Cricket is often regarded as the batsman's game. On seldom occasions, bowlers tend to have an upper hand despite shorter boundaries, large-sized bats which aid to make life easier for the batsman. However, many fast bowlers in the past have made their mark with a few of their weapons namely pace, swing, and bounce. While pace for most batters these days is not a huge concern, still a few tearaway fast bowlers have managed to rattle teams with their speed coupled with accuracy.
The world has seen some of the fastest bowlers who have troubled even the best in the business. Fast bowling is a tough art to master and some express bowlers have shown their ability to bowl consistently in upwards of 90 miles per hour.
List of All-time Fastest bowlers in Cricket History | Top-10
|1.||Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan)||161.3 km/hr (100.2 mph)||England|
|2.||Brett Lee (Australia)||161.1 km/hr (100.1 mph)||New Zealand|
|3.||Shaun Tait (Australia)||161.1 km/hr (100.1 mph)||England|
|4.||Jeff Thomson (Australia)||160.6 km/hr (99.8 mph)||West Indies|
|5.||Mitchell Starc (Australia)||160.4 km/hr (99.7 mph)||New Zealand|
|6.||Andy Roberts (West Indies)||159.5 km/hr (99.1 mph)||Australia|
|7.||Fidel Edwards (West Indies)||157.7 km/hr (97.9 mph)||South Africa|
|8.||Mitchell Johnson (Australia)||156.8 km/hr (97.4 mph)||England|
|9.||Mohammad Sami (Pakistan)||156.4 km/hr (97.1 mph)||Zimbabwe|
|10.||Shane Bond (New Zealand)||156.4 km/hr (97.1 mph)||India|
Here's a detailed look at the list of top-10 fastest bowlers of all-time:
10. Shane Bond (New Zealand ) – 156.4 km/hr
Shane Bond was a fast, destructive, and fearsome pace bowler for New Zealand. In a career marred with injuries, Bond struggled with his longevity in the game. In the World Cup 2003 against India, the Kiwi pacer bowled his fastest ball at a speed of 156.4 km/hr. He took 87 Test wickets, 147 ODI wickets, and 27 T20I wickets in his bowling career for the BlackCaps.
9. Mohammad Sami (Pakistan) – 156.4 km/hr
Mohammad Sami is the 2nd fastest bowler for Pakistan in their cricket history. Known for his pace and swing, Sami has unofficially bowled the fastest delivery in cricket at a speed of 164 km/h (101.9 mph) during an ODI. However, it was later identified as a fault in the speed meter by the cricket officials. Sami did deliver his fastest ball clocked at 156.4 km/hr against Zimbabwe in the ODI series of 2003. Sami took 85 Test wickets and 121 ODI wickets during his bowling career for Pakistan.
8. Mitchell Johnson (Australia) – 156.8 km/hr
Mitchell Johnson was undoubtedly one of the most destructive pacers in the world. During his prime, he was a runaway match-winner for Australia. The left-arm quick bowled his fastest delivery in the 2013 Ashes at MCG clocking 156.8 km/hr. Mitchell Johnson has 313 Test wickets and 239 ODI wickets in his cricket career for Australia. Johnson played a crucial role in guiding the home team to an Ashes win with 37 wickets in 2013. The Queensland-bowler was also a part of Australia's World Cup triumph in 2015.
7. Fidel Edwards (West Indies) – 157.7 km/hr
The West Indian pace bowler Fidel Edwards made his debut in 2003. His burst onto the scene was marked with much hype touting him as one of the fastest bowlers in the world. Fidel bowled his fastest delivery against South Africa where the Caribbean speedster clocked 157.7 km/hr. He had a very round-arm action was often regarded as one of the toughest bowlers to pick from the hand.
However, the right-arm pacer didn't have a huge impact at the highest level. He took 165 Test wickets and 60 ODI wickets in his active bowling career for West Indies. The 39-year old has even earned a T20I call-up for the home series against Sri Lanka in 2021.
6. Andy Roberts (West Indies) – 159.5 km/hr
Andy Roberts was part of the legendary West Indian quartet during the late 1970s and the early 80s. His fastest delivery of 159.5 km/hr came against Australia in Perth in the year 1975. Roberts was the first Antiguan who represented West Indies at the international level. He was part of the West Indies World Cup Winning squad in 1975 and 1979. The pace bowler picked a total of 202 Test wickets and 87 ODI wickets during his playing career for the West Indies.
5. Mitchell Starc (Australia) – 160.4 km/hr
Mitchell Starc is part of the elite list of left-arm bowlers to have played the game at the highest level. The Australian pacer was the highest wicket-taker in two consecutive 50-over World Cups in 2015 and 2019. The speedster bowled his fastest delivery at 160.4 km/hr in a Test match against New Zealand at Perth.
The 31-year old has picked 255 Test wickets and 184 ODI wickets in his career so far. Despite witnessing a dip in his recent performances, Starc happens to be one of Australia's premier pacers in the Test format.
4. Jeffrey Thomson (Australia) – 160.6 km/hr
Jeff Thomson was a dreadful sight for any batter during his prime. The former Australian made life miserable for most batters during his tenure as an Australian cricketer. He instilled fear in the minds of the opposition with his sheer pace coupled with enormous consistency. He delivered his fastest delivery at a speed of 160.6 km/hr against West Indies at Perth in 1975. Partnering with Dennis Lillee, Thomson would make for the most fearsome fast bowling duo during the 1974-75 season. He took 200 Test wickets and 55 ODI wickets between 1972 to 1985.
3. Shaun Tait (Australia) – 161.1 km/hr
Known for his erratic bowling, Shaun Tait didn't witness enough success at the international level for Australia. However, he was one of the quickest bowlers during the 2010s. He could only play three Tests and 35 ODIs for Australia between 2004 and 2016. He bowled his fastest delivery against England. The ball was delivered at a speed of 161.1 km/hr. The right-arm pacer even breached the 100mph barrier against Pakistan in a T20I game at Melbourne later in his career.
2. Brett Lee (Australia) – 161.1 km/hr
Brett Lee was the fastest Australian bowler in history and the second-fastest bowler of all time. The New South Wales player a formidable Australian line-up during the early 2000s. He was a regular feature along with the likes of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. Apart from his accuracy, it was his menacing pace that troubled most batters against him. He crossed the 10o miles barrier to deliver his fastest delivery at 161.1 km/hr against New Zealand in 2005 at Napier.
The 44-year old was a crucial part of Australia's World Cup-winning campaign in 2003 and 2007. In the 2007 T20 World Cup, Brett even became the first bowler to claim a hat-trick in a T20I match. In a glorious career that spanned over nearly 13 years, Lee grabbed nearly 700 international wickets for Australia.
1. Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan) – 161.3 kmph
Known as the ‘Rawalpindi Express', Shoaib Akhtar is the fastest bowler the world of cricket has ever seen. The right-arm pacer from Pakistan bowled the fastest delivery in international cricket during the Cricket World Cup 2003. Akhar, who always cherished bowling fast, clocked 161.3 km/hr against England at Capetown. His aggressive bowling and unique action always grabbed the limelight amidst all the cricket action.
Akhtar took 178 Test wickets and 247 ODI wickets during his playing days for Pakistan. He currently enjoys a huge fan following in his country and is widely appreciated for his analysis of the game.
Fastest Bowlers in the Modern times | 2021
Jofra Archer is one of the most destructive pace bowlers in the modern days. The English pace bowler bowled at 153.62 km/hr in the 13th edition of IPL. He regularly bowled at 150+ in that season and was awarded the Most valuable player of the season in IPL 2020.
Anrich Nortje is one of the recent fast bowling sensations in the world. He has shown his ability with the ball in the last few editions of the IPL. He delivered the fastest delivery in IPL history at a speed of 156 km/hr in 2020.
Lockie Ferguson has been a luxury for New Zealand with his pace and bounce. The Kiwi bowler bowled his fastest delivery of 153.84 in the IPL 2020 for Kolkata Knight Riders. Ferguson averaged nearly 150km'hr with every delivery for KKR in UAE.
Mitchell Starc is the fastest bowler in the current cricket world. He bowled the fastest delivery of 160.4 km/hr against New Zealand at Perth on the third day of the second Test match. When in form, the left-arm pace bowler is still the biggest threat for any batting side with his pace and swing across the formats.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q. Who is the world's fastest bowler?
Ans: Shoaib Akhtar is the fastest bowler in the world. The Pakistan speedster bowled his fastest delivery in the 2003 Cricket World Cup against England.
Q: Who is the fastest bowler in the world in 2021?
Ans: Among the current crop of fast bowlers, Mitchell Starc is the fastest bowler in 2021. The likes of Anrich Nortje and Jofra Archer have also shown the potential to cross the 100 mph barrier in the future.