, is widely regarded as one of the best fast bowlers of the modern era. Known for his express pace and ability to generate lethal swing, Steyn terrorized batsmen around the world. Dale Steyn’s sheer pace, consistency, and ability to deliver in all formats of the game make him one of the greatest fast bowlers in cricket history.

Name Dale Steyn
Date of Birth June 27, 1983
Nationality South African
Role Right-arm Fast Bowler
Height 6 feet (1.83 meters)
Teams South Africa
Debut Test Debut: December 17, 2004<br>ODI Debut: August 17, 2005
Fastest Ball Recorded at 155.7 km/h (96.7 mph)
Career Span 2004 – 2019 (International)
Career Stats Tests: Matches – 93, Wickets – 439 ODIs: Matches – 125, Wickets – 196


10. Mitchell Starc

Mitchell Starc is an Australian left-arm fast bowler known for his fiery pace and deadly swing. He has consistently been one of the leading fast bowlers in international cricket, terrorizing batsmen with his ability to extract both conventional and reverse swing. Mitchell Starc’s express pace, ability to generate late swing, and his knack for picking up crucial wickets have made him an integral part of the Australian cricket team.

Name Mitchell Starc
Date of Birth January 30, 1990
Nationality Australian
Role Left-arm Fast Bowler
Height 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 meters)
Teams Australia
Debut Test Debut: December 1, 2011<br>ODI Debut: October 20, 2010
Fastest Ball Recorded at 160.4 km/h (99.7 mph)
Career Span 2010 – Present (International)
Career Stats Tests:Matches – 71, Wickets – 324 ODIs:Matches – 99,Wickets – 184

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Fast bowlers have always held a special place. Their ability to send thunderbolts down the pitch, intimidate batsmen with sheer pace, and swing the ball both ways has often been the difference between victory and defeat for their teams. The top 10 fastest bowlers in cricket history, from Shoaib Akhtar’s “Rawalpindi Express” to Dale Steyn’s relentless precision, have left an indelible mark on the sport.

These bowlers have set records, broken barriers, and made cricket fans across the globe fall in love with their craft. They are a testament to the enduring fascination of pace bowling in cricket and have inspired generations of fast bowlers to emulate their heroes.


Who is the fastest bowler in the history of cricket?

Shoaib Akhtar holds the record for the fastest delivery bowled in the history of cricket, clocking in at 161.3 km/h (100.23 mph) during a match against England in 2003.

Which bowler has the most wickets in international cricket?

Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka is the leading wicket-taker in international cricket, with a staggering 1,347 wickets across all formats.

Who is considered the best swing bowler of all time?

Many cricket experts consider Wasim Akram of Pakistan as the greatest swing bowler in the history of the game, known for his ability to move the ball both ways at will.

Who are some of the contemporary fast bowlers to watch out for?

ome of the rising fast bowling talents to keep an eye on include Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan), Jofra Archer (England), and Jasprit Bumrah (India), among others. These bowlers have shown immense promise and are expected to shape the future of fast bowling in cricket.

How important are fast bowlers in cricket?

Fast bowlers play a crucial role in cricket, especially in the longer formats. They can extract bounce, swing, and seam movement, making it challenging for batsmen to score runs. Additionally, their ability to take wickets quickly can change the course of a game.

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