Let’s look at the list of the best cricketers in the world. Also, know about the career and lifestyle of the best cricket players in the world. In addition, check out how many Indians find a place in the list of the world’s greatest cricketers.
Cricket is one of the planet’s most popular sports, with more than 3 billion fans worldwide. Cricket’s popularity in the Indian subcontinent has contributed a lot to its expansion as an amazing game. Cricket players are celebrities in different parts of the globe. From Joe Root to Virat Kohli and from James Anderson to Babar Azam, cricket players are quite popular in this globalised world. Besides popularity, we are focusing on greatness and presenting a docket of the all-time best cricketers in the world.
These players have scored an enormous amount of runs, taken a huge number of wickets, and have led their teams to victories in some memorable matches. Let’s now look at the names of the best cricket players in the world and find out interesting facts about them.
List of the All-time Best Cricketers in the World
1. Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar, known as the God of cricket in India, holds most of the batting records, including the most runs in Tests and ODIs. Nicknamed Master Blaster, he was the face of Indian cricket and the country’s biggest sporting star for over a decade. In addition to scoring more than 34,000 runs during a flourishing cricketing career spanning 24 years, he scored 100 centuries and 164 fifties. Sachin also gained some success in bowling, having grabbed 201 wickets across formats.
“When he goes out to bat, people switch on their television sets and switch off their lives.”— BBC Sports
Such has been the aura of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar that the whole cricketing world stopped when he arrived at the crease. From Wasim Akram to Curtly Ambrose and from Glem McGrath to Shane Warne, the Little Master has dominated the best of bowlers during his prime, making him the best cricketer in the world. He has scored runs against all his opponents and holds the record of hitting at least one Test hundred every year since his debut in 1989.
2. Muthiah Muralidaran
Muthiah Muralidaran is certainly the biggest sporting star to have emerged from the island nation of Sri Lanka. Much like Sachin in the batting department, he holds most of the bowling records, including most wickets in Tests and ODIs. Born on 17 April 1972 in Kandy, Muthiah has decimated batsmen 800 times in 133 Tests and 534 times in 350 One-Day Internationals with an astonishing bowling average of 22.73 and 23.08 respectively.
Muralitharan sat at the top of the ICC Test Bowling ranking for a record period of 1,711 days, making him one of the all-time’s greatest and best cricketers in the world. After making his debut in 1993 against India, Muthiah troubled almost all great batters of his era, including Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis, and Ricky Ponting. Despite facing several rounds of bowling action checks by ICC, what the off-spinner has achieved is beyond the imagination of most cricketers.
3. Don Bradman
Don Bradman, as the name suggests, was the first Don of cricket in the game’s initial days. Having scored 6996 runs from 52 Test matches at an unimaginable average of 99.94, Bradman is regarded as the greatest cricketer the game has ever seen. During his 20-year career, he hit 29 tons, among which 12 are double centuries; still a record unbroken. The poster boy of Australian cricket during the 30s and 40s gained remarkable popularity in England as well.
Don Bradman attracted cheers for him from English crowds and was loved by all. One of the best cricketers in the world, Don is an inspiration to many great batters, including Sachin Tendulkar.
4. Garfield Sobers
Cricket’s first true all-rounder, Sir Garfield Sobers has been one of the game’s greatest servants. Scoring over 8000 runs at an incredible average of 57.78 in 93 matches, he ruled the game of cricket during most parts of the 50s and 60s. The versatility personified Garry Sobers was born in Barbados’ Bridgetown and has been the country’s greatest sportsperson. The great Don Bradman once described him as a five-in-one-cricketer.
A dashing batsman, fierce bowler, excellent fielder, and attacking captain, Garry Sobers had all in him. It was Garry, who inspired a large pool of all-rounders to achieve fame, including Kapil Dev, Imran khan, Richard Hadlee, and the more recent Jacques Kallis. He is the recipient of several awards and accolades, including Wisden Cricketer of the Century (2000).
5. Vivian Richards
The one man who can be described as the introducer of aggressive batting is Sir Vivian Richards. Regarded as one of the best cricketers in the world of his era, Richards was the game’s first Master Blaster. He was equally successful in bost Tests and ODIs, scoring 8540 runs in 121 matches (average 50.24) and 6721 runs in 187 matches (average 47) respectively. The best part is that he scored these runs at strike rates of above 86 in Tests and 90 in ODIs.
One of the best batsmen in both ODIs and Tests, Vivian Richards has inspired a number of stroke makers in the years to come, including Virender Sehwag, Adam Gilchrist, and AB de Villiers. A part of two world cup winning West Indies teams — in 1975 and 1979, Richards had an ODI strike rate of 90+ at the time of his retirement, a feat that look almost impossible during his days. In 2000, he was named one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century.
6. Jacques Kallis
Jacques Kallis is undoubtedly the finest all-rounder the game of cricket has ever seen. He features in this list of the best cricketers in the world because of his extraordinary records in both Tests and limited-over games. Kallis remained successful both as a batsman as well a bowler. Talking about his stellar stats, he holds the record for getting most player of the match awards in Tests (23 times). At an amazing Test average of above 55 and ODI average of 44, he scored a total of 25534 runs across formats (4th highest).
The 45 Test hundred veteran has also 577 career wickets on his name. The South African has always been a dream player any captain would love to have in his team. In a time when cricket was transitioning into a fast-paced game, Kallis moulded him into a T20 player, evident by his success in IPL. There could be a thousand reasons why Kallis is among the best cricketers in the world. However, the one thing that sets him apart from other cricketers is his zeal to succeed in difficult circumstances.
7. Glenn McGrath
The medium pace of Glenn McGrath, blended with superb swing bowling has always been a nightmare for the greatest of batsmen. From Sachin Tendulkar to Brain Lara, everyone has struggled against GM to score runs. He created a perfect pace-bowling duo with Brett Lee and ruled the cricketing world for over a decade. Glenn was always the go-to bowler for captains whenever they needed wickets, making him one of the greatest cricketers in the world.
Glenn McGrath was known for his simple action and completely controlled bowling. He is second among fast bowlers to have taken most test wickets (563) and fifth overall. What’s astonishing about him is the average at which he got those wickets: 21.64 in 124 Tests and 22.02 in 250 ODIs. When the Australian team was winning all over, he was the bowling backbone of the team. He was part of the three world cup winning teams: in 1999, 2003, and 2007
8. Imran Khan
No Pakistani deserves to be in the list of the best cricketers in the world more than the world cup winning captain Imran Khan. He was stylish with the bat, fearsome with the ball, and intelligent as a leader on the field. He had all those qualities a perfect cricket player should have. Born in Lahore, Imran made his first-class debut at 16 and played the first international match against England in 1971.
Regarded as one of the greatest swingers of the cricket ball, Imran Khan led the Pakistan team to victory in the 1991 World Cup. He ended with bowling averages of 22.81 and 26.62 in Test and ODI respectively. He also gained immense success with the bat, hitting more than 7000 career runs in 263 matches. Post-retirement, Imran Khan made his name as a politician, serving as Pakistan’s 22nd Prime Minister from 2018 to 2022.
9. Shane Warne
A magician with the ball and a charming personality outside the ground, Shane Keith Warne was the greatest spinner in the history of Australian cricket and certainly one of the best in the world. In his 145 Test appearances for the Aussie, Warne took 705 wickets, only behind Muthiah Muralidaran.
Born on 13 September 1969 in Melbourne, Shane Warne made his debut against India in 1992 at SCG. He also bowled the ball of the century in 1993 against England’s Mike Gatting. Warne was seen as a revolution in leg spin, an art dying slowly at that time. He has been quite a popular figure in India, having won the first IPL season captaining Rajasthan Royals. He took 57 wickets in 54 IPL encounters.
10. Virat Kohli
Class, talent, and aggression. Virat Kohli has all the required skills to be the greatest batsman in the world. He is perfection personified. Undoubtedly the 21st century’s best cricketer in the world, Virat Kohli has scored more runs than anyone since 2000. Regarded as the perfect successor to Sachin Tendulkar, he has dominated all three formats — Test, ODI, and T20. Virat is one of the few players on the planet to have achieved the feat of being the top-ranked batsman in all three formats at the same time.
Virat Kohli’s emergence as one of the greatest and best cricketers in the world has been no less than a revolution in Indian cricket. He is often credited as the one who brought aggression in Test matches, walking on Sourav Ganguly’s path. Kohli is a rare breed of batsmen having a batting average of 50+ in all three formats. He, along with Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara, has carried on the batting baton of for the last many years.
This is our list of the all-time best cricketers in the world, which we don’t think is beyond readers’ amendments. There are many others who deserve to be in the index. To name some, you might wanna see names like Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, MS Dhoni, Kumar Sangakkara, Wasim Akram, Curtly Ambrose, James Anderson, etc. While compiling this pool of the best cricketers in the world, we have considered these names.
We would love to know your opinions on these 10 legends and whether you are happy with these names or want to include your favourite cricket players. Write your comments on the social media links given below. You can also compile your greatest cricket players list and send us.
Note: All statistics have been taken from Cricbuzz.
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