Cricket is the favorite sport for millions around the world. A team game using a ball and a bat has caught the fancy of a huge chunk of the world’s population. Cricket started at the end of the 16th century. Cricket was first played in the United Kingdom. Originally it was a kids game and later adults started playing the game too.
Popularity of the game rose during the 16th century in the United Kingdom. Cricket then became England’s national sport during the 17th century. The game under went major development and new rules were introduced including leg before wicket and 3 stump wicket.
Soon after cricket became immensely popular with other nations getting involved with the game. By mid 19th century, cricket become well-established in several parts of the world specifically where the English had colonies. Organized competition at test level and county cricket started some 2 decades before World War I.
This period has been known as the golden era of cricket. Top players of the game dominated the pitch with their amazing performances. Listed below are the six greatest cricketers of all time who have played the game and created a name for themselves.
Greatest Cricketers Of All Time
1. Sachin Tendulkar:
Sachin Tendulkar is a cricketer from India who is regarded as the best batsman alive today. Cricketing stats prove that he is without a doubt the most successful batsman in the world today. He has created a world record for the highest number of test matches and one day internationals. He has played 660 international matches. He is also the first batsman in world history to cross 35,000 runs in the game overall.
He is the most productive scorer of runs in ODI matches with 18,500 runs and 15,500 runs in test matches. He also holds the record of the highest number of centuries in both test cricket and one day internationals with 51 and 49 respectively. He is the first player who made a double century in one day international cricket history.
He has been judged as the man of the match 15 times in test cricket and man of series around 4 times. He was also judged as the man of the match 60 times in ODI matches and man of series 14 times. He has consistently scored well in county cricket and other matches in India and abroad.
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2. Sir Don Bradman:
Sir Donald Bradman generally known as the don was the greatest batsman in the history of the world. He is the only batsman to have scored 99 as his test batting average during his career, a great achievement that has remained unbeaten in the history of the game till this day. He had his debut at Oval when he was only 19.
He had a productive 20 year career playing cricket during which time he became the number 1 cricketing icon in Australia. Other than the records held by him for batting average, most number of double centuries at 12, most runs scored by a player in 1 series – 975, most triple centuries 2, and the list goes on.
He is the first Australian ever to have a museum dedicated entirely to his cricketing career and life. His bust has also been placed on coins and even postage stamps. Royal Australian $5 gold coin in commemoration of his illustrious career was distributed with his bust on it. He had also been inducted in to the ICC Hall of Fame during 2010.
3. Jacques Kallis:
Jacques Kallis, a cricket player from South Africa and also one of the greatest all rounders in the world. He is a fast to medium swing bowler and an equally quick right-handed batsman. He played the first test match in 1996 against England. He made his world cup debut in the 1997 world cup.
He has played over 160 tests and 320 one day internationals and the only player in the game’s history to make more than 12,000 runs & 550 wickets in test matches and one day internationals. He scored 11,500 runs in one day internationals and 13,000 runs in test matches. He also made 280 wickets on one day internationals and 285 wickets during test matches.
He scored 44 centuries in test matches and 18 centuries in one day internationals. He has surpassed all South African batsmen in terms of runs scored during test matches and one day internationals. He is considered one of the greatest all rounders to have ever played the game.
4. Imran Khan:
Imran Khan is a Pakistani cricketer. He had played first class international cricket spanning a career of 20 years and is considered Pakistan’s most successful captain. Imran Khan made his debut in test cricket in 1972 in Birmingham against England. Some 3 years later, he debuted in a one day international match in Nottingham against England.
At the zenith of his cricketing career which was in 1985, Imran Khan was promoted as the Pakistani cricket team captain. As captain, he reached the peak of his cricketing career when he led his side to victory in the world cup of 1992. Khan played in 90 test matches and 175 one day international matches.
He made 185 wickets in one day international matches and 365 wickets in test matches. He was also crowned as Wisden’s cricketer of year in 1984. Khan made 10 wickets in test cricket match 7 times and 6 wickets in an inning 25 times.
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5. Brian Lara:
Brian Lara, a cricket player from the West Indies made his debut in international cricket in 1991. He is widely regarded as 1 of the greatest batsman of all times. On several occasions Brian Lara topped test batting ranking and also is the holder of several cricket records. His highest ever personal score in cricket, first class, was 500 not out.
Brian Lara also holds the record for highest personal score of 450, not out, during a test inning. Brian Lara is the only cricketer in the game’s history to score a quadruple century, a triple century, a double century, and a century in test matches. Brian Lara has made a quintuple century in test first class matches and is considered as 1 of the superlative batsman in the history of test cricket.
He held the unbeatable record in runs scored in test cricket for a while, but was surpassed by the little master, Sachin Tendulkar himself in 2009. He created history scoring centuries against most of the major cricketing nations of the world in test matches. Brian Lara scored 28 runs in a single over against South Africa in one test match, creating the world record of the maximum runs ever scored in a single over.
He was awarded Wisden’s leading cricketer of the world award during 1995 and 1994. He also won the overseas BBC sports personality of a year award.
6. Wasim Akram:
W. Akram is a Pakistani cricketer. He was a left-handed batsman and a left arm pace bowler who bowled with great pace. He is regarded as 1 of the best pace bowlers in the game’s history. He is also considered as 1 of the creators and a classic example of swing reverse bowling. Wasim Akram made his debut for Pakistan in test cricket in 1986 against New Zealand.
Wasim Akram started his one day international career in Pakistan against New Zealand in 1984. Wasim Akram also played 360 one day internationals and 105 test matches. He scored 3700 and 2900 runs in test matches and one day internationals. Wasim made 415 wickets in test matches and took 500 wickets in one day internationals.
In test matches, he made 12 wickets in a match 5 times and 6 wickets in an inning around 30 times. Wasim Akram has been awarded 17 man of match awards in 105 test matches. He made 4 hat tricks in international cricket, 2 in both test and one day internationals. He also ended with 25 man of match awards in one day internationals.
I am not sure whether you would agree with my list of greatest cricketers of all time, but for me these people are the best. If you feel that any other cricketer is worthy to be included in this list, do share it with me via comments.