Cricket, known for its thrilling encounters between bat and ball, has witnessed some incredible moments when bowlers unleashed their lightning-fast deliveries.
From Shane Bond to Shoaib Akhtar, these bowlers left a lasting impact on the game with their sheer pace and skill.
Let’s dive into the world of rapid bowling and relive these breathtaking moments.
Here are the top 10 fastest balls ever bowled in the history of cricket:
10. Shane Bond (Fastest Delivery of 156.4 kph)
Shane Bond, often regarded as “The Best Fast Bowler of New Zealand after Sir Richard Hadlee,” possessed tremendous talent despite his short-lived career plagued by injuries.
Bond’s relentless determination made him a formidable threat to even the world’s best batsmen.
He currently has the all-time second-best bowling strike rate in Test cricket.
The fastest ball he bowled in his career was 156.4 kph or 97.1 mph.
9. Mohammad Sami (Fastest Delivery of 156.4 kph)
Mohammad Sami, a fast bowler from Pakistani, was considered one of the greatest bowlers in the world as he was able to swing the ball with a good pace and was a threat to many batsmen.
In his debut test match, he took a total of 8 wickets, including one five-wicket haul, which is a world record in itself.
He is the second bowler in the world to take hat tricks in both test cricket and ODI.
Though he was successful in the initial years of his career, he later went on to lose his form.
His fastest delivery of 156.4 kph came against Zimbabwe in 2003.
8. Mitchell Johnson (Fastest Delivery of 156.8 kph)
Mitchell Johnson was one of the greatest Australian fast bowlers of his era.
He has been awarded the International Cricket Council’s Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy (ICC Cricketer of the Year) twice, once in 2009 and 2014.
Though he lost his form in 2013, he made his comeback against England in 2014.
He is the fastest player to reach 150 Test cricket hauls within about two years.
If you look at his career, you will notice that he loves the pitches of England, and to no surprise, his fastest ball was against England in the 2013 Ashes, where he bowled a delivery with a speed of 156.8 kph.
7. Fidel Edwards(Fastest Delivery of 157.7 kph)
Fidel Edwards is a Barbarian cricketer. His bowling action is very similar to that of Jeff Thomson.
In his debut test match, he took a five-wicket haul and is one of the few players to take a five-wicket haul in an ODI debut.
This made him the second bowler in the world to take a five-wicket haul in his debut test and ODI match.
Though he had an impressive start, his injuries made him lose his form. Edwards’s fastest delivery, recorded at a lightning-fast 157.7 kph, occurred during a match against South Africa in 2003.
6. Andry Roberts(Fastest Delivery of 159.5 kph)
Andry Roberts was an Antiguan cricketer who played his international matches for West Indies.
He was the first Antiguan player to play for West Indies. He was a part of the “quartel,” which was the combination of four legendary West Indies fast bowlers.
In the year 2005, he was the second Antiguan to be recognized in the United States Cricket Hall of Fame and in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in the year 2009.
Renowned for his ability to deliver both slow and fast bouncers, Roberts unleashed his fastest bowling delivery at an impressive speed of 159.5 kph against Australia in 1975.
5. Mitchell Starc (Fastest Delivery of 160.4 kph)
Mitchell Starc is a left-arm fast bowler from Australia. He holds the record of bowling the second fastest delivery in the history of Test Cricket, with a speed of 160.4 kph against the New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor in the year 2015.
He also holds the record for taking the fastest 100 ODI wickets. Being a bowler, he also has batting capabilities which he proved in 2016 when he hit seven sixes in an inning in MCG and broke the record of the legendary Andrew Symonds.
He played a vital role in helping Australia win the 2015 ICC World Cup, where the declared the Man of the Tournament.
4. Jeff Thomson(Fastest Delivery of 160.6 kph)
Jeff Thomson, famously known as “Thommo,” is widely regarded as the fastest bowler in cricket history.
Teaming up with Dennis Lillee, Thomson formed one of the deadliest bowling combinations ever seen.
He is the first bowler in the world to take a five-wicket haul in his debut Test and an ODI match.
Thomson’s unique slinging delivery action is inherited from his father.
His fastest delivery of 160.6 kph came against West Indies in 1975. He also has bowled one of the slowest deliveries in official records at 18.02 kph.
3. Shaun Tait(Fastest Delivery of 161.1 kph)
Shaun Tait is a former Australian cricketer and was one of the fastest bowlers of his time, with an average speed of 155 kph.
He had a sling-style bowling action. He was a player who showed his class in shorter forms.
Recognized as the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year in 2004, Tait retired from ODIs at the young age of 28 and bid farewell to all formats of the game in 2017 due to persistent injuries.
His fastest delivery of 161.1 kph came against England.
2. Brett Lee(Fastest Delivery of 161.1 kph)
Brett Lee is a former Australian Cricketer who was known for his action and his wicket-taking abilities.
He became the second Australian cricketer to take a five-wicket haul in a debut.
After his impressive debut, he was awarded the Donald Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year in 2000.
Though he was prone to injuries, he still had a long career in which he left an impact.
Although an initial report of his fastest delivery at 161.8 kph turned out to be a mistake, he officially bowled his fastest delivery at 161.1 kph against New Zealand in 2005.
1. Shoaib Akhtar(Fastest Delivery of 161.3 kph)
Shoaib Akhtar is a former Pakistani Cricketer.
He is the only player to bowl with over 100 mph that also twice in his career and was nicknamed “Rawalpindi Express.”
He consistently bowled with an average speed of 150 kph, making him one of the best bowlers of his era.
However, his career was marred by controversies and a struggle to maintain form.
He was removed from the Pakistani national team due to his poor attitude. He was known for his deadly bouncer, which came with a comparatively high speed.
He bowled his fastest delivery of 161.3 kph against England in 2003.
As cricket enthusiasts, we are privileged to have witnessed these extraordinary feats of speed and skill.
The bowlers on this list pushed the boundaries of what was possible and left an everlasting impression on the sport. These blazing deliveries will forever be etched in cricket’s history, reminding us of the incredible power and excitement that fast bowling brings to the game.