The Best Cricket Bowlers Throughout History

The Best Cricket Bowlers Throughout History


Being a great cricket bowler requires a lot more than just a fast arm. You need to show dedication, commitment, and a deep understanding of the sport on a strategic level; if you don’t know what’s going on in the game on a moment-to-moment basis, you won’t be able to achieve victory. The best bowlers in the history of the sport understand this, and they use their strategic expertise to their advantage. Here are some of our favourite cricket bowlers throughout history. We haven’t listed these bowlers in any particular order; a definitive ranking is near-impossible, but we still feel it’s important to honour the true giants of the game!

Ian Bishop

Bishop’s incredible career saw him reach 100 wickets in the short space of 21 Test matches. His lightning-fast speed was matched only by his imposing demeanour; at six foot five, Bishop struck fear into the hearts of batsmen he faced. Unfortunately, his career was plagued by injuries and setbacks, but that hasn’t stopped him engaging with cricket on a regular basis; he’s now a commentator, and a well-respected one at that. Check out this interview with the good people at Betway, in which Bishop waxes lyrical about his sporting history; it’s well worth a read.

Darren Gough

One of England’s many secret weapons during the 1990s and 2000s, Darren Gough spearheaded the nation’s four-series victory run between 2000 and 2001. Gough was another bowler claimed by the injury curse; he retired from Test cricket at the young age of 32, but his legacy continues on. Of course, he’s still active in the world of cricket, acting as a pundit and commenting on his past glories and the current state of the game. Gough’s pick for fastest bowler? That would have to be Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar, who Gough described as “horrible to face”.

Harbhajan Singh

Harbhajan Singh will always be remembered as the bowler who unseated the deservedly arrogant Australia in 2001. Singh managed to get 32 wickets across three Test matches, including a well-deserved hat trick, making him the scourge of one of the world’s best cricket teams. Sadly, Singh isn’t without controversies; his career has been plagued by accusations of cheating, and he’s fallen foul of the International Cricket Council several times, not least for racially-motivated verbal attacks against Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds. Still, his bowling prowess is not in dispute.

Lisa Sthalekar

Australia’s women’s team should be thankful that Lisa Sthalekar played for them. She was a true demon of international cricket, scoring a staggering 23 wickets across 16 innings and 8 Test matches. In the world of ODI, Sthalekar managed to grab 146 wickets across 125 ODIs, which is an impressive statistic. She was born to Indian parents (which explains why cricket runs in her DNA; with Indian heritage and an Australian upbringing, she was never destined for anything else), and her father introduced her to cricket with the memorable quote “I think cricket runs in the blood of all Indians”.

Shane Warne

No list of the greatest bowlers in cricket history would be complete without Australia’s dervish Shane Warne. He has 1001 international wickets under his belt, and was the very first bowler in cricket to get 700 wickets to his name (although he wouldn’t be the last, of course). Warne’s most famous play is arguably the 1993 Ashes, in which he knocked legendary batsman Mike Gatting off his podium with the now-famous “Ball of the Century” play. Watch it back and tell us that Warne isn’t some kind of magician. We’ll never believe you.

Jhulan Goswami

Women’s cricket is severely underrated, as is the case with pretty much any sport in which women compete on an international level. Jhulan Goswami is proof of that fact. Her control over the ball is absolutely incredible; you have to see what she does with her spin to believe it, and she’s able to consistently bowl her opponents out with very little alteration to her strategy. She’s also excellent at bat, making her the perfect all-rounder for the Indian women’s cricket team. If you’ve never watched a game of women’s cricket, you owe it to yourself, and to talent like Goswami, to check it out.

Muttiah Muralitharan

If you need evidence of Muralitharan’s pedigree, look no further than the fact that he was crowned Man of the Series across a record-shattering 11 Test games. He also managed to rack up 19 Man of the Match awards in Test cricket, which puts him behind only the also-legendary Jacques Kallis in those stakes. Muralitharan is also the world record holder when it comes to Test wickets; he scored a remarkable 800 across his career, which towers over near neighbour Shane Warne’s score of 708. Muralitharan truly is Sri Lanka’s secret weapon on the pitch.

Cathryn Fitzpatrick

Arguably, Cathryn Fitzpatrick is one of the greatest cricketers of all time; she played in 13 international Test games and achieved a score of 60 wickets across 24 innings, which is extremely impressive. The fastest ball she bowled clocked in at a staggeringly quick 75mph, which would be enough to catch any batsman unawares (and, indeed, her balls frequently did). Fitzpatrick played during a time when women’s cricket wasn’t taken anywhere near as seriously as it should be, and unfortunately, we’re still living in that time, so many women’s statistics for the game haven’t been properly recorded. However, we’re confident that she will go down in history as one of the true greats.


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