Taking out a wicket in cricket might look easy for the onlookers. However, the bowlers need certain pacing, speed, and delivery for this task.
But not all great bowlers are the fastest ones in the sport. Here we are talking about the top bowlers who have left an impression with their techniques but moreover with their speed.
Some of these bowlers are famous for their speed, but they are also some of the best in the sport. Keeping this in mind, we have made a list of the fastest bowlers in cricket history.
So, let us know about these top fastest bowlers without further delay.
12 Top Fastest Bowler in the Cricket History
|12. Jasprit Bumrah||India|
|11. Wahab Riaz||Pakistan|
|10. Shane Bond||New Zeland|
|9. Mohammad Sami||Pakistan|
|8. Mitchell Johnson||Australia|
|7. Fidel Edwards||West Indies|
|6. Andy Roberts||West Indies|
|5. Mitchell Starc||Australia|
|4. Jeff Thomson||Australia|
|3. Brett Lee||Australia|
|2. Shaun Tait||Australia|
|1. Shoaib Akhtar||Pakistan|
12. Jasprit Bumrah
- Bowling Speed: 153.26 km/hour (95.23 mph)
28 year-old Jasprit Bumrah is considered one of his generation’s top bowlers in all formats. He is a current vice-captain of the Indian national cricket team in the Test Format.
Bumrah started his cricket career playing first-class cricket for Gujarat. However, he soon made his way among the best with his unusual bowling style.
He came into the limelight after his performance in his debut at the Indian Premier League (IPL) at age 19. In 2016, Bumrah made his first international debut in the T20I series.
India played against West Indies in two matches, and he became the bowler to claim the most wicket in one calendar year. Similarly, he is also the first bowler to take 5 innings in Australia, England, and South Africa in the same calendar year.
After gaining prominence with his unorthodox action, Bumrah’s average bowling speed is 142 km/h, while his fastest is 153.26 km/hr. His uncanny ability has made him one of the fastest Indian bowlers.
11. Wahab Riaz
- Bowling Speed: 154 km/hour (96 mph)
The next bowler on our list comes from Pakistan. Wahab Riaz is a 28 year-old left-armed cricketer who plays in all formats of the sport.
Riaz started his ODI career in 2008 in a game against Zimbabwe. Similarly, he made his debut playing for the Pakistani T20I team against Bangladesh the same year. He took 3 wickets for 22 runs in 7 overs in that game.
In 2010, Riaz made his Test debut playing against England. After playing for many years, Riaz first grabbed international attention in the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015.
Likewise, he was part of the squad that represented Pakistan in the 2015 and 2019 Cricket World Cup. Since then, he has also been part of the Pakistani Super League (PSL).
Riaz’s average bowling speed was recorded around 1448. km/h and his best being 154 km/hr. Although he announced his break from first-class cricket, he announced his willingness to play Test cricket in 2020.
10. Shane Bond
- Bowling Speed: 156.4 km/hour (97.1 mph)
Shane Bond is a former cricketer who is one of the fastest bowlers from New Zealand. He is a right-handed bowler who represented his country in all formats of cricket.
Now a 47 year-old, Bond made his first-class cricket debut with Canterbury in 1997. Then in 1999, he decided to join the police force for a year but returned in the 2000/01 season.
Despite his year off, Bond enjoyed success after his comeback. He has been described as “New Zealand’s best fast bowler since Sir Richard Hadlee.” His average bowling has been measured to be 145 km/hr.
Bond’s fastest 156.4 km/hr record was recorded in the 2003 World Cup. Similarly, he has the second-best bowling strike rate of all time in Test match cricket.
However, stress fractures of the back were the recurring injury that plagued most of his career. Additionally, Bond suffered from other injuries that limited him from playing on domestic and international platforms.
Then in 2010, Bond announced his retirement from all forms of the game. He is currently a bowling coach for the IPL franchise Mumbai Indians.
9. Mohammad Sami
- Bowling Speed: 156.4 km/hour (97.1 mph)
The second player from Pakistan to make it to number 9 of our top bowler is Mohammad Sami. He is a former cricketer who played in all formats of cricket and the Pakistan national cricket team.
Sami began his professional career in 2001. However, he could not maintain his playing form during his professional career. As a result, he was also unable to achieve much success in the national cricket team.
Consequently, Sami was in and out of the national team. Later in 2009-10, Sami was recalled to the national team. The comeback was a success, and Sami was able to establish himself.
Aside from having one of the fastest bowling records, he is also known for his quick arms and ability to swing the cricket ball at a high pace. As a result, his average bowling has consistently been more than 140 km/hr.
Unofficially, Sami delivered the fastest bowl in cricket history at 164 km/hr during an ODI match; however, the cricket officials later revoked it after finding fault in the speed meter. Then, he declared his retirement from all formats in 2016.
8. Mitchell Johnson
- Bowling speed: 156.8 km/hour (97.4 mph)
On our number 8 of the top bowler is an Australian bowler Mitchell Johnson. Considered to be one of the greatest fast bowlers of his era, he played in all formats of cricket.
Although Johnson was a tennis player in his childhood, he started focusing on cricket at age 17. He then attended a fast bowling clinic in Brisbane.
His performance set an impression on the former Test fast bowler Dennis Lillee. He even called Johnson a “once-in-nine-lives prospect.” Eventually, he played in the U-19 level before making his first-class debut two years later.
Johnson was also part of the Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Perth Scorchers at the domestic level in the 2016-17 season. He was recognized as the most economical bowling figure in BBL history.
Likewise, he has also been part of the IPL franchises like the Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians, and Kolkata Knight Riders.
Johnson’s average bowling speed was recorded as 150 km/h, and his fastest record of 156.8 km/h was recorded in the 2013–14 Ashes series in Melbourne. In 2018, he retired from all formats of cricket.
7. Fidel Edwards
- Bowling Speed: 157.7 km/hour (97.9 mph)
We have a fast bowler from Barbados on our number 7. Born as Fidel Henderson Edwards, he made his first-class debut in 2002 against the Windward Islands.
A former Trinidian international cricketer, Brian Lara, spotted Fidel in the nets. That was when Lara called him to play his debut Test match against Sri Lanka. The same year, the bowler made his ODI debut.
Fidel had made a successful debut in cricket. He was the third-best bowling figure during his second first-class match. Similarly, he made his T20Is debut in 2007.
Unfortunately, during a tour, he suffered an injury to his shins that affected his bowling. Then later in 2009, ICC World Twenty20, Fidel suffered from a back injury. Although he did make a comeback, it wasn’t long before a back injury returned.
Fidel has been compared with a former Australian fast bowler Jeff Thomson. His fastest bowling was recorded in 2003. While one of the fastest bowlers, Fidel suffers from injuries and inconsistency.
6. Andy Roberts
- Bowling Speed: 159.5 km/hour (99.1 mph)
Andy Roberts is considered the father of modern Western Indian fast bowling. He is a former first-class cricketer who played in the Test and ODI format of the game.
Roberts was part of the fast bowler circle “quartet” of West Indies in the mid-70s and 80s. In his home country, he played Test cricket. Furthermore, he was the first Antiguan to play Test cricket for West Indies.
In 1972, Roberts arrived in England, where he played first-class cricket for the Hampshire County Cricket Club and Leicestershire County Cricket Club.
As one of the team’s prominent players, he was in the squad that won the first two Prudential World Cups in England in 1975 and 1979. In 2009, Roberts was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
Not only is Roberts one of the most legendary figures of the West Indies, but he also led the ways for his fellow countrymen cricketers. Although retired from the sport, he still contributes to West Indies cricket.
5. Mitchell Starc
- Bowling Speed: 160.4 km/hour (99.7 mph)
On our number 5 of the top bowler is a 32 year-old Australian cricketer Mitchell Starc. He is regarded as one of the best bowlers in modern cricket who plays in the national team and domestic cricket.
Playing cricket from an early age, Starc made his debut in cricket for his home state New South Wales in 2009. He soon established himself as a prominent player.
Furthermore, he ascertained his dominance in domestic cricket after breaking the Australian domestic one-day tournament in 2019. He was also part of the BBL franchise Sydney Sixers in the 2011-12 season.
Similarly, after his dominance in domestic cricket, Starc has also shown his skills at the international level. He played for the IPL franchises Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders.
He established his fastest bowling record in the 2015 Test match against New Zealand. Furthermore, in 2016, Starc became the fastest bowler to take over 100 ODI wickets against Sri Lanka.
4. Jeff Thomson
- Bowling Speed: 160.6 km/hour (99.8 mph)
A legendary figure, Jeff Thomson is one of the fastest bowlers in cricket history. With his opening partner, a fellow fast bowler Dennis Lillee, they were the most feared combination in Test Cricket history.
Thomson had an unusual yet highly effective slinging bowling style. This technique that he learned from his father helped him become one of the fastest bowlers. He made his first-class debut in 1972 for New South Wales.
After his first-class debut, Thomson made his debut the same year while making his ODI debut in 1975. Similarly, he also represented Australia on the international platform.
Thompson’s fastest bowl was recorded after the second Test match against the West Indies at the WACA in 1975. Similarly, he also won the fastest bowling competition held by the Australian T.V. station Chanel 9.
After retiring from his professional career, Thompson became a bowling coach for Queensland. Even at 42, he was the fastest bowler than others in Queensland.
Thompson was inducted into the Australian Hall of Fame in 2016.
3. Brett Lee
- Bowling Speed: 160.8 km/hour (99.9 mph)
On our number 3 is a former Australian international cricketer Brett Lee. Rgarded as one of the best bowlers of his generation, he is also one of the most recognized fast bowlers.
After starting cricket from the junior team Oak Flats Rats, Lee made his first-class debut in the 1997-98 season. One month after making his first-class debut, Lee was chosen to represent the Australian A-Team on a tour of South Africa.
Aside from playing in the domestic and national teams, Lee also played in the IPL and BBL franchise. In 2003, he was also part of the Australian team that won the World Cup.
Lee’s bowling pace has been recorded 140 km/h (87 mph) and above. His fastest bowling was in 2005 in a game against New Zealand.
His constant bowling at 150 km/hr caused him a string of stress fractures and recurring injuries. After this, he was forced to alter his bowling strategy.
In 2015, Lee took his retirement from all formats of the game. Since then, he has worked as a bowling coach for Ireland and Sri Lanka, film actor, and a Fox Sports commentator.
2. Shaun Tait
- Bowling Speed: 161.1 km/hour (100.1 mph)
We are reaching the end of our list for the top bowler. On our number 2 is a former Australian cricketer Shaun Tait. One of the fastest bowlers, he played in all formats of cricket.
Nicknamed “Wild Thing,” Tait’s sling has been compared to Jeff Thompson’s. Furthermore, he is the fastest bowler from Australia, capable of bowling many extras.
Tait made his debut in 2004 as a first-class cricketer. He played for Australia A and the English team, Durham County Cricket Club. Soon Tait established himself as one of the leading wicket-taker from South Australia.
In 2010, Tait recorded his fastest bowling delivery against England at Lords. Similarly, his regular bowling speed was up to 155 km/hr.
Unfortunately, his cricket career as a player was cut short due to injuries, and he unexpectedly retired at the age of 25. Before that, he was also part of the IPL and franchise.
Tait worked as a bowling consultant to the Afghanistan national team. He was appointed as the bowling coach for the Pakistan national cricket team in February 2022.
1. Shoaib Akhtar
- Bowling Speed: 161.3 km/hour (100.2 mph)
Rightly nicknamed “Rawalpindi Express,” the number 1 top bowler on our list is former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar. Now 46 year-old Akhtar was the first bowler to record the delivery at 100 miles per hour twice.
Coming from an economically low-income family, Shoaib struggled to attend the trials for the PIA team. Luckily, he was enlisted in the List A, where he made his first-class debut in the 1994-95 season.
His debut season was a success, and he quickly climbed rank. Shoaib made his Test debut in 1997; however, contrary to his high profile, his Test career started modestly.
In the 2003 ICC World Cup, he achieved his record of fastest bowling delivery at international cricket. Furthermore, he is one of the three bowlers who have ever broken the 100 mph barrier in cricket history.
However, one of the fastest bowlers in international cricket history, Shoaib’s career was always plagued by controversies. He was suspended from cricket several times from substance abuse to poor attitude.
Although Shoaib made a return to the cricket world, he announced his retirement from international cricket after the 2011 World Cup.
Most of the fastest bowlers are from Australia, while Pakistan and West Indies also boast top bowlers.
The players on the list have achieved a feat that few in cricket history have achieved. Their skills exceed the rest of the many other bowlers, making them iconic figures.