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The top five fastest bowlers in cricket history

Mitchell Starc.
  • The high pace is one of the most valuable things in cricket. 
  • Clocking the 90 mph is quite difficult for cricket players. 
  • A bowler is ranked amongst the fastest if they can clock the upper 90s. 

Cricket is one of the oldest games in the world. It is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field. The game gets interesting when the bowler propels the ball from one end of the pitch towards the wicket at the other end of the pitch. 

Express pace is one of the most valuable things in cricket. It is quite difficult to surpass the 90 mph barrier as it can cause great strain on the body. That is why brilliant bowlers don’t come around too often, and they don’t last long when they do. 

Serious quick bowling transcends all the four formats in cricket and can be priceless to a captain. There are very few cricket players who are capable of clocking 90 mph. However, a bowler is ranked amongst the best in the world if they can clock the upper 90s on the field. 

This article will look at the fastest bowlers to ever play the game. 

1. Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar is in the history books as one of the greatest cricket players of all time. It should not be surprising to see Shoaib Akhtar ranked as the fastest bowler in cricket. 

Akhtar was a star at international stage in the 1990s. The Pakistani played the game with passion and a searing pace. His right arm quickly tore off a lengthy run-up as he became the first bowler to break the 100 mph barrier. 

Akhtar set the record at Newlands in the 2003 World Cup as Pakistan faced England. He left many fans talking after he clocked 100.2 mph. 

Akhtar, nicknamed ‘The Rawalpindi Express’, retired from international cricket after the 2011 World Cup. However, no player has broken his bowling record. It might take some years before a cricket player breaks Shoaib Akhtar’s record. 

2. Shaun Tait

Shaun Tait is one of the fastest bowlers in the game’s history. The Australian international saved his fastest delivery in an ODI at Lord’s, the Home of Cricket, during a match between Australia and England. He reached a speed of 100.1 mph, one of the only two recorded balls to have broken the 100 mph barrier.

Shaun Tait

Shaun Tait. Photo/ Republican Worldwide

Tait played just three Tests for the Australian national team, where he took five wickets. He took 28 in 21 T20Is, and 62 in 35 ODIs. His greatest contribution came in T20 franchise cricket-playing in tournaments worldwide. 

Tait is currently the head coach of the Pakistan national cricket team.

3. Brett Lee

Brett Lee is the third fastest bowler on the list. The legendary cricket player was part of the early 2000s Australian team that many consider one of the greatest sides of all time. 

The Australian international played with some of the best cricket players in history, such as Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. Lee was able to attract attention due to his express pace. He was so vital to the success of his country in cricket.  

His fastest delivery came in 2005 when Australia were playing against New Zealand. He clocked it at 99.9 mph and nearly broke the 100 mph barrier. 

He has an excellent Test record of 310 wickets at 30.81. A good number of cricket fans consider Lee one of his generation’s greatest ODI bowlers. 

4. Jeff Thomson

Jeff Thomson is one of the biggest names in the cricket world. The Australian’s name is enough to strike fear into the hearts of some England fans to date. He terrorized batters in the 70s and 80s, particularly on the hard pitches down under. 

Some cricket fans consider Jeff Thomson, the fastest bowler of all time. This is because he claimed that he reached 180 kph. However, his quickest recorded ball was 160.6 kph in a fast bowling study in 1976. 

His 12-year Test career saw him take 200 wickets in 51 matches. 

5. Mitchell Starc 

Mitchell Starc is the only bowler on this list who is still playing. He is also most recent in a long line of ferocious Australian fast bowlers. He is a pillar in Australia’s bowling attacks in all three formats. 

The Australian international who uses his left arm clocked 160.4 kph in a Test against New Zealand in 2015. 

He is a nightmare for opposing battling line-ups due to the bounce generated by his height, ability to swing the ball and the pace of his left arm.

Mitchell Starc.

Mitchell Starc. Photo/ Cricket Addictor

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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