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The ten fastest bowlers in cricket history

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Different bowlers deploy different tricks against batsmen, like swing, seam and varying the pace, but perhaps the most effective is pure speed.

There is no denying the effectiveness of a ball flying over 150 kph; the faster a ball is bowled, the less time a batsmen has to react and get a decent hit on the ball. Fast bowlers are often the ones that take the most wickets, so bear that in mind when it comes to your cricket betting! If you are looking for the best cricket betting sites, they can be discovered at newbettingsites.uk. So, who are the men who have sent the ball flying furthest past the 150-kph barrier?

10. Shane Bond (New Zealand)- 156.4 kph (97.1 mph)

Shane Bond played for New Zealand from 2002 to 2010. The right-arm bowler was the fastest in New Zealand in his time. His peak came at the 2003 ICC World Cup when he sent the ball flying through at 156.4 kph. Unfortunately, this gifted bowler was plagued by injury and managed to take only 87 Test wickets, 147 wickets in ODIs and another 25 in T20Is. He is now part of the coaching staff at Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.

9. Mohammad Sami (Pakistan) – 156.4 kph (97.1 mph)

This right-arm quick had the combination desired in a bowler; swing and pace. He debuted with a five-for in a Test match against New Zealand and went on to become the second-fastest bowler in his country’s history. He holds a famous record in cricket history as the only player to have a hat trick in all three international formats. His ultimate was the 156.4 kph ball against Zimbabwe in a 2003 ODI in Dubai. He took 85 Test wickets, 121 in ODIs and 21 T20I wickets.

8. Mitchell Johnson (Australia)- 156.8 kmph (97.4 mph)

Johnson is one of the most decorated cricket players in Australia and the world. He is one of the few bowlers who can also bat professionally. His fastest ball was against England on the day three of the fourth Ashes Test in Australia in December 2013. As a bowler, he took 313 Test wickets, 239 in ODIs and 38 T20Is wickets. As a batsman, he scored a century and 11 fifties. He won the ICC Cricketer of the Year and ICC Test Player of the year in 2014.

7. Fidel Edwards (West Indies) – 157.7 kph (97.9 mph)

Edwards is a left-arm quick, a relative rarity. His 157.7 kph ball came in the first year of his international cricket, against South Africa in 2003. He boasts 165 Test wickets, and 60 of them in ODIs. He last played for West Indies in 2012, but still plies his trade in franchise T20 competitions.

6. Andy Roberts (West Indies) – 159.5 kph (99.1 mph)

Roberts was one of the fastest international bowlers in his heyday back in the 70s. His 159.5 kph delivery was against Australia in 1975. He played for Hampshire and Leicestershire counties in England and was inducted in the US Cricket Hall of Fame in 2005.

5. Mitchell Starc (Australia) – 160.4 kph (99.7 mph)

Starc is one of the fastest bowlers in the world with speeds regularly hovering around 146.4 kph. He is famous for his fast, in-swinging yorkers. His fastest delivery was against New Zealand on the third day of the second Test in 2015. He has taken 244 Test wickets and 184 ODI wickets. He was part of the Australia side who won the World Cup in 2015.

4. Jeff Thomson (Australia) – 160.6 kph (99.8 mph)

Thomson was perhaps the most fearsome bowler in cricket in his career, spanning 1972-1985. His fastest delivery was against West Indies in Perth, 1975. Thomson and fellow countryman Dennis Lillee formed a duo that terrified batsmen in international cricket. He took 200 Test wickets and 55 ODI wickets. He was inducted in the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2016.

3. Brett Lee (Australia)- 160.8 kph (99.9 mph)

Lee is one of the most impressive Australia all-format bowlers, with 310 Test wickets, 280 ODI wickets and 487 first-class wickets. He helped Australia take the 2003 and 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup titles. His fastest delivery was against New Zealand at Napier in 2005. He was the first cricket player to take a hat trick in Twenty20 international cricket.

2. Shaun Tait (Australia)- 161.1 kph (100.1 mph)

Tait bowled for Australia sporadically between 2006-2016. His fastest delivery was against England at Lords in 2010. Tait was a highly coveted player in franchise cricket playing for Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, Adelaide Strikers, Hobart Hurricanes, and Melbourne Renegades. He retired unexpectedly from first-class cricket at 25 years old due to injury.

1. Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan)- 161.3 kph (100.2 mph)

Nicknamed as the Rawalpindi Express, Akhtar was the first bowler to break the 100 mph. His fastest delivery was against England in the 2003 ICC World Cup. He took 178 Test wickets and 247 ODI wickets in a career spanning from 1997-2011.

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