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Top 10 Greatest Cricket Bowlers of All Time

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  • Post last modified:December 26, 2023

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In this post, we will check out the top 10 greatest cricket bowlers of all time.

In the illustrious realm of cricket, the art of bowling has produced legendary figures whose skills have left an indelible mark on the sport’s history.

From spin wizards to fast-bowling maestros, the cricketing world has witnessed unparalleled mastery on the pitch.

As we embark on a journey through time, exploring the annals of cricketing greatness, let’s unveil the Top 10 Greatest Cricket Bowlers of All Time.

These extraordinary athletes, with their precision, pace, and spin, have not only etched their names in record books but have also become the architects of unforgettable moments in the captivating narrative of cricket.

Join us as we celebrate the prowess of these cricketing virtuosos whose artistry has enthralled fans across generations.

Top 10 Greatest Cricket Bowlers of All Time

10 Dennis Lillee

Image Credit- Cricket Australia

Dennis Lillee, born on July 18, 1949, stands tall as one of cricket’s greatest fast bowlers.

Across his 13-year career, Lillee’s exceptional skill shone, evident in his world record of 355 Test wickets. Averaging 23.92 in Tests and 20.82 in ODIs, he showcased remarkable consistency across formats.

Beyond statistics, Lillee’s resilience surfaced in overcoming back-stress fractures through rigorous fitness.

His iconic partnership with Jeff Thomson remains one of cricket’s greatest. In 2021, Lillee earned recognition as an Australia Post Legend of Cricket and the 43rd Legend in the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, solidifying his status as a cricket icon.

Regardless of personal opinions, Dennis Lillee’s legacy is firmly etched in cricket’s history books. Dennis Lillee is number 10 in our list of top 10 greatest cricket bowlers of all time.

9 Curtly Ambrose

Image Credit- Sky Sports

Curtly Ambrose, a true giant in the realm of cricket, is hailed as one of the greatest fast bowlers in history, clinching 405 Test wickets at an impressive average of 20.99.

His bowling prowess, marked by precision and the knack for quick wickets, made him a formidable force on the field. Ambrose’s memorable moments include a devastating 7/1 spell against Australia in Perth and a series-clinching burst of 7/1 against England in Trinidad.

The key to Ambrose’s success lies in his exceptional speed and accuracy, making it challenging for batsmen to handle his deliveries.

His mastery of yorkers and selective use of short-pitched deliveries added to his effectiveness. Renowned as a match-winner, Ambrose consistently turned the tide in favor of his team throughout his career from 1988 to 2000, maintaining a high rank in the ICC player rankings.

In essence, Curtly Ambrose stands tall among the top 10 greatest cricket bowlers, leaving an enduring impact on the sport celebrated by enthusiasts worldwide.

8 Allan Donald

Image Credit- Wisden

Allan Donald is hailed as one of cricket’s greatest fast bowlers, earning the moniker “White Lightning” for his lightning-quick deliveries.

A formidable force in the South African national cricket team, Donald’s career boasted 330 Test wickets and 272 ODI wickets.

His induction into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in July 2019 stands as a testament to his cricketing prowess.

Known for his raw aggression and dominance on the pitch, Donald’s bowling style set him apart. Despite being somewhat underrated compared to contemporaries like Ambrose, McGrath, and Akram, he outshone them with better ODI averages, ODI strike rates, and Test strike rates.

Donald, in partnership with Pollock, formed an underrated but potent bowling pair that wreaked havoc on numerous occasions, particularly dismantling England in tandem.

In the cricketing pantheon, Allan Donald’s legacy as “White Lightning” continues to illuminate the sport’s history.

7 Joel Garner

Image Credit- Wisden

Joel Garner, aka “Big Bird,” stands tall among cricket’s elite, a former West Indian cricketer born on December 16, 1952, in Barbados.

A linchpin in the dominant West Indies cricket teams of the late ’70s and early ’80s, Garner soared as the all-time highest-ranked ODI bowler.

A pivotal figure in the West Indies’ triumph at the 1979 Cricket World Cup, Garner’s spell of 5 for 39 in the final against England remains unparalleled.

His contribution, including a stunning 5 wickets for 4 runs and two near-hat-tricks, solidified his status as one of cricket’s greatest. Serving as one of Clive Lloyd’s key weapons alongside legendary fast bowlers, Garner played a vital role in the West Indies’ unparalleled 15-year Test dominance.

In 2010, the cricket maestro earned a well-deserved spot in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, immortalizing his legacy as one of the top 10 greatest cricket bowlers of all time.

6 Richard Hadlee

Image Credit- Cricket Australia

Richard Hadlee is hailed among cricket’s finest all-rounders and premier fast bowlers.

His cricket journey began in Canterbury in 1971-72, forming a potent new-ball partnership with his elder brother Dayle. Retiring in 1990, Hadlee left an indelible mark, propelling New Zealand to unprecedented heights in Test cricket.

Known as the “original Sultan of Swing,” he was the first to surpass 400 wickets, boasting a remarkable average of 22.29.

Hadlee’s accolades include being named New Zealand sportsperson of the decade in 1987 receiving the MBE in 1980 and a Knighthood in 1990 for services to cricket.

His bowling finesse, highlighted by 9/52 – the best single-innings figures by any 20th-century fast bowler – showcases his unparalleled skill.

Notably, Hadlee’s batting prowess, with an average higher than Kapil Dev in the 1980s, adds to his legacy as a great all-rounder.

In the pantheon of cricket greats, Richard Hadlee’s exceptional bowling and solid batting firmly secure his spot among the top 10 greatest cricket bowlers of all time.

5 Courtney Walsh

best cricket bowlers of all time
Image Credit- Caught at Point

Courtney Walsh, born on October 30, 1962, in Kingston, Jamaica, is etched in cricket history as one of the greatest bowlers.

His stellar career spanned 132 Tests and 205 ODIs for the West Indies, amassing 519 and 227 wickets, respectively. Walsh’s legendary opening partnership with Curtly Ambrose defined an era of West Indian dominance.

Notably, in 1979, he made waves by taking 10 wickets in a school cricket innings. Between 1981 and 2001, Walsh’s prolific Test career saw 1,807 wickets at an average of 21.71, earning him the title of Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1987.

Finishing with 519 Test wickets, he broke Kapil Dev’s record in 2000 and earned his place in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in October 2010.

Walsh’s ferocious bowling legacy, marked by memorable partnerships and historic achievements, cements his status as one of the sport’s all-time greats.

4 Wasim Akram

best cricket bowlers of all time
Image Credit- Wisden

Wasim Akram is hailed as one of cricket’s greatest left-handed and overall fast bowlers.

Revered as the finest left-arm quick in cricket history, Akram’s exceptional skills led Pakistan to the 1992 World Cup championship.

His ability to swing the ball both ways, control the reverse swing, and unleash a varied arsenal of inswings, outswings, yorkers, and bouncers made him a formidable force.

Akram, known for bowling at speeds up to 145 kph with metronomic accuracy, left top-order batsmen bamboozled throughout his illustrious career.

His impact on the game solidifies his status as one of the top 10 greatest cricket bowlers of all time.

3 Shane Warne

Image Credit- Wisden

Shane Warne is celebrated as one of cricket’s greatest bowlers.

His 145 Test appearances yielded a staggering 708 wickets, setting a record until 2007.

A vital part of the Australian team’s 1999 Cricket World Cup victory, Warne’s leg-spin bowling was a mesmerizing spectacle, spinning the ball viciously and baffling batsmen with magical performances.

Renowned for his leg break and devilish flipper, Warne’s mind-reading prowess often led opponents to desperate acts.

His legacy is etched as the greatest Ashes bowler ever, solidifying his status as the finest bowler of his cricketing generation. The cricket world mourned his passing on March 4, 2022, at the age of 52.

2 Glenn Mcgrath

best cricket bowlers of all time
Image Credit- Skysports

Glenn McGrath, the Australian cricket maestro, stands tall among the greatest bowlers of all time.

Renowned for his fast-medium pace and impeccable line and length, McGrath played a pivotal role in Australia’s cricket dominance from the mid-1990s to the late 2000s.

His extraordinary consistency and precision led to the remarkable feat of dismissing 100 batsmen for ducks, showcasing his unparalleled skill on the field.

Praised by fans and fellow cricketers alike, McGrath’s legacy as a cricketing legend is firmly established, solidifying his status as one of the sport’s greatest fast bowlers.

For cricket enthusiasts, delving into videos of McGrath’s iconic moments is a journey into the brilliance and contribution of this unparalleled talent to the sport.

1 Muttiah Muralitharan

Image Credit- Latestly

Muttiah Muralitharan, widely hailed as one of cricket’s greatest bowlers, holds the distinction of being the only player with over 800 Test wickets and more than 530 ODI wickets.

As of September 2023, he stands as the highest wicket-taker in international cricket.

A key figure in Sri Lanka’s 1996 Cricket World Cup triumph, Muralitharan’s right-arm off-break style and consistent success against top cricketing nations have etched his name in the sport’s history.

With world records for the most wickets in both Tests and ODIs, averaging over six wickets per Test, Muralitharan’s unparalleled achievements secure his position among the top 10 greatest cricket bowlers of all time.

Kamran Khan

A geek, who just loves to update sports, gaming, and tech updates from around the world to the other geeks out there. A passionate sports lover, a tech geek from the mind, and a gamer from the heart.

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