When the word ‘speed’ comes up in any discussion, the first thing that comes to our mind is something to do with a competition or racing. But cricket is one such place where speed does represent a competition of some type, yes, but not exactly. Here, the concerned person even slows down for the betterment of performance. Talking about the fastest speedsters of cricket i.e. fast bowlers aka pacers or seamers.
Although the entertainment part of cricket is served mostly by the batsmen, hence the shortened boundary lines, and more PowerPlay sessions, bowling can actually make or break the fate of a team in any match. And Fast Bowlers can be lethal, well, figuratively. Anyway, ever since the beginning of international cricket, many fast bowlers have done wonders with the ball and created history. Today, we all take a look at the top 10 fastest bowlers of all time in international cricket.
Top 10 Fastest Bowlers of All Time
“How many diamonds can you retrieve from one single mine; there has to be an end somewhere. I don’t see any natural fast bowler after me.”Shoaib Akhtar
Fast bowling in cricket has had different types of record-setting intentions from the bowlers e.g. bowling at a speed of 100 mph. Especially in the late 90’s, Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar had always displayed clear intentions to reach that speed and he achieved it in 2003. He, however, was always kept on his toes in this regard by Australian pacer Brett Lee who achieved that seed in 2005, against New Zealand and another Australian pacer Shaun Tait touched the mark in 2010 against England.
Before we get into a details analysis of some of the fastest bowlers of all time in the history of international cricket, let’s take a quick glance at the following table showing the top 10 fastest bowlers:
|Shoaib Akhtar||Pakistan||161.3 km/hr (100.2 mph)||2003||England|
|Brett Lee||Australia||161.1 km/hr (100.1 mph)||2005||New Zealand|
|Shaun Tait||Australia||161.1 km/hr (100.1 mph)||2010||England|
|Jaffrey Thomson||Australia||160.6 km/hr (99.8 mph)||1975||West Indies|
|Mitchell Starc||Australia||160.4 km/hr (99.7 mph)||2015||New Zealand|
|Andy Roberts||West Indies||159.5 km/hr (99.1 mph)||1975||Australia|
|Haris Rauf||Pakistan||159 km/hr (98.8 mph)||2021||England|
|Fidel Edwards||West Indies||157.7 km/hr (97.9 mph)||2003||South Africa|
|Javagal Srinath||India||157 km/hr (97.5 mph)||1996-97||Australia|
|Mitchell Johnson||Australia||156.8 km/hr (97.4 mph)||2013||England|
Mitchell Johnson: Fastest Speed 156.8 km/hr
This left-arm Aussie pacer was a terror among the batsmen during his active years in international cricket. Although he always managed a place among the world’s top fastest bowlers list, his grace and skill with the ball also got him many laurels along with the prestigious ‘Allan Border Medal’- awarded to the best-performing male Australian cricketer of the year- in January 2014.
That medal was awarded to him for his outstanding performance in 2013 in the Ashes series that Australia won by 5-0 against England. In those 5 matches, he picked up 37 wickets and was named the ‘Man of the Series’ for winning the series for Australia, almost single-handedly. He even bowled his fastest ball at the speed of 156.8 km/hr in that very series. Take a look at the video to see Mitchell in action in that series:
Mitchell has one of the most enviable careers in international cricket. He was always one of the key weapons in the Australian arsenal to win any match against any opponent. He took 313 wickets in test matches with 12 times 5-wicket haul and 239 wickets in ODI matches with 3 times 5-wicket haul.
Javagal Srinath: Fastest Speed 157 km/hr
For a long time in the history of Indian cricket, Javagal Srinath was the only fast bowler in the India National Cricket Team. He is, arguably, one of India’s fastest bowlers to date. His primary bowling style was the incutters and inswinger, however, with the favorable conditions, he could swing the ball the other way.
Javagal Srinath bowled his fastest delivery in India’s Tour of South Africa in 1996-97 at the speed of 157 km/hr, however, some sources claim this record to be an unofficial one. His best bowling, or one of the best, display was when he took 6 wickets of South Africa for only 21 runs in Ahmedabad in 1996-97. Take a look at that action in the video below:
Although he was a fast bowler, he was not known for his speed but for his skill to utilize the ball according to the conditions and make the best of it i.e. getting more wickets for a lesser number of runs. In his entire international career as an Indian fast bowler, he took 236 wickets in test matches with 10 times 5-wicket haul and 315 wickets in ODI matches with 3 times 5-wicket haul.
Fidel Edwards: Fastest Speed 157.7 km/hr
Being regarded just for speed was not his ambition and despite being able to swing the ball and get a reverse swing, he emphasized not bowling at a cut-throat pace. This right-arm Caribbean pacer bowled his fastest against South Africa at the speed of 157.7 km/hr. Take a look at his bowling prowess in the following video:
Although he had a very impressive start to his international career, it seemed like he could not live up to his own talent. In his international career, he took 5 wickets in his debut test match and 6 wickets in his debut ODI match. In his entire international career, he took 165 wickets in test matches with 12 times a 5-wicket haul, 60 wickets in ODI matches, and 20 wickets in T20I matches.
Haris Rauf: Fastest Speed 159 km/hr
Haris Rauf is, arguably, the fastest bowler in Pakistan at present and one of the fastest bowlers in the world. He has proven his worth in the Pakistan National Cricket Team on multiple occasions and is one of the most promising players in Pakistan’s World Cup squad for this year. Naturally, he is one of the most watched-out-for bowlers of the tournament.
He joined the national team in 2020 and has ever since been a regular player in the white-ball matches. He bowled his fastest delivery at the speed of 159 km/hr against England in the T20I World Cup in 2021. In his career so far, he has taken 56 wickets in 29 ODI matches and 83 wickets in 62 T20I matches. He has taken 1 wicket in the only 1 test match he has played to date. Here’s a video of Haris’ bowling action:
Sir Andy Roberts: Fastest Speed 159.5 km/hr
Sir Andy Roberts was famous for never showing emotions or never letting emotions take charge and instead kept on attacking the opponent’s batting line-up with a deadly bowling strategy planned in almost a military-like finesse. He was the pioneer of the West Indian pace attack that became the most feared aspect of a national cricket team at the beginning of modern international cricket.
He was considered particularly dangerous by the batsmen because of his tactical change in the pace of the delivery. He usually set the batters with a comparatively slow ball and then, when they got used to that speed, he would bring in the twist of really fast balls. As a result, the batsmen would fail to face his quickies.
Roberts was the quickest of his time to reach the benchmark of 100 wickets in international test matches, reaching there within 2.5 years only. Although he lost the edge of his pace attack with time, his skills in moving the ball made him stay in the test matches as a regular player till the 1983-84 period. Here’s a video of Sir Andy Roberts destroying the opponent’s batting line-up:
He bowled his fastest in 1975 against Australia at the speed of 159.5 km/hr. He picked 202 wickets in international test matches and 87 wickets in ODI matches. He was part of the West Indies National Cricket Team in the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup of 1975 and 1979.
Mitchell Starc: Fastest Speed is 160.4 km/hr
The next baller in the list of the top 10 fastest bowlers of all time is Australian pacer Mitchell Starc. The most significant achievement of his international career is, perhaps, being the highest wicket-taker of 2 consecutive ICC World Cup tournaments in 2015 & 2019 taking 22 & 27 wickets respectively.
Here’s the video of this one of the world’s finest fast bowler’s fastest delivery:
He is part of the Australian squad for this year’s World Cup tournament too. His fastest ball was delivered at the speed of 160.4 km/hr against New Zealand. To date, he has picked 333 wickets in test matches, 219 wickets in ODI matches, and 73 wickets in T20I matches.
Jeffrey Thomson: Fastest Speed 160.6 km/hr
Another Australian fast bowler has made it to the list of the top 10 fastest bowlers to date, in the history of international cricket- Jeffrey Thomson. Speak of playing with the batsman’s mind and not just with the bowling technique, and this man’s bowling could give any modern-day pacer a run for his money.
He didn’t take that much of a run-up, merely jogging in the area, and then would tilt back just like a javelin thrower right before making the delivery. In this style, he managed a speed that has been touched or surpassed by only 3 fast bowlers in the history of international cricket so far!
His injuries restricted his game after 1976, but his presence of mind made him stay on the team as a regular player. He picked his 200th wicket in his last Ashes tour in 1985. Here’s a link to the video of Thomson’s bowling in action:
Jeff Thomson bowled his fastest in 1975 against West Indies at the speed of 160.6 km/hr. In his entire international career as one of the world’s fastest bowlers, he picked up 200 wickets in test matches and 55 wickets in ODI matches.
The 100 Miles/Hour Club
There was a time in cricket’s history when it was said that no pacer, or no cricketer for that matter, could bowl at the speed of 100 miles per hour. Many pacers tried and failed in their entire career proving this statement to be true, and yet, there have been 3 fast bowlers- only 3- of the world who were stubborn, ultra-competitive, and determined with their efforts and didn’t give up, not even after they proved the statement to be a statement only. Let’s know more about them.
Shaun Tait: Fastest Speed 161.1 km/hr (100.1 mph)
At number 3 in the list of the world’s top 10 fastest bowlers, we have the Australian pacer, Shaun Tait. But this speedster’s speed was on display in the short format of the game and that too lasted for a fairly short time. He played only 3 test matches in his entire international career as his body did not support the length of time he needed to be in action on the field.
Being both physically and emotionally exhausted, he took a break for an indefinite time at the beginning of 2008 and returned to play only in ODI and T20I later that year. His constant push to reach the benchmark for the fastest bowling delivery in the history of cricket kept him falling victim to injuries regularly.
But he did achieve the benchmark in 2010 against England with a speed of 161.1 km/hr or 100.1 mph. In his entire international cricket career, he took 5 wickets in test matches and 62 wickets in ODI matches. Take a look at his fastest bowling action in this video:
Brett Lee: Fastest Speed 161.1 km/hr (100.1 mph)
The 2nd position in the list of the world’s fastest fast bowlers belongs to yet another Aussie pacer, Bret Lee. He accomplished this mission in 2005 against New Zealand at the speed of 161.1 km/hr or 100.1 mph. Although this approximate number matches with that of Shaun Tait, the 2nd position is given to Brett Lee here for he achieved it much earlier.
Well, he did mean each of the words said here for his reputation among the batsmen is nothing short of a nightmare. He maintained his speed and terror among the opponents for over a decade and was Australia’s 4th most successful test bowler to date with 310 wickets in 76 matches.
Brett Lee’s Top 5 Fastest Deliveries
|2005||New Zealand||161.1 km/h|
|2002||South Africa||157.4 km/h|
|2002||South Africa||157.3 km/h|
|2002||South Africa||156.2 km/h|
|2000||South Africa||156 km/h|
In the Australia National Cricket Team, he has been a crucial supporter of the other bowlers in the match like Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie, and Shane Warne. He could deliver an out-swing with the new ball and also an in-swing when the ball gets older. This skill, combined with the fastest speed of up to 160 mph, made him an even more dangerous fast bowler of the world. He took 380 wickets in ODI matches. Here’s a video of Lee in action while bowling his fastest:
Shoaib Akhtar: Fastest Speed 161.3 km/hr (100.2 mph)
Imagine someone getting banned multiple times in his international cricket career and yet being the holder of the number 1 position in the list of the world’s fastest fast bowlers of all time for over 20 years and counting! Yes, that’s Shoaib Akhtar for you, aptly titled as ‘The Rawalpindi Express’.
Shoaib Akhtar’s Top 5 Fastest Deliveries
|2002||New Zealand||161 km|
|2002||New Zealand||160 km|
|2002||New Zealand||159.9 km|
|2002||Sri Lanka||159.5 km|
Being a living legend in one’s profession is not a child’s play, neither is it an everyone’s cup of tea. This kind of career contains not only glories but also scars. He dismissed the world’s, arguably best batsman, Sachin Tendulkar, 9 times! In the World Cup of 1999, he dismissed both Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid- clean bowled them- in two consecutive balls! With time, he not only got faster but also wiser.
Unfortunately, he could hardly control his emotions, especially anger, on the field. But his attitude problems dragged him further down in his career- there were doubts about his actions, offenses of tempering with the ball, beating up his colleagues, battling the cricket board in the court, being banned for the next match, and years after years, paying hefty fines, injuries that always threatened his career and to top it all- doping charges. All these together, made him lose out on lots of matches played by his team.
He bowled his fastest at 161.3 km/hr (100.2 mph) against England in the World Cup of 2003. In his career, he took 178 wickets in test matches, 247 wickets in ODI matches, and 19 wickets in T20I matches. Take a look at the video below where he bowled his fastest delivery:
Some of the bowlers in this list have reached a few speed benchmarks which would make them appear more than once in the same list. To make the list more spread thoroughly among more players, we have considered only their fastest speed. Again, some other bowlers like Mohammad Sami, and Shane Bond have been put out of this list although their speed fell short very minimally.
10 Fastest Indian Bowlers in International Cricket
After getting to know the top 10 fastest bowlers in the world in the history of cricket to date, it’s time to narrow down the search a little and focus only on the history of Indian cricketers in the world of international cricket. Although the Indian bowling line-up has been more famous for its spinners, there are some extraordinary fast bowlers too. Till September 2023, the top 10 fastest Indian bowlers, according to their performances in international matches i.e. test, ODI, and T20I are:
|Javagal Srinath||157 km/hr||1996-97||South Africa|
|Urman Malik||155 km/hr||2023||Sri Lanka|
|Irfan Pathan||153.7 km/hr||2007||Pakistan|
|Mohammed Shami||153.3 km/hr||2014||Australia|
|Jasprit Bumrah||153.26 km/hr||2018||Australia|
|Ishant Sharma||152.6 km/hr||2008||Australia|
|Umesh Yadav||152.5 km/hr||2012||Sri Lanka|
|Varun Aaron||152.5 km/hr||2014||Sri Lanka|
|Ashish Nehra||149.7 km/hr||2003||Zimbabwe|
|S Sreesanth||149.3 km/hr||2007||Australia|
Umran Malik: Fastest Speed 155 km/hr
Since we have already talked about Javagal Srinath, we will start with Urman Malik. Umran is currently the fastest Indian bowler including IPL, however, when considering only the international matches, he is at number two among the pacemen of his country, till now. He achieved this position after delivering a ball at the speed of 155 km/hr against Sri Lanka in January 2023.
This youngster joined the world of international cricket only in November 2022 and has played 10 ODI & 8 T20 matches till now. He has already taken 13 wickets in ODI and 11 wickets in T20I matches. Can he break the record of his predecessor Srinath and become India’s fastest bowler in international cricket, or even become faster than the world’s fastest bowler Shoaib Akhtar? Only time can tell that.
Take a look at the young paceman in action against New Zealand in the video below:
Irfan Pathan: Fastest Speed 153.7 km/hr
Irfan Pathan has many times been regarded as the best all-rounder of the India National Cricket Team after Kapil Dev and he has proven himself worthy of the title with his performance time & again; however, he follows the former Pakistan captain, & as one of the world’s most revered fast bowlers of all-time, Wasim Akram’s style of bowling i.e. swinging the ball in both ways.
He played a very crucial role in India’s victory against Pakistan in the 1st ICC Men’s T20I World Cup by taking the wickets of 3 powerful batsmen. And he bowled his fastest delivery of 153.7 km/hr in that very tournament too. But, perhaps, the brightest moment in his career is taking 3 wickets in the first 3 balls of the very first over of a test match against Pakistan, meaning- a hat trick. Take a look at the video here:
In his career as a fast bowler of the Indian team, he has taken 100 wickets from 29 test matches with 7 times 5-wicket haul, 173 wickets from 120 ODI matches, and 28 wickets from 24 T20I matches.
Mohammed Shami: Fastest Speed 153.3 km/hr
Mohammad Shami is one of India’s finest fast bowlers who has the capability to lead the entire bowling department of the team. He was the best bowler of the team in ICC World Cup 2015. His performance can be attributed mostly to his skill of moving both the new & old balls and also to his pace & accuracy.
He is India’s quickest bowler to take 100 wickets till today. He achieved this feat in only 56 matches. To date, he has taken 229 wickets in 64 test matches with 6 6-time 5-wicket haul, 171 wickets in 94 ODI matches, and 24 wickets in 23 T20I matches. He bowled his fastest, to date, in 2018 in a test match against Australia at a speed of 153.3 km/hr.
Mohammed Shami is one of India’s crucial fast bowlers in the squad of ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023. He had a hat trick in the 2019 World Cup in the match against Afghanistan and this achievement made him the 2nd Indian bowler to have a hat trick in a 50-over World Cup. Take a look at this fast bowler hitting the hattrick in the video below:
Jasprit Bumrah: Fastest Speed 153. 26 km/hr
Natural pace, the skills of a fast bowler, an unusual release point, and an uncanny similarity with Lasith Malinga’s ability to hit the blockhole- all these together made Jasprit Bumrah an unpredictable Indian fast bowler to any batsman around the world. He is the first bowler in India’s cricket history to have a 5-wicket haul against South Africa, England, and Australia in the same year.
Emerging from the Indian Premier League (IPL), Bumrah turned out to be one of India’s best bowlers, especially a crucial component in the team’s strategy during the death overs. In the 1st test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2018, he bowled his fastest delivery, to date, in international cricket at the speed of 153.26 km/hr against Australia.
In his international cricket career so far, this fast bowler of India has taken 128 wickets from 30 test matches with 8 times a 5-wicket haul, 129 wickets from 79 ODI matches, and 74 wickets from 62 T20I matches. Take a look at his bowling action in the video below:
Ishant Sharma: Fastest Speed 152.6 km/hr
The tallest fast bowler in India’s history, Ishant Sharma, left the world of international cricket- although his retirement has not yet been confirmed formally- a little earlier than expected due to falling prey to frequent injuries that prevented him from taking part in the game even when he was active. But that didn’t stop him from leaving a mark behind to be remembered forever.
In the short span of his career, Ishant took 311 wickets from 105 test matches with 11 times a 5-wicket haul, 115 wickets from 80 ODI matches, and 8 wickets from 14 T20I matches. He bowled his fastest bowl in the Commonwealth Bank Series against Australia in 2008 at the speed of 152.6 km/hr.
Ishant bowled an incredibly brilliant spell in 2014 against England where India won the test match at the Lord’s and he took 7 wickets in that match for 74 runs only. Here is a video showing Ishant’s bowling in that match:
Umesh Yadav: Fastest Speed 152.5 km/hr
Umesh Yadav took 18 wickets at an average of 17.83 in the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2015 and this was the highest number of wickets for an Indian bowler, and the 3rd highest for any bowler, in that tournament. 140km/hr is the average speed at which Umesh bowls pretty regularly. He can move the ball both ways and can also deliver a very effective bouncer.
He bowled his fastest, so far, in 2012 against Sri Lanka at the speed of 152.5 km/hr. In his career so far he has taken 170 wickets from 57 test matches, 106 wickets from 75 ODI matches, and 12 wickets from 9 T20I matches. He is in India’s 15-member squad for the World Cup of 2023. It is needless to mention that a lot is expected of him by his team and his fans. Here’s a video of Umesh in bowling action:
Varun Aaron: Fastest Speed 152.5 km/hr
Injuries have always been the worst enemy of fast bowlers all over the world and Varun Aaron is definitely one of the victims of the extreme end, for despite being an outstanding bowler, he is seldom seen with the national team. He has played only 9 test matches and 9 ODI matches ever since he joined international cricket in 2018.
Like Umesh Yadav, Varun also bowled his fastest delivery at a speed of 152.5 km/hr against Sri Lanka, but in 2014. Although he is not that regular in the India National Cricket Team, his bowling prowess is regularly observed in the IPL. Here’s a video of Varun bowling in an international match:
Ashish Nehra: Fastest Speed 149.7 km/hr
Ashish Nehra is one of the most experienced and successful Indian fast bowlers and he has delivered many commendable performances too. This left-arm fast bowler has got all it takes to make him an ideal catastrophe on the batsmen- he has got pace, he can play with his regular line & length, and if all these are not enough, there is the late inswinger which definitely makes him unique with a trade secret.
He revived his career at the age of 36 and proved to be India’s best bowler in the T20I World Cup of 2016 where he bowled at an average speed of 140 km/hr. His fastest delivery was also made in a previous World Cup- the ODI World Cup of 2003 at the speed of 149.7 km/hr against Zimbabwe.
In his international career as a fast bowler for Team India, he has taken 44 wickets in 17 test matches, 157 wickets in 120 ODI matches, and 34 wickets in 27 T20I matches. See the man in action in this video here:
S Sreesanth: Fastest Speed 149.3 km/hr
Sreesanth was one of India’s most promising fast bowlers, but his comparatively more aggressive approach toward the game & the stumps made him more expensive than other fast bowlers, especially in the limited over ODI matches. Added to that were his injuries and a steady decline in his form. Together all these made him stay outside the national team more frequently than he would ever desire.
In his international career as one of India’s crucial and wicket-taking pacemen, he took 87 wickets in 27 test matches, 75 wickets in 53 ODI matches, and 7 wickets in 10 T20I matches. Here is a video of one of Sreeshant’s best bowling spells:
Now that we are done discussing the fastest bowlers of international cricket from the context of all-time fast bowlers among all countries and of India, let’s take a look at the top 10 fastest bowlers in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
10 Fastest Bowlers in IPL
The Indian Premier League (IPL) is, arguably, the most popular league-based cricket tournament, especially in terms of the entertainment factor. Many things, besides cricket, are associated with this tournament each year- starting from the auctioning of players till the final ball bowled- everything about IPL is above board.
Almost all the lists available online show that Dale Steyn, the South African fast bowler, bowled his fastest delivery in IPL in 2012 at the speed of 154.4 km/hr against Kolkata Knight Riders while representing Deccan Chargers. In those lists, another South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has been mentioned as the 10th fastest bowler in IPL history with his fastest delivery at the speed of 154.23 km/hr in 2020 representing Delhi Capitals.
Those lists considered all the records from 2011. But in 2010 Steyn bowled a delivery at the speed of 156.7 km/hr against Kolkata Knight Riders representing Royal Challengers Bangalore. The following table has been prepared based on IPL’s all-time records since 2008. Some fast bowlers have taken multiple positions in the list of the top 10 fast bowlers in IPL history. Let’s take a look at those fast bowlers who top the chart of IPL’s history to date.
|Shaun Tait||Rajasthan Royals||157.71||2011||Delhi Capitals|
|Lockie Ferguson||Gujarat Titans||157.3||2022||Rajasthan Royals|
|Umran Malik||Sunrisers Hyderabad||157||2022||Delhi Capitals|
|Dale Steyn||Royal Challengers Bangalore||156.7||2010||Kolkata Knight Riders|
|Anrich Nortje||Delhi Capitals||156.22||2020||Rajasthan Royals|
|Umran Malik||Sunrisers Hyderabad||156||2022||Delhi Capitals|
|Anrich Nortje||Delhi Capitals||155.1||2020||Rajasthan Royals|
|Umran Malik||Sunrisers Hyderabad||154.8||2022||Delhi Capitals|
|Anrich Nortje||Delhi Capitals||154.7||2020||Rajasthan Royals|
|Dale Steyn||Deccan Chargers||154.4||2012||Kolkata Knight Riders|
Shaun Tait: Fastest Speed 157.71 km/hr
Shaun Tait holds the record of bowling the fastest delivery in the history of IPL to date. This Aussie paceman made his IPL debut in 2010 for Rajasthan Royals and has played a total of 21 matches from 2010-2013. He has taken a total of 23 wickets in his IPL career.
Tait bowled his fastest delivery in the match against Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) at the speed of 157.71 km/hr. Aaron Finch was on the receiving end of that delivery. Take a look at Shaun Tait in action in IPL in the video below:
Lockie Ferguson: Fastest Speed 157.3 km/hr
Kiwi paceman Lockie Ferguson made it to the list at the 2nd position as the all-time fast bowlers in the history of IPL till date. He made his IPL debut in 2017, he was part of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKP) from 2019-2021. He was bought by Gujarat Titans in 2022, but he moved to Kolkata Knight Riders in 2023.
In his IPL career so far, this New Zealander has taken 37 wickets from 38 matches. He bowled his fastest at the speed of 157.3 km/hr against Rajasthan Royals while playing for Gujarat Titans in 2022. Here is a video of Lockie bowling in IPL:
Umran Malik: Fastest Speed 157 km/hr
Umran Malik takes the 3rd, 6th, and 8th position on the list of all-time IPL records of fastest bowling deliveries since 2008. His fastest delivery in the tournament happened when he bowled at the speed of 157 km/hr against Delhi Capitals in 2022 while representing Sunrisers Hyderabad. This speed has also made him the current fastest bowler in Indian cricket, at par with Javagal Srinath’s delivery in 1996-97.
Umran’s IPL debut happened in 2021 with Sunrisers Hyderabad. So far, in his IPL career, he has taken 29 wickets from 25 matches. His 2nd & 3rd fastest deliveries were also against Delhi Capitals & in 2022 at the speed of 156 km/hr and 154.8 km/hr respectively. Here’s Umran in action in a video:
Dale Styen: Fastest Speed 156.7 km/hr
There is hardly any argument about the fact that Dale Steyn is one of the world’s most dangerous fast bowlers. He may have never been noticed for the speed of his bowling, however, it was the razor-sharp precision of his line of bowling that made him a terror among the batsmen.
He was no different ever since he made his debut in IPL in 2008 with Royal Challengers Bangalore. He also played for Deccan Chargers in 2011 & 2012, and finally for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2013, 2014 & 2015. In the 95 matches he played in IPL, he has taken 97 wickets.
His fastest delivery was made at the speed of 156.7 km/hr against Kolkata Knight Riders in 2010 which gave him the 4th position in this list. His 2nd highest speed in the tournament, the 10th position in this list, was 154.4 km/hr in 2012, and that too was against KKR. Here’s a video of Steyn in action:
Anrich Nortje: Fastest Speed 156.22 km/hr
South African fast bowler Anrich Nortje consistently bowls at the speed of 150 km/hr in IPL ever since his debut was made in 2019 with KKR and from the next year, he played for Delhi Capitals. He has taken 53 wickets in 40 IPL matches so far.
He is mentioned thrice in this list of 10 fastest bowlers of IPL history- at 5th, 7th & 9th positions. His top 3 fastest deliveries at IPL were all against Rajasthan Royals in 2020 at the speed of 156.22 km/hr, 155.1 km/hr, and 154.7 km/hr. Here’s a video of Anrich in action:
There is one important record that needs to be mentioned here and that was achieved by Kagiso Rabada. He missed being on this list only by a very minimal distance, but he was the quickest, till now, bowler in the history of IPL to take 100 wickets. He picked the wicket of Wriddhiman Saha of Gujarat Titans to achieve this feat in 2023.
10 Fastest Bowlers to Watch-out-For in ICC World Cup 2023
2023 is one of the most memorable years in the history of cricket as it is the year of yet another ICC Men’s ODI World Cup, and this year the tournament is hosted by India. This list of the top 10 fastest bowlers in the history of cricket will remain incomplete if we do not discuss the top 10 fastest bowlers to watch out for in the 2023 World Cup.
The bowlers mentioned in this list have bowled their fastest deliveries in various formats of cricket in either international or league matches. Some of them have touched that benchmark quite some time back, whereas some others have reached there comparatively recently. Above everything, only the speed of the fastest delivery ever made by these bowlers has been considered while making this list. Here goes the list:
|Name of Bowler||Country||Speed (Km/hr)|
|Lockie Ferguson||New Zealand||157.3|
|Kagiso Rabada||South Africa||154.23|
|Shaheen Shah Afridi||Pakistan||151|
We have already talked about the speed & skills of Mitchell Starc, Lockie Ferguson, Haris Rauf, Kagiso Rabada, Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah in this article. Therefore now, we will discuss the bowling speed and skills of the other bowlers on this list.
Mark Wood: Fastest Speed 156.6 km/hr
Mark Wood being on this list is an achievement itself because, at the beginning of his career, this fast bowler suffered one injury after another which almost made him one of those pacers who compromised their speed to stay active in the game for a longer period of time. With time, he found taking a long run-up easier on his ankle- the most injury-prone part of his body- to bear the pressure and achieve the speed of deliveries he was capable of attaining.
This English fast bowler made his debut in international cricket in 2015. He bowled his fastest delivery in 2022 against Pakistan in a test match at a speed of 156.6 km/hr. In his career so far, he has taken 104 wickets from 31 test matches and 71 wickets from 59 ODI matches. Take a look at this video to see Mark Wood in action:
Shaheen Shah Afridi: Fastest Speed 151 km/hr
With each performance, Shaheen Shah Afridi has made himself an integral part of Pakistani cricket as well as one of the deadliest bowlers in the world of cricket at present. The best aspect of this paceman is his height of 6’6” gives him an advantage over others to bowl bouncers even on a docile pitch. Moreover, he is capable of maintaining a good line & length while bowling and is very skilled in swinging the ball.
He bowled his fastest delivery at the speed of 151 km/hr against New Zealand in the T20I World Cup 2021. To date, he has taken 105 wickets in 27 test matches, 87 wickets in 45 ODI matches, and 64 wickets in 52 T20I matches. Here is a video where Afridi can be seen bowling:
Taskin Ahmed: Fastest Speed 150 km/hr
The Bangladeshi youngster caught everyone’s attention with his perfect line & length of bowling. Years after years he has worked harder than before to fight against injuries and to remain in the Bangladesh National Cricket Team’s World Cup squad, this year was especially important to him as he was out of the team in the last installment of the tournament. He has proven his capability of taking important wickets at a crucial moment in a match on multiple occasions.
He bowled his fastest delivery at the speed of 150+ km/hr in the ICC Men’s T20I World Cup 2021. In his career to date, he has taken 30 wickets in 13 test matches, 91 wickets in 64 ODI matches, and 52 wickets in 54 T20I matches. Take a look at the following video to see Taskin in action:
Pat Cummins: Fastest Speed 149.2 km/hr
Australian speedster Pat Cummins is the last bowler on our list here. Although he made his debut in international cricket at the age of 18, he had to wait for six years for his next opportunity to be struck by an injury that his body was not capable of enduring otherwise. And today he has become one of the most dangerous pacemen in the cricket world. Naturally, his performance in the world cup 2023 is one to be looked forward to.
He bowled his fastest delivery at the speed of 149.2 km/hr against England in 2017. In his career till now, he has taken 239 wickets in 55 test matches, 126 wickets in 77 test matches, and 55 wickets in 50 T20I matches. The following link will lead you to a video of Cummins’ bowling:
Apart from these 10 fastest bowlers, there are other bowlers like Trent Boult, Mustafizur Rahman, Lahiru Kumara- who may not be known for their thunderbolt like speed, but they are equally deadly and are well-capable of wreaking havoc on the opponent’s batting line-up with their skills to move the ball as & when required, the line & length of their delivery along with controlled speed.
This article mentioned the fastest bowling speed of the bowlers along with some other information about their careers to date. But speed alone does not define one as a bowler, definitely not as a cricketer. Speed is just one criterion for categorizing fast bowlers. But fast bowlers can set the mode for a match, they can change the result of the match at any time. Therefore, speed combined with the correct line length and swing is very crucial in cricket and so are the fast bowlers.