Some call it a gentleman’s game, while others call it a boring game. However, cricket has established itself as a sport widely practiced and enjoyed worldwide. For true fans, analysts and cricket enthusiasts, cricket is a game of many arts – there is a lot of technique involved in batting and bowling. Some of the greatest athletes in sports history grace the game of cricket – Sachin Tendulkar, Donald Bradman, Brian Lara, Wasim Akram are just a few names that come to mind; but none, in general, was more extravagant than fast-food eaters with their audacious rhythm at its peak.
Fast bowling requires art and skill. Many fast rollers can be seen by many as stereotypes, bowling without much thought, but over the decades the game has shown that mastering the art of high-speed, high-speed bowling requires more big heart and quick brain as opposed to pure talent. In today’s competitive cricket, the main concern of fast players has been injuries and setbacks that tend to affect their regular performance on the pitch. Shane Bond’s case is a good example; a super talented fast player from New Zealand whose career was at its peak due to injuries.
With a fast bowling, a player aims mainly to throw the ball with force and speed, so that it bounces erratically off the field or moves to the sides, making the batters’ action very difficult. The typical range for fast delivery is between 137 and 153 km / h. Some fast players tend to vary their pace to confuse the batsman. Some sacrifice part of their rhythm to maintain length and line, but for others, absolute rhythm is the only way to go.
10 Lasith Malinga – Sri Lanka – 155, 7 km / h (96, 747 mph)
Right-hand rhythm player, Lasith Malinga is considered by many to be one of the fastest players in the world. Making his debut in 2004, Sri Lanka made his name as one of the most consistent artists in the world of cricket. Malinga is an expert on fast launchers; with a rare round-arm action, he developed different variations and techniques, including the slow yorker. Its fastest delivery so far, 155.7 km / h, was recorded during the 2011 World Cup against New Zealand in Mumbai.
9 Dale Steyn – Africa do Sul – 155.7 km / h (96.747 mph)
In the modern age of cricket, Dale Steyn is cited by many as the number one player in Test Cricket. He has established himself as one of the most aggressive players, with an excellent ability to play in line and length, something that many fast players find difficult to maintain. He made his debut in South Africa in 2004. The player’s peak speed on his right arm was recorded at 155.7 km / h against New Zealand; the same record makes Steyn the second fastest player in cricket.
8 Shane Bond – New Zealand – 156.4 km / h (97, 182 mph)
New Zealand’s fastest player, Shane Bond is cited by many as the best player in the country after Richard Hadlee. He started his career in 2001 against Australia, and made his name instantly with his pace and precision. His name was enough to confuse any batsman in ODI matches, but, unfortunately, the 38-year-old became injury-prone and failed to reach greater heights. During the 2001/02 season, Bond became the first player to record a speed of 150 km / h. Its fastest delivery is 156.4 km / h, recorded during the 2003 ICC World Cup against India.
7 Mohammad Sami – Pakistan – 156, 4 km / h (97, 182 mph)
Mohammad Sami is a fast player with a right arm, famous for his moving Yorkers and low pitch security. He made his debut in 2001 against New Zealand and managed 8 wickets in the same match. This made him play frequently on the Pakistani team, which always boasted of many good players, competing for the eleven players. Later, Sami was unable to live up to the expectations and exaggerations that surrounded him; his bowling was decent and fast, but it lacked precision in terms of line and length. The delivery of 156, 4 km / h of the 33-year-old against Zimbabwe in Sharjah, in April 2003, makes him the seventh fastest player of all time and the second fastest in the history of cricket in Pakistan.
6 Fidel Edwards – West Indies – 157, 7 km / h (97, 99 mph)
Fidel Edwards made his name from a very young age, with his high arm action and fast deliveries. Shortly after a game for Barbados, he made his test cricket debut against Sri Lanka; he was also seen on the networks by Brian Lara. He played bowling like Malinga’s, but he didn’t have very precise control over his pace. The best numbers in Edwards’ 6/22 career in 7 overs came on his ODI debut against Zimbabwe. Its fastest delivery was recorded at 157.7 km / h against South Africa in 2003.
5 Andy Roberts – West Indies – 159.5 km / h (99, 109 mph)
One of the greatest players of all time, Andy Roberts was an excellent fast player, with tremendous pace and strength. He debuted at the West Indies in 1974 and, together with Colin Croft, Michael Holding and Joel Garner, made the renowned Fearsome Four. Roberts was one of the most dangerous pace players of the 1970s and early 1980s, and was part of the 1975 and 1979 World Cup-winning West Indies team. His fastest delivery is 159.5 km / h, recorded against Australia in Perth, 1975.
4 Jeffrey Thompson – Austrália – 160, 4 km / h (99.668 mph)
During the 1970s, Jeffrey Thompson, alongside Deniss Lillee, were two of the fastest players in the world in cricket. The combination of the two made them the fastest opening pair in the history of the cricket test. Thompson made his debut in 1972 and, over the years, has been admired by everyone for his pace and cited by his colleagues as the fastest player in the world. He claimed 200 wickets in just 50 test matches he played. Thompson’s fastest speed of 160.4 km / h was recorded against the West Indies in Perth 1975.
3 Shaun Tait – Australia – 160, 7 km / h (99.854 mph)
Shaun Tait’s career began in 2005 and it is believed that many have played some of the fastest balls in the history of cricket. Although he was not accurate to a certain extent, Tait consistently reached the 150 km / h mark in almost every game he played. His career did not last long, and he soon retired from ODI testing and cricket. During an ODI game against Pakistan in Melbourne in 2010, Tait’s delivery was recorded at 160, 7 km / h. This makes him the third fastest player in cricket, the second-fastest in Australian cricket, and the record itself remains the fastest ball ever launched on an Australian pitch.
2 Brett Lee – Austrália – 160, 8 km / h (99, 854 mph)
Brett Lee is the fastest player in Australian cricket history. His fast speed record of 160, 8 km / h against New Zealand in Napier 2005, makes him the second fastest player in the history of cricket. However, its fastest bowl was recorded at 161, 8 km / h; this would make him the fastest player in the history of cricket, but the registration was made in an unofficial game and is not recognized by the ICC. Lee was an expert at swinging and swinging. He was also a low-order batsman and an athletic defender in general. The constant tension in his shoulders and other injuries limited Lee’s career. He was a key player on two Australian World Cup winning teams.
1 Shoaib Akhtar – Pakistan – 161, 3 km / h (100, 23 mph)
Nicknamed Rawalpindi Express, Shoaib Akhtar is the first name that comes to mind for cricket enthusiasts when it comes to speed. Making his debut in 1977, the Pakistani gained fame when he took Sachin Tendulkar from the first ball the batter faced with a brilliant Yorker. He dropped many other great batsmen during the late 90s and was considered the most fearsome player of his time to play. Akhtar was the first player to reach the 160 km / h mark and, throughout his career, he played at a fast average pace of 158 km / h. His delivery of 161, 3 km / h against England at the 2003 World Cup was officially named as the fastest cup ever recorded in cricket.