Cricket, often dubbed a gentleman’s game, has witnessed its fair share of breathtaking moments, with bowlers unleashing thunderbolts that leave batsmen in shock or awe.
Over the years, cricket has witnessed numerous instances when bowlers had the upper hand. Many speed champions have made their mark on the game with blistering deliveries. Some players may be considered the GOAT in cricket, but that determination is subjective and dependent on individual perspectives.
These speedsters delivered some of the fastest balls in cricket history. From toe-crushing yorkers to outright speed cannons, let’s discuss the ten fastest deliveries ever bowled in cricket and explore who holds the title of fastest bowler in the world.
Let’s get started!
Here is the list of the 10 fastest balls ever bowled by top-quality players from all around the globe.
|Shoaib Akhtar||161.3 kmph||Pakistan||2003|
|Shaun Tait||161.1 kmph||Australia||2010|
|Brett Lee||160.8 kmph||Australia||2005|
|Jeff Thomson||160.6 kmph||Australia||1975|
|Mitchell Starc||160.4 kmph||Australia||2015|
|Andy Roberts||159.5 kmph||West Indies||1975|
|Fidel Edwards||157.7 kmph||West Indies||2003|
|Mitchell Johnson||156.8 kmph||Australia||2013|
|Mohammad Sami||156.4 kmph||Pakistan||2003|
|Shane Bond||156.4 kmph||New Zealand||2003|
In the first place, we have Shoaib Akhtar from Pakistan who bowled the fastest delivery ever recorded at a speed of 161.3 kmph. He was a thin right-arm bowler who struck fear into the hearts of even the best batsmen in world cricket in his formative years.
Known as the Rawalpindi Express, Shoaib Akhtar still holds the title of the world’s fastest bowler, and to this day, no one has been able to match or surpass his record. He has taken a total of 444 wickets in international cricket in 244 matches.
Shaun Tait was one of the fastest bowlers on the planet with slingy action and blazing speed. On his best days, he had the ability to run through any batting order with his pace.
He delivered the fastest delivery with a speed of 161.1 kmph in 2010 against England. Despite possessing such exceptional pace, he didn’t have a long career as he appeared in just 59 international matches and took 95 wickets. Nevertheless, whenever he took the field, the opposition would fear the pace and threat posed by the speedster.
The third on the list is Brett Lee, another exceptional Australian cricketer who had the privilege of being part of some formidable Australian teams over the years. Brett Lee holds the record for bowling the third fastest delivery with a speed of 160.8 kmph in 2005 when he was at his peak.
He was part of the 2003 and 2007 World Cup winning teams under the leadership of Ricky Ponting. He quickly rose to the top in international circuits owing to his pinpoint accuracy of yorkers and ferocious velocity. He finished his international career with nearly 700 wickets, a remarkable achievement for any fast bowler.
Additionally, Brett Lee played for Indian Premier League (IPL) as well and delivered some of the most threatening balls. He was not as impactful as he was in International cricket but he surely was one of the most dangerous bowlers in IPL.
Jeff Thomson holds the position of fourth place and played in an era when West Indians made the headlines every time they stepped onto the field. Thomson recorded the fastest delivery in cricket history during that time, with a remarkable speed of 160.6 kmph. He achieved this feat against the West Indies in 1975.
In the era of West Indian fast bowlers, Jeff Thomson carved his own niche and became a renowned speedster with exceptional pace and accuracy. He concluded his extensive international cricket career with 255 wickets in 101 matches.
On number five, we have another Australian with a knack for bowling fast and intimidating the opposition. Mitchell Starc is known for instilling fear among the batters by bowling with accuracy and extreme pace.
Mitchell Starc bowled the fastest bowl in cricket in 2015 against New Zealand with a speed of 160.4 kmph. Known for his in-swinging Yorkers, Starc is the fastest to 150 ODI wickets in internationals. He was also part of the Micheal Clark led Australian team that won the 2015 cricket World Cup. He is still part of the Australian setup and continues to be a threat to opposition players.
Andy Roberts was a West Indian great who played cricket in an era when fast bowling was king. Any Roberts bowled the fastest delivery at that time with a speed of 159.5 kmph.
In the game against Australia in Perth in 1975, a player from Antigua representing the West Indies, Andy Roberts clocked the fastest delivery in the world. By the end of his career, Andy Roberts Played 117 matches, taking 289 wickets in international cricket.
Another West Indian, known for pace and aggression, Fidel Edwards bowled his fastest ball in cricket against South Africa with a speed of 157.7 kmph. Right from the get-go in the international circuit, Fidel Edwards made an impact on the matches he featured in.
He made his debut against Sri Lanka in 2002, picking up five wickets, making a mark and truly arriving at the international scene. Eventually, he played for the West Indies for quite some time and was a dangerous customer for the opponents.
Another fiery fast bowler from Australia made it to this list when he bowled in Ashes 2013. Mitchel Johnson bowled the fastest delivery with 156.8 kmph speed.
He was known for his aggression and dead stares against the opposition players. His bowling was so deadly that it broke the hand of former South African captain Graeme Smith twice. He had an illustrious career playing for Australia where he picked up close to 600 wickets in his international career. He was also awarded the ICC Cricketer of the Year and ICC Test Player of the Year in 2014.
Now, we have another talented Pakistani bowler on this list, Mohammad Sami who debuted in 2001 and ran at a speed of 156.4kmph. The right-arm quick bowler bowled his fastest delivery in 2003 in an ODI against Zimbabwe. He was the second fastest in Pakistan after Shoaib Akhtar.
He started his career in 2001 and ended with 247 wickets in 15 years. Despite experiencing ups and downs throughout his career, which prevented him from being among the top wicket-takers in the world, Sami’s raw pace and tenacity on the field were widely acknowledged.
To finish off the list we have a New Zealander, Shane Bond, who was known for speed and accuracy. Despite not having a long career, Shane Bond did pick up quite a number of wickets.
The right-arm pacer’s fastest ball was against India in the 2003 World Cup at a speed of 156.4 kmph. After that, he was in and out of the team due to persistent injuries. Despite that, Shane Bond managed to pick up more than 250 wickets in International cricket.
So, this concludes the list of bowlers who bowled the top 10 fastest balls in cricket history. All these gentlemen were known for their blazing speeds and tenacity on the field. They left an indelible mark in cricket history with their pace and determination.
Apart from these gentlemen, there have been many other impressive deliveries over the years. Fast bowling is an integral part of cricket and these 10 fastest balls are a testament to the skill, dedication, and talent of these legendary players.
Do share your thoughts on this and tell us who is your favorite from this list.
Ans: Currently, Shoaib Akhtar at 161.3 kmph has the highest bowling speed.
Ans: Shoaib Akhtar bowled the fastest delivery in cricket history at 161.3 kmph. Apart from Shoaib, Shaun Tait, and Brett Lee also clocked 161.1 kmph and 160.8 kmph respectively.
Ans: The name of the world’s fastest bowler is Shoaib Akhtar.