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The greatest cricket players of all time

Before we get into crickets greatest ever players, let’s look at brief history of this great game.

Experts agree that cricket may have been born during the Saxon or Norman era by children living in the thick forests and settlements of Wild in southeast England. The first reference to cricket played as an adult sport, dates all the way back to 1611, and in the same year the dictionary defined cricket as a boy’s game. There is also the idea that cricket was derived from the bowl by the batter’s intervention while trying to prevent the ball from reaching the goal by hitting.

The village cricket was developed by the mid-17th century, and the village cricket “local expert” was hired as the first expert, forming the first English “county team” in the second half of the century. The first known game in which teams use county names would be played in 1709.

Cricket was introduced to North America thanks to the English colonies in the early 17th century, and during the 18th century, it arrived at the different parts of the globe. Colonists presented it to the West Indies and to India via way of means of British East India Company mariners. It arrived to Australia almost as quickly as colonization started in 1788 and the game reached New Zealand and South Africa during the early years of the 19th century.

10 best cricketers of all time

Gary Sobers

Considered the best all-rounder ever, Bradman once called him a ‘five in one cricketer’ because Sobers excelled in all cricket skills, wicket keeping is the only exception.
Known as an aggressive batsman, excellent fielder and a highly skilled bowler, an aggressive batsman and an excellent fielder, he broke the record for the highest single-point total with 365 points against Pakistan in 1958.

This record stood for 36 years and is still the fourth-highest personal score on the test. His average of 57,78 is the best of the players with over 8.000 runs.

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Kumar Sangakkara

Sri Lankan, Sangakkara played international cricket for 15 years and scored 28,016 runs across all formats.  He is the second highest-ranked ODI and the sixth highest-ranked in the Test.  The Left-Handed Batsman and Wicketkeepers average test of 57,40 is the best of the batsmen who have completed more than 10,000 runs.

Big players perform on big stages, and “Sanga” did just that in the 2014 WT20 Final. Although he struggled throughout the tournament, he won 52-35 in the final against India.  He retired in 2015.

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Jacques Kallis

The big hitting right handed batsman Kallis became just the third player in the game’s history to score 13,000+ runs.  Known as the greatest all-rounder of our time, he has collected over 250 wickets in both formats.

The South African cricketer played test cricket, ODI cricket, and Twenty 20 cricket from 1995 to 2014, during which he has recorded the 45th century in the Test and is the second best batter after Tendulkar. Kallis also holds most Man of the Match awards in Tests with 23.

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Jack Hobbs

The English cricketer played for Surrey from 1905 to 1934 and for England in 61 Test matches between 1908 and 1930.  When Jack Hobbs cut his boots, he was the best run-getter in tests, 1998 ahead of Clem Hill, and Hobbs made these runs on average 56,94.

His opener average, 56,37 is the third best in history (with more than 4000 runs). He is also the oldest player to score 100 goals. At 46 years and 82 days in Melbourne in 1929, he scored 142 points against Australia.

Shane Warne

“Warnie” was a legendary right-arm leg spinner, and he is widely regarded as one of the greatest, if not the greatest bowlers in cricket history.

The remarkable career of Warne makes him one of the greatest cricket players in Australia. Beyond cricket, Warne enjoyed professional poker, football, and tennis more than anything else due to his passion for playing the game.

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The Australian superstar has records for most wickets (96) taken in a calendar year in test matches.  Also holding the record for scoring the most runs in Test cricket without scoring a century, and being the first bowler in cricket history to take 600 wickets.

Warne was the only spin bowler to chosen as a “Wisden Cricketer of the Century” in 2000.  Warne is second only to the Sri Lankan cricketer Muralitharan with 708 wickets in the international test cricket bowling statistics.  As a tribute to both cricketers achievements, a Test series between Australia and Sri Lanka was known as the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy.

Warnie became a star on and off the pitch (not always for the right reasons!), he retired from international cricket in 2007 after concluding the Ashes successfully.

On 4 March 2022, at the age of 52, Warne sadly died from natural causes.

Viv Richards

Born in Antigua, West Indies, Sir Viv Richards is regarded as the most consistent and greatest all round player in the history of ODI cricket. He was a phenomenon that emerged as a top batter with an average batting of 90,2 in the 1970s and 1980s when most had an average between 60 and 70.

The bold right-handed player held the fastest 100 records from 56 balls in the test until Brendon McCallum broke it in 2015. It was a whopping 40 years he held the record.
Viv Richards led the West Indies to a famous World Cup victory over England in 1979. In his final match, he finished 157 to 138 undefeated.

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Brian Lara

The elegant left-handed player is remembered as one of the toughest players in cricket throughout his 17 year career (1990 – 2007), but he was also amazing at pace and spin play. His remarkable 400 against England in 2004 remains the highest single test score ever.

Trinidad born, Lara’s match-winning score of 153 runs against Australia in 1999 at Barbados had been ranked as the second-best in the history of test cricket.  Fast forward to 2004 and Lara scored 400 runs against Antigua, becoming the highest-scoring individual in Test cricket.  He also holds the accolade of most runs (351 runs) playing for a losing side during a Test match.

His consistent performance in his country and club has received a lot of praise from the cricket world and further, with former US President Obama insisted on meeting Brian Lara, later describing the superstar as “the Michael Jordan of cricket.”

Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting is the most successful captain in international cricket history, with 220 victories in 324 matches with a winning rate of 67.91%.
The Australian batsman is the second-highest international century scorer after the  Sachin Tendulkar in both the World Cup and the test.

Ponting holds the record for the most World Cup appearances with 46 matches played and with 8497 runs, Ponting also holds the record in ODI history for most runs as a captain.

His career spanned 1995-2012 and Pointing captained the Australian team won the World Cup in 2003 and 2007 and competed in the 1999 team.

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Sachin Tendulkar

Since debuting in Pakistan at the age of 16, the sky has always been the limit for Sachin Tendulkar, the ‘god of cricket’. In his 24 year career he accumulated the most runs in both testing and ODI and recording 100 centuries internationally. That’s 29 more than Rick Ponting, the second-place finisher.

Tendulkar also led the World Cup in runs, with a total of 2.278 with an unmatched average of 56,95.  He is known far beyond his hometown of India as the man who made most people fall in love with cricket.  Throughout his international career, Sachin earned a total of 15,000 runs.

He retired in 2013.

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Donald Bradman

Australian Sir Don Bradman is arguably the greatest batter of all time. His incredible test average of and world record 99,94 is 38,07 ahead of his closest challenger, Adam Vorges.  Bradman’s long inning abilities were unrivaled. He achieved more than 12.200 scores and scored 6 consecutive centuries in the 1937/38 season. He holds the record for most runs in a Test series where he scored 974 runs from 7 innings, at an average of 139,14 in 1930 Ashes.

The right handed batsman’s career spanned 1928-1948.

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The others

Wally Hammond

Wally Hammond, considered excellent in the Tests, scored an average of 58,46, with an average of 50 or above. But he had to settle for the second best since he was contemporary with Bradman who scored an incredibly 99,94 on average. Hammond’s average in the test is the highest among the batsmen who have won over 7.000 runs.

He has 7.000 runs in innings and holds the record for the fastest player. He was also the first to break the 7.000 run mark and was the highest ranked player when he retired.

Muttiah Muralitharan

The Sri Lankan cricketer is still regarded as one of the greatest spin bowlers in cricket history.  In Test matches, he holds the record for most 10-wicket hauls with 22.  He has the record (66) for five-wicket hauls and Muralitharan is the only player to have taken a 10-wicket haul in every country where Tests are played.  He also holds records of 11 awards for the Best Player in the Series of Test cricket.

Virat Kohli

This Indian cricketer has become a massive superstar and is now the third most followed athlete on the planet.  Kohli is a former captain of the India national cricket team. He plays for Delhi in domestic cricket and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.

Between 2013 and 2022, he captained the India cricket team in more than 200 matches across all three formats. With 40 wins out of 68 test matches notched up, Kohli is the most successful test captain in Indian cricket history.  He also holds the world record of being the fastest to 23,000 international runs.  

Kohli is widely regarded as the best batsmen of his era, such is his talent and star appeal, he’s topped the list of the highest-paid cricketers and ranked near the top highest-paid athletes in the world. He’s still playing se we expect even more records to be broken before he retires.

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