There are few better sights in the game than seeing a fast bowler knock over the stumps with a toe-crushing yorker, leaving the batsman in a heap.
It’s a delivery which has come in for plenty of debate over the years. Some see it as a catch-all solution, the best option at the death and underutilised in Test cricket, while others feel that the risk of getting it wrong and the value of variation mean it should only be one tool in a bowler’s armoury.
What is not up for debate is that the image of stumps splayed and batsmen on their backs after a searing full delivery is one of cricket’s most thrilling.
We thought we’d pose this question to our followers: who is the best yorker bowler you have ever seen?
Here are just some of the names that came up, alongside clips that show just why these bowlers have left fans with so many vivid memories.
Who’s the best yorker bowler you’ve ever seen? pic.twitter.com/scn5erLpvQ
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) April 14, 2020
There was little surprise to see Pakistan’s Waqar Younis dominate the responses. With his slingy reverse-swing capabilities, Waqar’s action was primed to deliver inswinging yorkers that had batsmen’s feet in all sorts of bother throughout the 1990s.
With Waqar, there must always be Wasim. Akram was the nightmare from the other end, with that whirlwind motion of the left arm causing plenty of havoc with the old ball.
One of the ’70s and ’80s West Indies greats Joel Garner also received some fanfare. Standing tall at 6ft 8in, we can only imagine how small batsmen must have felt as the Big Bird zeroed in on the stumps.
Yorker bowlers come in all shapes and sizes. Darren Gough may be considerably shorter than Garner, but similar to Waqar, a slingy action reaped rewards during his England career.
Now to stars of more recent times, with Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga a very obvious candidate for this list. Just have a look at this for a hat-trick ball…
Malinga’s Mumbai Indians teammate Jasprit Bumrah has built up a strong reputation for himself as a master at the death, with his wide approach from the crease adding to the threat of his accurate thunderbolts.
Australia’s Mitchell Starc also found some love from our followers, and this ball to Ben Stokes at last year’s World Cup is enough to explain why.