Cricket is a very famous & widely played game so much so that it’s the 2nd most popular game in the World. And Bowling is a Crucial Part of the Cricket. There have been many skillful fast bowlers in the history of Cricket, who made their names by their great bowling skills. Here we are going to make the list of top 10 Greatest Fast Bowlers of all time.

Greatest Fast Bowlers

Top 10 Greatest Fast Bowlers of All Time

Sydney Barnes (England 1901-1914)

Greatest Fast Bowlers

Sydney Barnes is an English fast medium bowler. He is regarded as the greatest fast bowler of all time in the history of the cricket. Sydney Barnes made his debut in the match against Australia on 13th December 1901. Barnes played 27 test matches for England from 1901 to 1914. He took 189 wickets with a very impressive average of 16.43, which is the biggest Argument of his greatness. Sydney Barnes also took 719 wickets in his first-class career with an average of 17.09 runs per wicket. Undoubtedly, he was one of the Greatest Fast Bowlers ever in cricket history.

Fred Trueman (England 1952-1965)

Greatest Fast Bowlers

A classical side-on action, who played for Yorkshire in county cricket. Fred Trueman represented England for 67 test matches. Trueman was the first ever bowler in the history of test cricket who reached 300 wickets milestone. He remained highest wickets taker for 13 years. Overall he took 307 wickets with an average of 21.57. He recorded his best bowling figures i.e. 8/31 against Australia.

Wasim Akram (Pakistan 1984-2003)

Greatest Fast Bowlers

The “Sultan of Swing”, Wasim Akram was also regarded as one of the Greatest Fast Bowlers (left arm) ever in the history of cricket. He also has a reputation for being an all time best fast bowler in the history of one day cricket. Wasim Akram was the bowler who could swing the ball both win the air and both sides of the pitch too. He was the first bowler to reach 300, 400 and 500 ODIs wickets. Wasim took 502 wickets in his ODIs career and 414 wickets in test career. Wasim has a record of having over 900 international wickets.

Dennis Lillee (Australia 1971-1984)

Greatest Fast Bowlers

Dennis Lillee broke Lance Gibbs’ World record of taking the most number of wickets in the test career (309). He ended up with 355 wickets in 70 test matches. Lillee was a very Dangerous bowler with combination of speed and movement of the pitch and in the air. Lillee also took 113 wickets in ODI career with an average of 20.82.

Sir Richard Hadlee (New Zealand 1973-1990)

Greatest Fast Bowlers

Unlike other fast bowlers, Sir Richard Hadlee was very cool and calm character on the field. But his fast bowling has never been calm. He was the one who gave a huge boost to cricket New Zealand. Richard Hadlee was one of the greatest fast bowlers New Zealand ever produced. Sir Richard Hadlee also was one of the Greatest All-Rounders in cricket history. He took 431 test wickets in 86 matches, with an average of 22.29 and aslo took 158 ODI wickets in 115 matches.

Malcolm Marshall (West Indies 1978-1991)

Greatest Fast Bowlers

With the height of 5’11”, Marshall was not very tall like other west indians. He was one of most dangerous swing bowler. His bowling action was his trade mark. Malcolm was a lot quicker than he looked. He took 376 test wickets in 81 matches and 157 ODI wickets in 136 matches. He has a bowling average of 20.94 in test matches.

Glenn McGrath (Australia 1993-2007)

Greatest Fast Bowlers

One of the tallest bowlers of all time, McGrath was the hunter of “biggest fishes” like Bian Lara and Atherton. In our opinion, McGrath was the all time best fast bowler in terms of “using the no Ball”. With spot-on line and length, McGrath took 563 test wickets in 124 matches. He was the 1st fast bowler to play 100 test matches. McGrath also took 381 ODI wickets in 250 matches. He has the best bowling figure of 8/24.

Curtly Ambrose (West Indies 1988-2000)

Greatest Fast Bowlers

Curtly Ambrose is one of the tallest cricketers of all time. Ambrose was 6ft 7in and he could release the ball from almost 10ft high. With a lethal pace, bounce, and swing, he was one of the most dangerous fast bowlers. He took 7 wickets for only 1 run against Australia at WACA 1992/93 season. That was one of the best bowling figures of all time. Curtly Ambrose took 405 test wickets in 98 matches, with an average of 20.99. and also 225 ODI wickets in 176 matches. Without any doubt, he is one of the Best Fast Bowler of all time.

Waqar Younis (Pakistan 1989-2003)

Greatest Fast Bowlers

Waqar Younis has the best strike rate of any bowler who took over 200 wickets in test matches. Mr. Younis took almost 800 international wickets with an average of under 24 per wicket in both formats. He has the world record of most five wickets hauls in one day cricket. probably was the one of Best Fast Bowler of all time. According to “The man who really put the reverse into a swing, Waqar Younis bucked the 1980s trend of pitching fast and short by pitching fast and full. Not an obvious recipe for success until you factor in prodigious late inswing, which was designed to smash into the base of leg stump or the batsman’s toes.”

Dale Steyn (South Africa 2004- )

Greatest Fast Bowlers

Out of all the bowlers that we mentioned today, Dale Steyn is the only one currently playing cricket. Cricinfo says about Steyn: “Dale Steyn could be just the latest nuclear-tipped arrow that South Africa have drawn from their seemingly bottomless quiver of classy fast bowlers. The trouble, for opposing batsmen, is that he is rather more than that”. He took 350 test wickets in just 69 matches and took 123 wickets in 79 one day matches, and he is still going. Maybe he will get to the top after completion of his career.

So these were the top 10 Greatest Fast Bowlers of all time. Feel free to share your opinion in the comments down below.

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  • Stew Green

    Barnes…I dont know…

  • give yourself some time for reading about this legend. check profile on cricinfo please.

  • Syed Hasan Rizvi

    oh come on … who the hell is this Sydney Barnes???? :/ just 27 test matches dont prove his class :/ …. this is shitty non sense :/ … a classy stupidity :s
    Wasim Akram should be at number 1 position
    Glen McGrath at number 2 position … then west indians … Malcolm Marshal, Walsh … and so on …..
    Crap List !!

    • hello

      I am Pakistani But sydney Barnes was also a phenomenal bowler and he deserves to be 1st. Although Wasim should be 2nd, Trueman 3rd and where is Imran Khan

      • Syed Hasan Rizvi

        I am sorry, but I disagree with you ….
        Do you have any source to prove Sydney Barnes the greatest fast bowler???
        my problem is ‘Sydney Barnes’ has played just 27 test matches, and that’s not enough to place him in the first position :/ there should be at least 50 test matches played by a bowler before getting included in ‘The Greatest Fast Bowlers’ list ……

        • Sokker1008 AD

          Agree but the question is who watched Sydney Barnes while bowling . All of us din’t then how can we rate him no 1#.There is not a single video of his bowling available on internet. Beside that at that time level of cricket was not technically advanced. I have no regret to admit that bowlers of 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s are much more skilled, creative, accurate and faster than the bowlers of pre 50 era . I have watched some videos of those days. They looked too mediocre in comparison to today bowlers. After 60s cricket become much more skilled and professionalized because of the players like Dennis Leliie, Garfield Sobers, Micheal Holding , Ian Bottom etc. If Sydney Barnes bowled against today batsmen or against Garfield Sobers and Vivian Richard he would have been totally failed to get as much wickets as he got at that time.

        • SF Barnes

          I’m pretty sure that you would not be arguing whether or not SF Barnes was/is the greatest bowler of all time if he was a Paki or Indian (or what ever your origins are). The fact that’s it’s an Englaishman is sitting proudly, and comfortably, at the top of this list, is your only fuel for any objection.

          There’s never been a great player with poor statistics. In addition, SF Barnes played all of his tests against South Africa and Australia. He didn’t have the chance to pick up cheap, effortless wickets against the likes of Bangledesh or Zimbawe. Akram took over half of his wickets in Asia (home advantage anyone?). In addition, he only ever took 50 Australian wickets. Contrast those numbers (of Akram’s) with SF Barnes. He took over half of his wickets away from home, and with a better average. To claim that a bowler from any era doesn’t compare to “modern bowlers” is the most dated and obstuse argument available. Everything is relative.

      • He played against bums in the 1900’s, anyone from that era does not deserve to be on a greatest of all time list.
        They could not even make the team of a modern day local cricket team.

    • Bill North

      not walsh, donald and steyn are better than walsh. Holding, Roberts and Garner but not walsh.

    • gulfam

      well sydney Barnes might be a good bowler but he only played 27 test matches. in test cricket its different to perform for a longer period of time. other legends in this list played for years and they were still very consistent. so in my opinion Barnes doesn’t deserve to be at number 1 position.

  • aditya daga

    i don’t agree…..colin croft,michael holding,Joel garner, andy roberts not there..

    • your may be right. but we didn’t find accurate record of their fastest delivery. if you have then send me.

  • Sokker1008 AD

    My Picks are:
    1. Dennis Lillee (Australia)
    2. Wasim Akram (Pakistan)
    3. Glenn McGrath(Australia)
    4. Fred Trueman (England)
    5. Malcolm Marshall (West Indies)
    6. Sir Richard Hadlee (New Zealand )
    7. Waqar Younis (Pakistan)
    8. Allen Donald (South Africa)
    9. Curtly Ambrose (West Indies)
    10. Dale Steyn (South Africa)

  • Truth

    I have started watching cricket since a small kid in late eighties and early ninety’s, My observation is McGracth is the greatest fast bowler I haven’t seen Lillee’s bowling I loved to see him but. Come close 2nd to McGarth is Ambrose, The other bowlers like Akram Styen, Waqar Marshall lately mitchelle jhonson are all great but McGrath is greater then all others.

  • Michael

    Compare Allan Donald’s stats on Cricinfo: He definitely should be on this list.

  • KD

    Wasim Akram Should Top the list Any day and the rest of the bowlers from 1975 till date should be included as the game has completely changes and as of date the game is very physical and challenging and the batsmen have a huge advantages due to smaller grounds and balls and the ground conditions which have been made to favour them. This wranking has no basis what so ever

  • “what so ever”
    have you noticed wasim akram uses word “what so ever” more than any other word?
    you also used, that’s mean your true fan of great Wasim 🙂

  • steve

    For me, in 30 years watching nobody was ever better than Richard Hadlee, and I’m not a New Zealander

  • Taylor

    Wasim is indisputably the number 1 bowler of all time. I’m enlightened with the list but inclusion of Allan Donald, Shane Warne, Muttiah Murlitharan could have made the list more relevant.

  • Shane Warne, Muttiah Murlitharan in “Greatest Fast Bowlers” List ? are You Ok :p

  • calpit

    Curtly Ambrose is simply the best fast bowler of all time!! 98 matches avg 20……everybody else is above that avg, he won matches single handedly, ask the batsmen who faced him.

  • Saint Claire

    ALLAN DONALD? TEST AVG – 22.25, ODI – 21.78, He is probably above or at same rank as Glenn McGrath (No. 7 on the list)..even higher than Malcom Marshal in ODIs..He was and forever be the WHITE LIGHTING…an incomparable legend.

  • dilip

    glenn mcgrath 1st , curtly ambrose 2nd