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151 Greatest Cricketers of All Time (Men’s): From WG Grace to Pollard

It’s time to discuss the greatest cricketers of all time. This ultimate list will feature 151 top cricketers across formats and eras—from WG Grace to Kieron Pollard.

Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo just retired as players from the IPL and left their imprints on T20 cricket. As T20s evolve and become central to the cricketing universe, why not make a list of the greatest cricketers of all time across formats and eras?

If you’re looking for a quick skim, scroll down to the Top 25: The Undisputed Legends or #26-50: The Absolute Greats. Sir Donald Bradman is chosen as the Greatest Cricketer of All-Time with WG Grace, Sachin Tendulkar, Jack Hobbs, Shane Warne, Frank Worrell, and Sir Garfield Sobers close behind.

Contents

The Criteria

So how did we pick the greatest cricketers of all time? Well, we considered it all—Impact, captaincy, World Cup contributions, longevity, legacy, and statistics (10,000 runs, player of the match awards, 5-fers, 10-fers, ICC Hall of fame, Wisden cricketer of the century list, etc.)

This was a tougher challenge than I had initially anticipated. So to narrow down our choices, if a player satisfied any of the criteria below, they were automatically added to the list:

  • Member of ICC’s Hall of Fame
  • 10,000 ODI or Test Runs
  • 500 Test Wickets, 400 ODI Wickets
  • Selected as the Six Giants of the Wisden Century or Wisden Cricketers of the Century

To understand a player’s true impact from before the 1950s, excerpts from Wisden’s Almanack and ESPNCricinfo were used (and cited).

*Note: Sydney Barnes, Don Bradman, W.G. Grace, Jack Hobbs, Tom Richardson, and Victor Trumper were selected as the Six Giants of the Wisden Century and Donald Bradman, Garfield Sobers, Jack Hobbs, Shane Warne, and Viv Richards were voted as Wisden Cricketer of the Century in 2000.

The Stats

So, over 250 cricketers were considered for this list. We consider Tests, ODIs, T20Is, T20 leagues, and first-class cricket played over 145 years.

The goal of this list is that from these 151 greatest cricketers of all time, you can pick sub-lists of the “Greatest All-Rounders of All-Time,” “Greatest Fast Bowlers of All-Time,” etc.

England (39), Australia (30), West Indies (24) dominated the list due to their rich first class and World Cup histories. The breakdown of the rest of the countries are as follows: India (13), Pakistan (13), South Africa (12), Sri Lanka (10), New Zealand (7), Zimbabwe (1), and Bangladesh (1).

Disclaimer: The ranking is most likely going to not align with your views. Expect the unexpected. Several ‘great’ cricketers did not make the list (see the next section & extended list of honorable mentions) but the ones that did fundamentally helped change the game. Feel free to comment below on players who you think should be in the list.

152-175 Greatest Cricketers: Unlucky to Miss Out

Several players here are currently playing or recently retired. In a few years, they may well make the Top 151 list as their legacy becomes permanent. Those who were unlucky to miss out were:

Charles Bannerman, Nathan Lyon, Ravichandran Ashwin, Johnny Tyldesley, Rashid Khan, Mitchell Johnson, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, David Warner, Jeff Thompson, Shahid Afridi, Mark Waugh, Makhaya Ntini, Mike Brearley, Harbhajan Singh, Glenn Turner, Ben Stokes, Cheteshwar Pujara, Lance Klusener, Yuvraj Singh, Ian Healy, Vijay Hazare, Trent Boult, Ian Chappell, Saeed Ajmal

151 Greatest Cricketers of All Time: The Ultimate List

Picking the Top 151 players was a tough task, but do you know what was even tougher? Ranking them.

Without furthur ado, here is the list. Enjoy the classic photography and check out the videos linked under some players.

151. Learie ‘Lord’ Baron Constantine (West Indies, 1921-1939)

Major Teams: West Indies, Barbados, Freelooters, Trinidad

An allrounder by trade, Constantine was one of West Indies’ early stars. More than his on-field accomplishments, he made an impact as a lawyer, politician, and Trinidad & Tobago’s High Commissioner to the UK.

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150. Alan Davidson (Australia, 1949-1963)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales

An Australian left-arm pacer who “would be the most menacing new-ball bowler of his day” and was a handy batter in the lower order—The original Mitchell Johnson and Mitch Starc.

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149. Mitchell Starc (Australia, 2009-)

Major Teams: Australia, Australia U-19, New South Wales, Sydney Sixers, Yorkshire, Royal Challengers Bangalore

Speaking of Australian left arm pacers, Mitchell Starc. His World Cup exploits are alone to guarantee him a spot in the all-time list. Player of the Tournament when he helped Australia lift the trophy in 2015, he bettered himself in 2019 with the record tally of 27 wickets. Starc’s yorkers, early swing, and ability to clean up tails will be remembered forever.

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148. Stan McCabe (Australia, 1928-1942)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales

Playing alongside Don Bradman, he was often overshadowed but was said to be a beautiful batter to watch. Even Sir Len Hutton remarked, “It would be hard to think of a greater Australian batsman. He had qualities that even Bradman hadn’t got.”He is best known for scoring 385 runs in that infamous Bodyline series.

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147. Sir Conrad Hunte (West Indies, 1950-1967)

Wisden remarks the Hunte “was one of the greatest West Indian batsmen of a great generation.” Even the great Desmond Haynes picked Hunte over himself in the All-Time Barbados XI “because he was simply the better batsman.”

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146. Godfrey Evans (England, 1939-1967)

Major Teams: England, Kent

ESPNCricinfo states that Evans was “arguably the best wicketkeeper the world has ever seen.” Played 91 Tests and even scored a couple of tons. Inflicted 1066 dismissals in his first-class career.

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145. Marvan Atapattu (Sri Lanka, 1988-2007)

Major Teams: Sri Lanka, Delhi Giant, Sinhalese Sports Club

From 0,0.0,1,0,0 to establishing himself as the backbone of Sri Lanka’s Test batting seven years later and ending with six double centuries is a beautiful story. Decent ODI player with 8500 runs as well.

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144. Hugh Tayfield (South Africa, 1945-1963)

Major Teams: South Africa, Rhodesia, Natal, Transvaal

Wisden remarks that Tayfield was “one of the greatest off spinners the game has ever seen.” Once took 9/113 in an innings.

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143. Sunil Narine (West Indies, 2009-)

Major Teams: West Indies, West Indies U-19s, Barisal Burners, Cape Cobras, Comilla Victorians, Dhaka Dynamites, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lahore Qalandars, Melbourne Renegades, Montreal Tigers, Oval Invincibles, Quetta Gladiators, Sydney Sixers, Trinbago Knight Riders, Trinidad & Tobago

Redefined three aspects of the T20 game—economical spin bowling, the mystery spin, and pinch hitting.

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142. Mulvantrai ‘Vinoo’ Mankad (India, 1935-1962)

Major Teams: India, Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Rajasthan, Nawanagar

Although his name is infamously slandered for non-strikers run out, he was actually “one of the greatest allrounders India ever produced.”

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141. Richie Benaud (Australia, 1948-1964)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales

Before he was the voice of cricket, he was remembered as one of Australia’s greatest captains. His aggressive captaincy led to the first tied Test in cricket’s history. As a leg spinning allrounder, he was the first man to complete the double of 200 Test wickets and 2000 runs.

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140. Rohit Sharma (India, 2006-)

Major Teams: India, India U-19, Deccan Chargers, Mumbai Indians, Mumbai

264, 209, 208*, 171*, 162, 159, 152*, 150.

An ODI legend with a penchant for the mammoth hundreds. Easy on the eye, one of the best IPL captains, a T20 World Cup winner, and one of the best pullers the game has ever seen.

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139. Bob Simpson (Australia, 1952-1978)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales, Western Australia

Played the third longest Test innings (743 balls) when he scored 311 against England in 1964. A leg-spinner allrounder who became an opening Test batter is a noteworthy achievement.

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138. Peter May (England, 1950-1963)

Major Teams: England, Cambridge University, Surrey

Although he had a decent Test career, his first-class stats are outrageous—27592 runs with 85 hundreds.

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137. Saeed Anwar (Pakistan, 1986-2003)

Major Teams: Pakistan, Karachi, Lahore, United Bank Limited, Agriculture Development Bank of Pakistan

A graceful left-hander, his 194 withstood the test of time until Sachin Tendulkar’s 200 broke his record. Anwar was the highest scoring opener in the 1990s in ODI cricket.

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136. Sir Clyde Walcott (West Indies, 1941-1964)

Major Teams: West Indies, Barbados, British Guiana

One of the famous ‘3 Ws’ in West Indies’ middle order, he was a steady cog of West Indies’ middle order. 15 Test hundreds, 40 first class centuries, and Test average of 56.68. Fun fact, Walcott holds the record for the fewest ducks in career.

Also See: Sir Frank Worrell (#6), Sir Clyde Walcott (#134)

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135. Ted Dexter (England, 1956-1968)

Major Teams: England, Sussex, Cambridge University

Dexter scored 21150 first class runs with 51 centuries and had a 62-match Test career. He was known was his counter-attacking style of play.

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134. Sir Everton Weekes (West Indies, 1944-1964)

Major Teams: West Indies, Barbados

Weekes was one of the best in his time. Centuries in five consecutive innings, joint fastest to a 1000 Test runs, and ended with a Test average of 58.61.

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133. Shoaib Akthar (Pakistan, 1994-2011)

Major Teams: Pakistan, Agriculture Development Bank of Pakistan, Chittagong Division, Durham, Islamabad Leopards, Khan Research Labs, Kolkata Knight Riders, Pakistan International Airlines, Rawalpindi, Somerset, Surrey, Worcestershire

An icon for Pakistan cricket and inspiration for fast bowlers around the world. Bowled the fastest recorded delivery at 161.3 kph, it’s a shame that injuries meant he had a start-stop career.

Also See: Brett Lee (#111), his chief competitor in the Pace Race.

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132. Basil D’Oliveira (England, 1964-1980)

Major Teams: England, Worcestershire

There’s a good reason why the England-South Africa trophy is named Basil D’Oliveira Trophy. As a South African-born mixed player, he was picked for England during the Apartheid era (known as the Oliveira affair). With 19,490 first class runs & important social legacy, he was named as South Africa’s Top 10 players of the century despite never representing the Proteas.

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131. Andy Flower (Zimbabwe, 1986-2006)

Major Teams: Zimbabwe, Essex, South Australia

The greatest Zimbabwean batter and scored the highest runs in an innings by any keeper (232*). Over 11,000 international runs across formats, Flower lead the way during Zimbabwe’s golden years.

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130. Wes Hall (West Indies, 1955-1971)

Major Teams: West Indies, Barbados, Queensland, Trinidad

The earliest in West Indies’ great line of pacers. Could bowl “close to 100 mph” and ended with 192 Test & 546 first class wickets.

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129. Rod Marsh (Australia, 1968-1984)

Major Teams: Australia, Western Australia

The most prolific bowler-keeper combination in the history of Test cricket is “c Rod Marsh, b Dennis Lillee” (95). World record holder for most Test dismissals at the time of his retirement, he was the best keeper Australia produced…until Ian Healy & Adam Gilchrist surpassed him.

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128. VVS Laxman (India, 1992-2012)

Major Teams: India, Deccan Chargers, Hyderabad, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Lancashire

If you played the greatest innings of the twenty-first century, THAT 281*, you deserve to be on this list. Had a stellar Test career of performing under pressure with the lower order (and frequent back spasms).

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127. Stephen Fleming (New Zealand, 1991-2008)

Major Teams: New Zealand, Canterbury, Chennai Super Kings, Middlesex, Nottinghamshire, Wellington, Yorkshire

Solid opening batter & more importantly, a captain that stabilized New Zealand cricket.

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126. Andy Roberts (West Indies, 1969-1984)

Major Teams: West Indies, Combined Islands, Leeward Islands, Hampshire, Leicestershire, New South Wales

The face of West Indies’ pace quartet, his bouncers were ruthless. Apart from his 202 Test wickets, also had an effective ODI career—87 wickets at 20.35.

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125. Martin Crowe (New Zealand, 1979-1996)

Major Teams: New Zealand, Auckland, Central Districts, Wellington, Somerset

The greatest New Zealand batter of his generation and definitely one of the best captains. Hamstring Injury in the 1992 World Cup semi-final was a huge factor in their defeat. Apart from his cricketing talent, was one of the leading thinkers of the game.

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124. Clarrie Grimmett (Australia, 1911-1941)

Major Teams: Australia, South Australia, Victoria, Wellington

Credited for inventing the flipper, he was the second fastest to 200 Test wickets (and fastest before Yasir Shah) and the second oldest to take ten wickets in a Test match (44 years). New Zealand born Australian player.

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123. Tom Graveney (England, 1948-1972)

Major Teams: England, Queensland, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire

Another first-class giant—732 FC matches, 47.793 runs, 122 hundreds, and 233 fifties. Had a decent 79-Test career as well

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122. Arjuna Ranatunga (Sri Lanka, 1981-2001)

Major Teams: Sri Lanka, Sinhalese Sports Club

World Cup winning captain and helped propel Sri Lanka to the global stage. With over 7000 ODI runs, was a useful left-handed middle order batter.

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121. Greg Chappell (Australia, 1966-1984)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales

Regarded as one of the best batters to ever don the baggy green. 7110 runs with 24 Test tons at 53.86 looks especially great given that batted in the era of the ferocious West Indian attack.

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120. David Gower (England, 1975-1993)

Major Teams: England, Hampshire, Leicestershire

One of the most elegant left-handed batters to play the game. 8,231 Test runs, 18 Test centuries, and 117 matches. Solid.

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119. Michael Holding (West Indies, 1972-1989)

Major Teams: West Indies, Canterbury, Derbyshire, Jamaica, Lancashire, Tasmania

Although 249 Test wickets at an average of 23.68 & 50.9 strike rate already puts him in the top echelons of world cricket, it was his impact with sheer pace and that menacing action that took him to the next level. An iconic commentator as well.

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118. Kieron Pollard (West Indies, 2007-)

Major Teams: West Indies, West Indies U-19, Adelaide Strikers, Barbados Tridents, Cape Cobras, Deccan Gladiators, Dhaka Dynamites, Karachi Kings, Kerala Kings, London Spirit, Melbourne Renegades, Multan Sultans, Mumbai Indians, Peshawar Zalmi, Somerset, South Australia, St. Lucia Stars, Stanford Superstars, Toronoto Nationals, Trinbago Knight Riders, Trinidad, Welsh Fire

With almost 12,000 T20 Runs at 150.25 SR, batting predominantly at the lower order, Kieron Pollard was arguably the first bona fide T20 globetrotter. A pioneer in T20 power-hitting and mainstay for the Mumbai Indians in their 5-peat, he was a crucial member of West Indies’ 2012 T20 World Cup victory.

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117. Michael Clarke (Australia, 2000-2015)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales, Hampshire, Pune Warriors

Had one of the greatest peaks of a Test batter. 1595 runs at 106.33 with 5 hundreds, including a 329* and a couple of double hundreds. Captain of Australia’s 2015 World Cup victory.

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116. Mark Boucher (South Africa, 1995-2012)

Major Teams: South Africa, Border, Cape Cobras, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore

The wicketkeeper during South Africa’s golden generation and the most prolific keeper of all-time. Unfortunately, a bail hitting his eye ended his career. Played 147 Tests and inflicted an iconic 999 international dismissals (555 Tests, 425 ODIs, 19 T20Is).

I will remember him for hitting the winning runs in that famous 434-438 match.

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115. Aravinda de Silva (Sri Lanka, 1983-2002)

Major Teams: Sri Lanka, Nondescripts Cricket Club, Kent, Auckland

107*(124), 3/42, & 2 catches—One of the best performances in a World Cup final. With over 15,000 international runs, Aravinda played his part in bringing Sri Lanka to the top tiers of world cricket.

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114. Joel Garner (West Indies, 1975-1992)

At 6 ft 8 inches, Garner towered above all and provided West Indies with that extra edge. With 259 Test wickets at 20.97 and 146 ODI wickets, he was one of the best. Holds the record for the best ODI economy (3.09) and won the 1979 WC final with a 5/38 show.

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113. Abdul Qadir (Pakistan, 1975-1994)

Major Teams: Pakistan, Punjab, Lahore, Habib Bank Limited

One of the best leg spinners of all time. What a classic action.

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112. Allan Donald (South Africa, 1985-2004)

Major Teams: South Africa, Free State, Warwickshire, Worcesterershire

Before there was Steyn, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, and Kagiso Rabada, there was Allan Donald. Bowled with menace and one of South Africa’s premier icons after they were reinstated in international cricket. Will also be remembered to be at the receiving end in the most infamous run-out of them all.”

Also Read: 16 South Africa World Cup Chokes and Heartbreaks: The Complete List

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Major Teams: West Indies, Barbados, Somerset, South Australia

111. Brett Lee (Australia, 1999-2012)

Major Teams: Australia, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, New South Wales, Otago, Sydney Sixers, Wellington

Probably the smoothest fast bowling action of all time. Over 700 international wickets, never compromised on pace despite injuries, THAT chainsaw celebration, and ended cricket career with a magnificent final over in the Big Bash.

Also See: Shoaib Akthar.

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110. Hashim Amla (South Africa, 2004-)

Major Teams: South Africa, Barbados Tridents, Cape Cobras, Derbyshire, Dolphins, Essex, Khulna Tigers, Kings XI Punjab KwaZulu-Natal, Surrey, Trinbago Knight Riders

Elegant, high-class opener, and a massively underrated ODI batter. 55 International centuries, fastest to 7000 ODI runs, a triple centurion, partnership maker. From blockathons to two hundreds in T20 cricket, versatility was Amla’s strength.

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109. Kevin Pietersen (England, 1997-2018)

Major Teams: England, Deccan Chargers, Delhi Daredevils, Dolphins, Hampshire, KwaZulu-Natal, Melbourne Stars, Nottinghamshire, Quetta Gladiators, Rising Pune Supergiants, Royal Challengers Bangalore, St. Lucia Zouks, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Surrey

The ODI series against home country, South Africa, would sum up his career. Had his doubters early on with the rebel style, but his gameplay was too good to ignore. The 2005 Ashes, 2010 T20 World Cup, and 2012 Test series victory in India. England legend, just left with self-inflicted unfortunate circumstances.

Also Read: 42 South African Born Cricketers Who Play for Other Countries: Can You Guess Them All?

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108. Saqlain Mushtaq (Pakistan, 1995-2008)

Major Teams: Pakistan, Islamabad Cricket Association, Lahore Badshahs, Pakistan International Airlines, Surrey, Sussex

Fastest bowler to take 250 ODI wickets, most wickets ever in a calendar year (twice), and most famously known for bringing the ‘Doosra’ to prominence.

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107. Michael Bevan (Australia, 1989-2006)

Major Teams: Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales, Yorkshire, Kent, Leicestershire, Sussex

Before MS Dhoni, Michael Bevan pioneered the ‘finisher’ role in ODI cricket. Averaging 53.98 after 232 matches, remaining unbeaten and hitting last-ball boundaries to win matches was his specialty.

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106. Hedley Verity (England, 1930-1939)

Major Teams: England, Yorkshire

1956 first class wickets at 14.90 average with best figures for 10/10 in an innings. Died as a prisoner of war in World War II.

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105. Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka, 1999-2019)

Major Teams: Sri Lanka, Kandurata Maroons, Moors Sports Club, Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club, Wayamba, Surrey, Hampshire

A specialist of sorts. If ever a bowler was needed on spinning tracks in the fourth innings, it was Herath. 433 Test wickets and Sri Lanka’s only hope in the transition years.

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104. Kane Williamson (New Zealand, 2007-)

Major Teams: New Zealand, New Zealand U-19, Northern Districts, Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, Edmonton Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad

The best batter New Zealand ever produced and a shrewd captain. Lead the Kiwis to their first global title along with the 2019 ODI World Cup final.

Also Read: World Test Championship Final Review 2021

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103. Virender Sehwag (India, 1997-2015)

Major Teams: India, Delhi Leicestershire, Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab

You would think aggressive batting meant Sehwag would be dangerous in limited overs cricket. He was, but he truly changed the role of the opening batter in Test cricket. First ball boundaries and hitting double centuries in a single day was his forte. 319, 309, and 293 will be remembered forever.

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102. Lance Gibbs (West Indies, 1953-1976)

Major Teams: West Indies, British Guiana, South Australia, Warwickshire

First spinner to pass 300 wickets and accumulated 1024 first class wickets, he will go down as West Indies’ greatest Test spinner. Has a Test hat-trick and once bowled a miserly spell of 53.3-37-38-8. Wow.

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101. Brendon McCullum (New Zealand, 1999-2019)

Major Teams: New Zealand, Brisbane Heat, Canterbury, Chennai Super Kings, Glamorgan, Gujarat Lions, Kochi Tuskers Kerela, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lahore Qalandars, New South Wales, Otago, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sussex, Toronto Nationals, Trinbago Knight Riders, Warwickshire

Match after match, captain McCullum would announce that this journey was ‘the time of their lives’ in the 2015 World Cup hosted at home. Took New Zealand to the World Cup finals for the first time, brought NZ out of lows of 2012, and for all his T20 exploits, had the skill to score 302 vs India I’m a Test match. Retired with the fastest Test century of all-time. Also credited for launching the IPL with a remarkable 158.

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List of the 100 Greatest Cricketers of All Time

The Top 100 cricketers of all time will at least consist of all the 10,000 runs scorers (either format), or members of the 500+ (Test), 400+ (ODI) wicket taker group.

100. Arthur Morris (Australia, 1940-1955)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales

One of the best Ashes batters, a member of the ‘Invincibles,’ Australian army man during World War II, and a rugby player, Morris can truly say he did it all.

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99. Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka, 2001-2020)

Major Teams: Sri Lanka, Galle Cricket Club, Kandy, Kent, Galle Gladiators, Jamaica Tallawahs, St. Lucia Zouks, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Melbourne Stars, Rangpur Riders, Southern Express, Kent, Mumbai Indians

Malinga built a career out of pinpoint accurate yorkers and a slingy action. 4 wickets in 4 balls, couple of other hat-tricks, a T20 World Cup, and several IPL trophies with Mumbai Indians. Simply a legend.

Also Read: Lasith Malinga: The Slinga, Slayer, and SuperStar

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98. Shane Watson (Australia, 2000-2016)

Major Teams: Australia, Australia U-19, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Brisbane Heat, Sydney Sixers, Sydney Thunder, Canterbury, Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan Royals, Dhaka Dynamites, Rangpur Rangers, Islamabad United, Quetta Gladiators, St. Lucia Zouks

History will regard Shane Watson in awe. Gifted with a rare combination of skills, he established himself as a fast-bowling order who could bat in the top order. Player of the tournament in the 2012 T20 World Cup, 2008 & 2013 IPLs, the 2009 Champions Trophy, and key play-off knocks with CSK in the 2019 IPL, he stood up on the big occasions. A successful Test opener between 2009-10 alongside Simon Katich speaks to his versatility.

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97. Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka, 1993-2017)

Major Teams: Sri Lanka, Basnahira South, Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club, Delhi Daredevils, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Kalutara Town Club, Karachi Kings, Northern Districts, Peshawar Zalmi, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sebastianites Cricket and Athletic Club, Singha Sports Club, Surrey, Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club

Dilshan is one of the most innovative cricketers of the modern era. Known for ‘The Dilscoop,’ he was one of the pillars of the Sri Lankan in their 2014 T20 World Cup victory, along with numerous other finals between 2007-2014. Also a handy off-spinner & acrobatic fielder.

Also Read: My Favorite Player from Each Country: Unity In Diversity XI – #5 Will Shock You

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96. Sourav Ganguly (1989-2012)

Major Teams: India, Bengal, Glamorgan, Lancashire, Northamptonshire, Kolkata Knight Riders, Pune Warriors

Changed how India was viewed. Captained India to the 2003 World Cup final and several overseas Test victories. I will forever remember him for his ODI exploits and down the ground sixes.

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95. Monty Noble (Australia, 1893-1920)

Major Teams: Australia, South Australia, Queensland, Somerset

Noble is “regarded as the greatest Australian all-rounder ever produced by Australia.” In all, he took 624 first class wickets and hit 37 centuries as well.

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94. Younis Khan (Pakistan, 1998-2018)

Major Teams: Pakistan, Surrey, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire, Yorkshire, South Australia, Rajasthan Royals

One of the only constants in Pakistan’s era of uncertainty. 10,000 runs Test runs, crisis man in the 4th innings, solid ODI batter & slip fielder, and a T20 World Cup winning captain.

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93. Neil Harvey (Australia, 1946-1963)

Major Teams: Australia, South Australia, Victoria

One of the best Australia ever had. In just 79-Tests, he scored 21 tons and 24 half centuries. The fourth fastest to a 1000 Test runs.

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92. Bishan Singh Bedi (India, 1961-1982)

Major Teams: India, Delhi, Northern Punjab, Northamptonshire

Part of India’s spin quartet, Bedi had it all—the flight, guile, turn, and grace. With plenty of county experience, he ended with a mammoth 1560 first class wickets.

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91. Inzamam Ul Haq (Pakistan, 1986-2007)

Major Teams: Pakistan, Faisalabad, Multan, Rawalpindi, Yorkshire

Forever taunted for the run-outs, hit-wickets, and fitness issues, Inzamam ul-Haq was the catalyst to Pakistan’s 1992 world cup win. Scored almost 12,000 ODI and 9,000 Test runs. Beautiful to watch.

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90. Ken Barrington (England, 1953-1968)

Major Teams: England, Surrey

Perhaps England’s greatest middle order batter. Now has the ninth highest Test average (58.67) after 82 Tests.

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89. Ross Taylor (New Zealand, 2002-2022)

Major Teams: New Zealand, New Zealand U-10, Central Districts, Durham, Sussex, Middlesex, Victoria, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, St. Lucia Zouks, Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel, Victoria, Delhi Daredevils, Pune Warriors, Rajasthan Royals

The best #4 ODI batter of all-time and between 2016-19, was the best ODI batter. Started as a leg side slogger and became a steady middle order batter. Nice to sign off with an unbeaten knock in New Zealand’s WTC win.

Also Read: Ross Taylor, An Underrated Cricketer Who Was A Giant Among New Zealand’s Greatest Generation

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88. Dwayne Bravo (West Indies, 2001-)

Major Teams: West Indies, Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Gujarat Lions, Chittagong Kings, Comilla Victorians, Dhaka Dynamites, Dolphins, Essex, Fortune Barishal, Kent, Lahore Qalandars, Maratha Arabians, Melbourne Renegades, Northern Superchargers, Paarl Rocks, Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators, St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Surrey, Sydney Sixers, Trinbago Knight Riders, Trinidad & Tobago, Victoria, Winnipeg Hawks

614 T20 wickets, highest T20 wicket-taker of all time. Could hit sixes and bowl slow yorkers at will. A modern-day legend for the West Indies.

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87. Stuart Broad (England, 2005-)

Major Teams: England, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Kings XI Punjab, Hobart Hurricanes

Statistically, the second highest fast bowling wicket-taker of all-time. Speaks of his fitness. Could get hit for six sixes or bowl spells to remember forever. At one point, also a handy batter down the order.

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86. Daniel Vettori (New Zealand, 1996-2015)

Major Teams: New Zealand, Northern Districts, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire, Queensland, Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Jamaica Tallawahs

705 international wickets, 6 Test hundreds, youngest Test player for New Zealand. One of the underrated greats of the game.

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85. Jim Laker (England, 1946-1965)

10/53 & 19/90, Test figures that took Laker into greatness. With 1944 first class wickets, he had a stellar career throughout.

Major Teams: England, Essex, Surrey, Auckland

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84. Alan Knott (England, 1964-1985)

Major Teams: England, Kent, Tasmania

5 Test hundreds as a wicketkeeper, he was highly rated behind the stumps.

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83. Ray Lindwall (Australia, 1941-1962)

Major Teams: Australia, South Australia, Queensland

With a smooth action, Lindwall was Australia’s premier swing bowlers. Retired with 228 Test wickets and two centuries.

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82. Michael ‘Colin’ Cowdrey (England, 1950-1976)

Major Teams: England, Gentlemen, Oxford University, Kent

Cowdrey was the first man to play 100 Tests. His exploits in first class cricket are well known—42719 runs, 107 hundreds.

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81. Sir Geoffrey Boycott OBE (England, 1962-1986)

Major Teams: England, Yorkshire, Northern Transvaal

Although Boycott had his troubles off the field, on the field, he was one of the great ones. In his era, not many scored more than his 151 first class hundreds and 8114 Test runs.

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80. Keith ‘Nugget’ Miller (Australia, 1937-1959)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Nottinghamshire

Miller is regarded as Australia’s greatest ever all-rounder. Although 2958 runs & 170 Test wickets flatter to deceive now, it was the best figures for an allrounder at the time.

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79. Aubrey Faulkner (South Africa, 1902-1924)

Regarded as “one of the greatest allrounders,” he opened both the batting and bowling at times. Based on ESPNCricinfo’s weighted allrounder analysis, Aubrey Faulkner just edges out Keith Miller.

Major Teams: South Africa, Transvaal, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)

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78. Graham Gooch (England, 1973-2000)

Major Teams: England, Essex, Western Province

Graham Gooch has perhaps scored the most runs. EVER. 44,846 First Class runs with 128 hundreds & 217 fifties to go along with 22, 211 List A runs with 44 hundreds and 139 fifties. In international cricket, he amassed 8900 Test runs, 4200 ODI runs, and 28 tons overall.

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77. Graeme Smith (South Africa, 1999-2014)

Major Teams: South Africa, Gauteng, Western Province, Somerset, Surrey, Cape Cobras, Rajasthan Royals

One of the greatest captains and grittiest opening batters of all-time. Batting with a broken hand against Mitchell Johnson in attempt to save a Test match will go down as one of the most courageous acts on the cricket field.

Also Read: Top 11 Cricketers Who Retired Too Early – The Lost Generation

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76. Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka, 1990-2012)

Major Teams: Sri Lanka, Basnahira North, Colts Cricket Club, Deccan Chargers, Hampshire, Middlesex, Northamptonshire, Worcestershire

The only player to take 8 wickets in an ODI match and the spearhead of Sri Lanka’s fast bowling attack with 781 international wickets. Has a World Cup hat-trick, Test hundred, and ODI fifty as well.

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75. Sir Gordon Greenidge (West Indies, 1970-1992)

Major Teams: West Indies, Barbados, Hampshire

In modern cricket, one of the most dominant opening batters. 7558 Test runs and 37354 runs with 92 centuries. Had a stellar ODI career as well in World Cups—highest scorer of the 1979 World Cup.

Also See: Desmond Haynes (#69)

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74. Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh, 2005-)

Major Teams: Bangladesh, Khulna Division, Dhaka Gladiators, Fortune Barishal, Adelaide Strikers, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Riders, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, Worcestershire, Karachi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi

One of the greatest all-rounders in the modern era. If the pitch has something to offer, his left-arm spin is tricky to tackle. A great show at #3 in the 2019 World Cup. In one phrase, a living legend of Bangladesh.

Also Read: Why Shakib And Co are the True Fab 5 of this Era

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73. Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka, 1988-2012)

Major Teams: Sri Lanka, Colombo Cricket Club, Somerset, Mumbai Indians

Apart from Sachin Tendulkar, he has the most man of the match awards. Revolutionized ODI powerplay batting in 1996, and a great asset with the ball as well.

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72. Matthew Hayden (Australia, 1991-2012)

Major Teams: Australia, Queensland, Hampshire, Northamptonshire, Chennai Super Kings, Brisbane Heat

An epic conversion rate (30-100s, 29-50s) and one of the most dominant openers of the generation. Dancing down the wicket with broad shoulders, he sent tremors in the opposition bowlers.

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71. Alec Bedser (England, 1939-1960)

With 1924 first-class and 236 Test wickets under his name, Bedser is one of England’s most prolific swing bowlers.

Major Teams: England, Surrey

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70. Sir Alastair Cook (England, 2003-)

Major Teams: England, Essex

First England player to score 10,000 Test runs, Cook was the key constructor of England’s Ashes 2010 and India 2012 victories. Survived as an opener in one of the toughest eras to play fast and swing bowling. Best England Test batter (until Joe Root that is).

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69. Desmond Haynes (West Indies, 1976-1997)

Major Teams: West Indies, Barbados, Middlesex, Western Province

Making one half of the third-highest Test partnership (6482 with Greenidge) of all time (and highest at the time), Haynes was a modern-day giant. In ODI cricket, he scored 8,648 runs with 17 centuries, a record that stood until 1998.

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68. Mohammad Yousuf (Pakistan, 1996-2011)

Major Teams: Pakistan, Lahore, Lancashire, Warwickshire

One of the most elegant batters of all-time. Scored 1788 runs in 2006 with 9 hundreds and 3 fifties, still a Test record.

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67. Robert George Dylan ‘Bob’ Willis (England, 1969-1984)

Major Teams: England, Surrey, Warwickshire, Northern Transvaal

One of the fastest English bowlers. Despite injuries, he took 325 Test wickets and played 90 Tests. Longevity and England fast bowlers is a common theme.

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66. Joe Root (England, 2010-)

Major Teams: England, Yorkshire, Trent Rockets

After being criticized for not converting fifties into hundreds, Joe Root’s stellar 2021 etched his name into greatness—1708 runs with six daddy hundreds. An ODI World Cup winner as well.

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65. Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka, 1997-2015)

Major Teams: Sri Lanka, Sinhalese Sports Club, Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab

Class batter. 11,000 runs+ in each format. Most runs on a single ground (2921 runs in Sinhalese, Colombo), seven double hundreds, and a knack for long-partnerships.

Also See: Kumar Sangakkara (#51)

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64. Sir Clive Lloyd (West Indies, 1963-1986)

Major Teams: West Indies, British Guiana, Lancashire

One of the most recognized left-handers in the game with the glasses & moustache, his calm demeanor was the feature that stood out the most. Playing over 100 Test matches and 490 first class matches, it was his captaincy with two ODI World Cups that crystalized his name in the hall of legends. Made a century in the inaugural World Cup final as well.

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63. Fred “The Demon” Spofforth (Australia, 1874-1897)

Major Teams: Australia, South Australia, Victoria

Spofforth is regarded as “Australia’s first true fast bowler.” First bowler to take a Test hat-trick, he zoomed to 94 wickets in only 18 career Test matches.

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62. Harold Larwood (England, 1924-1938)

Major Teams: England, Nottinghamshire

According to Larwood’s Wisden obituary, he was “one of the rare fast bowlers in the game to spread terror in opposition ranks by the mere mentions of his name.” If Don Bradman struggled, then Larwood must have been really, really good.

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61. Steve Smith (Australia, 2007-)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales, Worcestershire, Rajasthan Royals

Averaging 60.00 after 87 tests with 28 hundreds is no joke. Started as a leg-spinner batting at #8 and ended up becoming the greatest modern-day Test batter.

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60. Chris Gayle (West Indies, 1999-2022)

Major Teams: West Indies, Royal Challengers Bangalore, West Indies U-19, St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, Balkh Legends, Barisal Burners, Chattogram Challengers, Dhaka Gladiators, Dophins, Fortune Barishal, ICC World XI, Jamaica, Jamaica Tallawahs, Jozi Stars, Kandy Tuskers, Karachi Kings, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lahore Qalandars, Lions, Matabeleland Tuskers, Melbourne Renegades, Quetta Gladiators, Rangpur Riders, Somerset, St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Sydney Thunder, Vancouver Knights, Western Australia, Worcester

Although he is known for his big hitting and T20 exploits, Chris Gayle conquered all-formats over two decades. Just look at his record—14562 (T20), 13189 (List A), 13226 (First Class) runs, best of 333 in Tests, best of 215 in ODIs, 175* in T20s, and 117 in T20Is.

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59. Shaun Pollock (South Africa, 1991-2008)

Major Teams: South Africa, Dolphins, KawZulu-Natal, Durham, Warwickshire

From a family of cricketing greats, Shaun Pollock became the most prolific wicket-taker of his time with 829 international wickets. Great consistent bowling and an effective all-rounder.

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58. Tom Richardson (England, 1892-1905)

Major Teams: England, Somerset, Surrey, London County

Wisden’s obituary stated that “He will live in cricket history as perhaps the finest of all fast bowlers.” With 2104 first class wickets, best of 10/45 in an innings, and an average of 9.64 (11.06 average in Tests), he is certainly one of the best fast bowlers.

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57. Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies, 1991-2015)

Major Teams: West Indies, Guyana, Durham, Lancashire, Warwickshire, Derbyshire, Guyana Amazon Warriors

With his side-on technique and under-the-eye stickers, one of the most recognized batters. A hard batter to dismiss, will go down as a West Indian legend with 164 Test matches, 30 Test hundreds, and over 20,000 international runs.

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56. MS Dhoni (India, 1999-)

Major Teams: India, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chennai Super Kings

Greatest ODI finisher of all-time and one of the best captains in international cricket & the IPL. Gave Indian fans a moment to cherish with a World Cup winning six. Genius behind the wickets as well.

Also Read: MS Dhoni and SK Raina Retire: An End of An Era

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55. Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji (England, 1893-1920)

Major Teams: England, Sussex, Cambridge University, London County

Way ahead of his time, Ranjitsinhji “was probably one of the finest batsman of all time, not only in terms of runs scored but also because he brought new strokes to the game.”

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54. Javed Miandad (Pakistan, 1975-1996)

Major Teams: Pakistan, Karachi, Habib Bank Limited, Sind, Glamorgan, Sussex

According to ESPNCricinfo, Miandad is the “greatest batsman Pakistan ever produced.” With over 16,000 international runs, 31 centuries, and 80 FC centuries, that certainly seems to be the case.

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53. Brian Statham (England, 1950-1968)

Major Teams: England, Lancashire

100955 Balls, 2260 first class wickets, 16.37 average, these stats say it all.

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52. Alfred Percy ‘Tich’ Freeman (England, 1914-1936)

Major Teams: England, Kent

With 3776 first class wickets, Freeman is regarded as “one of the greatest slow bowlers the game has ever known.”

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51. Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka, 1997-2020)

Major Teams: Sri Lanka, Kandurata, Warwickshire, Surrey, Kings XI Punjab, Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad

Like fine wine, Sangakkara grew better with age. Most runs in a calendar year across formats in 2014 and retired with 12,400 Test runs at an average of 57.40. A T20 World Cup winner and great keeper as well.

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Top 50 Cricketers of All Time: The Absolute Greats

The next 50 are the absolute greatest cricketers of all time. They either played historic knocks, are highly spoken of, or changed the way the game was played.

50. George Alfred Lohmann (England, 1884-1897)

Major Teams: England, Surrey

Yes, he played in the nineteenth century, but the best career bowling strike rate (34.1) of all-time meant he was a class apart. A medium fast bowler, Lohmann took 112 Test and 1841 first class wickets.

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49. Steve Waugh (Australia, 1984-2004)

Major Teams: Australia, South Australia, Kent, Somerset

Led Australia to an ODI World Cup and 16 consecutive Test wins. A middle order stronghold in Australia’s great generation with over 10,000 Test runs and 32 tons.

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48. Curtly Ambrose (West Indies, 1985-2000)

Major Teams: West Indies, Leeward Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, Northamptonshire

One of the most lethal bowlers of his time, he bowled some of the best spells in memory. Just watch his 7-1 spell. Ended up with 630 international wickets.

Also Read: 24 Cricketers with Musical Talent Who Will Rock You Ft. Don Bradman, Sreesanth, and AB De Villiers

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47. Anil Kumble (India, 1989-2010)

Major Teams: India, Karnataka, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Surrey)

Kumble’s 10 wickets in an innings against Pakistan wrote his name in folklore. With 619 Test wickets & 337 ODI wickets, he was a central figure in India’s XI for over a decade.

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46. AB De Villiers (South Africa, 2003-2020)

Major Teams: South Africa, Northerns, Titans, Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore

AB De Villiers could score the fastest hundred of all-time or could score 43 (297) in an attempt of a blockathon. The most versatile and innovative batter this world has ever seen. Also, Bangalore’s favorite son.

Also Read: Faf du Plessis & AB De Villiers’ Friendship: Broken Dreams of Faf and ABD

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45. Victor Trumper (Australia, 1894-1914)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales

Wisden reckons that Trumper was “by general consent the best and most brilliant.” Was one of the fastest scorers of all-time at about 40 runs per hour.

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44. Rahul Dravid (India, 1992-2013)

Major Teams: India, Karnataka, Kent, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan Royals

The glue that held India together. ‘The Wall’ played the most balls in the Test history (despite playing seven years less than Tendulkar). His versatility speaks volumes—Kept wickets, became an effective ODI floater, and hit three sixes in T20s. Major contributions in India’s overseas Test victories.

Also Read: What Rahul Dravid Taught Me, An Open Letter From a Cricket Fan to Those In Charge of Indian Cricket

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43. Hanif Mohammad (Pakistan, 1951-1976)

Major Teams: Pakistan, Karachi

The original ‘Little Master’, Hanif’s 970-minute 337 vs West Indies in 1958 is forever etched in history. His highest score was 499 in first class cricket. How unfortunate.

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42. Zaheer Abbas (Pakistan, 1965-1987)

Major Teams: Pakistan, Karachi, Sind, Gloucestershire

‘Known as the Asian Bradman,’ he is still the only Asian batter with 100 first-class hundreds. Prolific and elegant.

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41. Denis Compton (England, 1936-1964)

Major Teams: England, Middlesex

Eerily similar stats to Zaheer Abbas, but a tad ahead. 78 Tests, 5807 runs. and 123 first class hundreds. One of England’s greatest.

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40. Adam Gilchrist (Australia, 1992-2013)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales, Western Australia, Deccan Chargers, Kings XI Punjab

Revolutionized the role of the wicketkeeper. 9619 ODI runs at 96.94 SR and 5570 runs at 81.95 SR. After Gilchrist, wicketkeepers were expected to score runs and score them quickly.

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39. Courtney Walsh (West Indies, 1981-2001)

Major Teams: West Indies, Jamaica, Gloucestershire

Before Mcgrath, Anderson, & Broad, Walsh bowled the most balls in his Test career (30019) and took the most wickets by a fast bowler (519). Not to mention 1807 first class wickets.

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38. Allan Border (Australia, 1976-1996)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, Essex, Gloucestershire

First captain from Australia to lift the World Cup trophy, he set an example for the Waughs and Pontings to follow. With more than 11,000 Test runs and 156 Test caps (record at the time), he was a constant for Australia for the better part of two decades.

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37. Waqar Younis (Pakistan, 1987-2003)

Major Teams: Pakistan, Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi, Surrey, Glamorgan

Credited for the ‘reverse’ swing, his bowled compilations are droolworthy to watch. 373 wickets at a strike rate of 43.4 and 416 ODI wickets puts him at the top of the crop.

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36. Sir Richard Hadlee (New Zealand, 1971-1990)

Major Teams: New Zealand, Canterbury, Nottinghamshire

The first bowler to 400 Test wickets, he is arguably New Zealand’s greatest cricketer.

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35. Dale Steyn (South Africa, 2004-2021)

Major Teams: South Africa, Cape Cobras, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad

Arguably the best fast bowler of all-time. Fast, pace, swing, consistency, he had it all. With a clean action, he dominated opposition at home and abroad. Unfortunately, freak injuries ended his career. Went past Pollock to become South Africa’s highest Test wicket-taker.

Also Read: Dale Steyn, The Embodiment of Simplicity and Intensity, Retires—The Greatest Fast Bowler of Them All

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34. Virat Kohli (India, 2008-)

Major Teams: India, Delhi, Royal Challengers Bangalore, India U-19

Will go down as the greatest ODI batter of all-time. Definitely the best chaser in the game, his peak across formats was second to none. Twice the T20 player of the World Cup, his aggressive attitude and captaincy was crucial to India’s rise in Test cricket.

Also Read: Virat Kohli’s 25 Best Innings Across International Formats (RANKED), 5 Ways Captain Virat Kohli Transformed Indian Cricket

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33. Imran Khan (Pakistan, 1969-1992)

Major Teams: Pakistan, Sussex, Worcestershire

The world has never seen an Imran Khan before, and never will again. Fast bowler, effective batter, philanthropist, a Prime Minister, and a top candidate for the best-looking cricketer of all-time.

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32. Ian Terence Botham (England, 1973-1993)

Major Teams: England, Durham, Somerset, Worcestershire, Queensland

In the golden era of all-rounders, Botham was arguably the best of the lot. About 7,000 international runs to go along with 528 wickets.

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31. Kapil Dev (India, 1977-1995)

Major Teams: India, Haryana, Northamptonshire, Worcestershire

Three decades after he retired, India is still looking for another Kapil Dev. A long term fast-bowling all-rounder, he captained India to their first World Cup triumph.

Also Read: 83 Movie Review – Does the Film Do Justice to India’s Unlikely Dream 1983 World Cup Journey?

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30. James ‘Jimmy’ Anderson (England, 2003-)

Major Teams: England, Lancashire, England U-19

The best swing bowler of all-time, it is his longevity and fitness that is remarkable. Two decades, 176 Tests, and 672 wickets. Brilliant!

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29. George Headley (West Indies, 1927-1954)

Major Teams: West Indies, Jamaica

Had it not been for World War II, who knows how much George Headley could have accomplished. Retired with an average of 60.83 after 22 Tests and 69.86 in 103 first class matches. Wisden remarked that “he scored an avalanche of runs with a style and brilliance few of any age have matched.” Must have been wonderful to watch.

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28. Derek ‘ Deadly’ Underwood (1963-1987)

Major Teams: England, Kent

Underwood claimed 2465 first-class wickets after bowling 139,783 balls along with 297 Test wickets.

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27. Sunil Gavaskar (India, 1966-1987)

Major Teams: India, Mumbai, Somerset

The first player to break the 10,000 run Test barrier, the ‘Little Master’ set the standards for opening batsmanship in cricket. Playing without helmets against the West Indies was a daring task for sure.

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26. Fred Trueman (England, 1949-1972)

Trueman was the first cricketer to 300 Test wickets. He had 2304 first class wickets to his name as well.

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Major Teams: England, Yorkshire, Derbyshire

Greatest 25 Cricketers of All Time: The Undisputable Legends

Time for the Undisputable Legends. These players are truly the greatest cricketers of all time.

25. Bill ‘Tiger’ O’Reilly (Australia, 1927-1946)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales

Wisden remarked that O’Reilly was “probably the greatest spin bowler the game has ever produced” and Don Bradman is credited of saying, “he was the greatest bowler he had ever faced or watched.”

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24. Glenn McGrath (Australia, 1992-2007)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales

The greatest line and length bowler the world has ever seen. He was instrumental in Australia’s World Cup wins. Holds the record for most World Cup wickets (71) and was the highest fast bowling Test wicket taker before Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad surpassed him.

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23. Dennis Lillee (Australia, 1967-1988)

Major Teams: Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia, Northamptonshire

If you can fox the great Sir Viv, you definitely have some skill. Broke the world record at that time and ended with 355 Test wickets.

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22. Robert Graeme Pollock (South Africa, 1960-1987)

Major Teams: South Africa, Eastern Province, Transvaal

ESPNCricinfo reckons that Graeme Pollock was “perhaps the finest left-hand batsman the game has ever produced.” Another casualty of South Africa’s international exile, Pollock’s 60.97 average in his short 23-Test career gave the world a glimpse of his ability to go along his 64 hundreds in 262 first class games.

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21. Herbert Sutcliffe (England, 1919-1945)

Major Teams: England, Yorkshire

First to score 4 Test centuries in a series and fastest to 1000 Test runs (12 innings), he was easily one of the greatest. Wisden’s obituary remarks that “he never knew a season of failure” as he would score over 50,000 first class runs with 151 tons.

World War I meant that he lost some early years and only started his career around the age of 25.

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20. Malcolm Marshall (West Indies, 1977-1996)

Major Teams: West Indies, Barbados, Hampshire

The cricket world lost a gem in 1999 when Malcolm Marshall passed away at the young age of 41 due to cancer. However, he will be remembered as one of the most feared fast bowlers of all-time. 376 wickets at a strike rate of 46.7 & 20.94 average. Just watch some of his bouncers.

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19. Barry Anderson Richards (South Africa, 1968-1983)

Major Teams: South Africa, Natal, Transvaal, Gloucestershire, Hampshire

South Africa’s exile meant Barry Richards could only play 4 Test matches, but still showed the world what he got—2 100s, 2 50s, and an average of 72.57. “One of the finest talents of the 20th century“, scoring 28,000 first class runs, 80 tons, and nine centuries before lunch display his greatness.

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18. Wasim Akram (Pakistan, 1984-2003)

Major Teams: Pakistan, Hampshire, Lancashire

Best left-arm fast bowler of all time, key to Pakistan’s rise, and took the most wickets by a fast bowler in ODI cricket. He was the hero of the 1992 World Cup final and with Waqar Younis, formed a pair of the ages. Still holds the highest score by a #8 in Test matches, 257*.

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17. Frank Wooley (England, 1906-1938)

Major Teams: England, Kent

58,959 runs. 145 centuries. 2066 Wickets. 978 first class matches. Wisden describes as “beyond doubt one of the finest and most elegant left-handed all-rounders of all-time.”

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16. Brian Charles Lara (West Indies, 1987-2010)

Major Teams: West Indies, Trinidad & Tobago

Brian Lara was one of the best left-arm batters of all-time His name will forever be etched in record books with 400* (Test) and 501* (first class). More than the numbers, though, you always wanted to watch him bat. Top notch elegance.

Also Read: Most Stylish Batsman Of The Modern Era

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15. Ricky Ponting (Australia, 1992-2013)

Major Teams: Australia, Tasmania

Ricky Ponting was one of the most dominant players of his generation. He ruled the world as a batter, fielder, and captain. Ponting holds the record for the fastest to 12,000 runs in both ODI and Test cricket, only behind Tendulkar. Ended with more than 27,000 international runs, 71 centuries, and 364 catches. However, his legacy is cemented with two World cup wins as captain.

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14. Sir Leonard ‘Len’ Hutton (England, 1934-1955)

129 first class hundreds in 513 matches. Not quite 99.96, but 40,140 runs at 55.51 is quite special. Handy leg spinner as well. Wisden remarked in Hutton’s obituary that he was “one of the greatest batsman the game has produced in all its long history.”

Major Teams: England, Yorkshire

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13. Jacques Kallis (South Africa, 1993-2014)

Major Teams: South Africa, Western Province, Warriors, Cape Cobras, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders, Sydney Thunder, Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel, Middlesex, Glamorgan

Once playing against India, a stat came up that aptly described Jacques Kallis contribution in Test cricket. With runs and centuries, Kallis rivalled Tendulkar. With the ball, he was an equal to Zaheer Khan. One of the greatest allrounders of the game, 10,000+ runs in each format, and had a decent T20 career as well. Would take South Africa two players to replace the balance he provided the Proteas.

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12. Wilfred Rhodes (England, 1899-1930)

Major Teams: England, Yorkshire

Most prolific first-class wicket-taker of all time. 4204 wickets from 1110 matches. Close to 40,000 first class runs as well. Moreover, he had the longest first-class career with 30 years & 315 days. That’s commitment.

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11. Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka, 1989-2014)

Alternative spelling: Muthiah Muralidaran

The best off-spinner of all-time and the most prolific international wicket taker of all-time with 1347 wickets. Taking the 800th Test wicket with his final ball will go down as the one of the iconic moments in the game. A 1996 World Cup winner to cap it off.

Major Teams: Sri Lanka

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10. Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander ‘Viv’ Richards (West Indies)

Major Teams: West Indies, Leeward Islands, Glamorgan, Somerset

Sir Viv Richards had just the right amount of talent, intimidation factor, and swag. One of the central pins of West Indies’ golden generation and way ahead of his time. Pioneer of modern ODI cricket.

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9. Walter Reginald ‘Wally’ Hammond (England, 1920-1951)

Major Teams: England, Gloucestershire

7249 Test runs with 22 hundreds in the era that he played is already a huge achievement. Add to that, 50,551 first-class runs with a mammoth 167 centuries, 185 fifties, and 732 wickets, he is definitely one to be remembered.

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8. Sydney Barnes (England, 1894-1930)

Major Teams: England, Staffordshire, Lancashire, Warwickshire, Wales

6,229 wickets at an average of 8.33 from club to Test matches. Most wickets ever in a Test series (49). S.C. Griffith, secretary of MCC summed it up perfectly, “The extraordinary thing about him was that all his contemporaries considered him the greatest bowler.”

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7. Sir Garfield St Aubrun ‘Garry’ Sobers (West Indies, 1952-1975)

Major Teams: West Indies, Barbados, Nottinghamshire, South Australia

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6. Frank Worrell (West Indies, 1941-1964)

Major Teams: West Indies, Barbados Jamaica

Sir Learie Constantine described Worrell as, ” a happy man, a good man, and a great one.” Worthy middle order batter & allrounder with a knack of big hundreds, his influence as a social icon was far greater. First long-term black captain of West Indian cricket, he helped unify the islands and moved West Indies move into the success of the 70s & 80s. Unfortunately, passed away at the age of 42 with a rich legacy, nevertheless. Key player in the first Tied Test, the Australia-West Indies series is still named the “Frank Worell Trophy.”

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5. Shane Warne (Australia, 1990-2013)

Major Teams: Australia, Victoria, Rajasthan Royals, Melbourne Stars

If you bowled the ‘Ball of the Century,’ took 708 wickets, and won a World Cup final on your own, you deserve to be in the Top 5 of every list. A larger-than-life icon who revolutionized leg spin. A leader that Australia never had as his later years with the Rajasthan Royals and T20 leagues showed. His death in 2022 shocked one and all.

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4. Sir John Berry ‘Jack’ Hobbs (England,1908-1930)

Major Teams: England, Surrey

Most prolific first-class batter of all-time. 61,760 runs, 199 centuries, 273 fifties, oldest Test centurion (at 46), and opened the batting and bowling in South Africa in 1910. The original ‘Master‘ and first cricketer to receive Knighthood.

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3. Sachin Tendulkar (India, 1989-2013)

Major Teams: India, Mumbai, Mumbai Indians

The greatest batsman the world in the modern era. Over 34,000 international runs, 100 hundreds, World Cup winner, and a beacon of hope for a billion people for over two decades.

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2. Dr. William Gilbert ‘WG’ Grace (England, 1865-1908)

Major Teams: England, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), Gloucestershire, London County Cricket Club

Without Grace’s grace, we can only imagine how different cricket’s development as an official sport would have been in its early days. 44 years, 870 first class matches, 54,000 runs, 2800 wickets. Also practiced medicine and had that iconic beard.

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1. Sir Donald Bradman (Australia, 1927-1949)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales, South Australia

Not only regarded as the greatest Test batter of all-time in the world of cricket but also a well know trivia fact outside of the sport. 99.94. The elusive 4 runs. 6996. In fact, he scored 117 centuries in 234 matches at an average of 95.14 with the best of 452* in all first-class cricket. Technically gifted, daddy hundreds, Test captain, ‘Borderline’ series, leader of the ‘Invincibles’, and the comeback after World War II break. Legend in all senses.

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Extended List (By Country): The Honorable Mentions

These players are one of the best to have played for their nations. Several of these players played over 100 Test matches. However, due to the extensive competition, they did not make the Top 151 Greatest Cricket Players of All Time List.

Greatest Players of All Time #175-270

  • England: Patsy Hendren, Graeme Hick, Phil Mead, Douglas Jardine, Eoin Morgan, Ian Bell, Jos Buttler, Andrew Strauss, Alec Stewart, Dennis Amiss, Bernard Bosanquet, Mike Atherton, Maurice Tate, Graeme Swann, Charlie Parker, Andrew Flintoff, Frank Tyson, Graham Thorpe, Sir Pelham Warner, Bill Lockwood, John Jackson, Johnny Briggs, Hugh Trumble
  • West Indies: Alvin Kallicharran, Rohan Kanhai, Carl Hooper, Lawrence Rowe, Roy Fredericks, Vanburn Holder, Charlie Griffith, Andre Russell, Jackie Hendricks, Colin Croft, Ian Bishop
  • Australia: Dean Jones, David Boon, Bill Ponsford, Charles Turner, Bill Lawry, Mark Taylor, Aaron Finch, Clem Hill, Andrew Symonds, Geoffrey Marsh, Mike Hussey, Charlie McCartney, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood
  • India: Lala Amarnath, Mohammad Azharuddin, Erapalli Prasanna, Zaheer Khan, Mohinder Amarnath, Dilip Vengsarkar, S Venkataraghavan, B Chandrasekhar, Vijay Merchant, Gundappa Vishwanath, Vijay Manjrekar, Farokh Engineer, Javagal Srinath
  • South Africa: Trevor Goddard, Herschelle Gibbs, Gary Kirsten, Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel, Dudley Nourse, Mike Proctor, Jonty Rhodes, John Waite
  • New Zealand: Tim Southee, Glenn Turner, Stewie Dempster, Martin Donnely, John R Reid, Shane Bond, Martin Guptill, Ian Smith, Jack Cowie, Chris Cairns, Chris Harris, Bruce Taylor, Neil Wagner
  • Pakistan: Shoaib Malik, Umar Gul, Fazal Mahmood, Yasir Shah, Saleem Malik, Babar Azam, Mohammad Asif, Misbah Ul-Haq, Rashid Latif
  • Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews
  • Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Mashrafe Mortaza, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah
  • Zimbabwe: Grant Flower, Brendon Taylor
  • USA: Bart King

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Frequently Asked Questions: Greatest Cricketers of All Time

Sources: Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Century, ICC Hall of Fame, ESPN Cricinfo’s All time XIs

Who is the best cricketer of all time?

Sir Donald Bradman is considered the best cricketer of all-time, followed closely by WG Grace, Sachin Tendulkar, Jack Hobbs, Shane Warne, Frank Worrell, and Sir Garfield Sobers.

Who is the best batsman of all time?

Sir Donald Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar, Sir Jack Hobbs, Sir Frank Worrell, and Sir Viv Richards are the best batsman of all time. Sir Len Hutton, Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, Barry Richards, and Graeme Pollock are close behind.

Who is the best bowler of all time?

Shane Warne are Sydney Barnes are the best bowlers of all time. Behind them are Muralitharan, Wasim Akram, Malcolm Marshall, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Mcgrath, Fred Trueman, Jimmy Anderson, Dale Steyn, and Waqar Younis.

Who is the best all-rounder of all time?

Sir Garfield Sobers is the best all-rounder of all time with Jacques Kallis close behind. Kapil Dev, Ian Botham, Imran Khan, Richard Hadlee, Jayasuriya, Shakib Al Hasan, Miller, and Faulkner also make the list.

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2022. Originally published on 12/10/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

16 South Africa World Cup Chokes and Heartbreaks: The Complete List (Men’s & Women’s Combined)

South Africa World Cup Chokes, a phrase we have often heard before, maybe too often.

SOUTH AFRICA HAVE BEEN ELIMINATE FROM THE 2022 T20 WORLD CUP, COURTESY THE NETHERLANDS.

I personally do not like the ‘choker’ term, but there is a reason why the Proteas have earned this tag—rain interruptions, inexplicable collapses, internal politics, dropped catches & runouts, mathematical errors, and sometimes they just don’t show up on the big day. So, to refresh your memories, here is the List of Top 15 South Africa World Cup Chokes & Heartbreaks—Men & Women Combined.

Also Read: Other South African Cricket Articles

  1. Quota System in South African Cricket and Transformation Policy – The Complete Guide
  2. Top 10 Richest Cricket Leagues (By Average Salaries). Which Cricket League Pays the Most (2022)? Can You Guess Where SA20 Ranks?
  3. Salary of Cricketers (Men’s) from Each of the 12 Nations (2022)—The Complete Guide
  4. SA20 Auction Big Takeaways: List of Players Sold, Squads, Surprises, Exclusions, and More!
  5. 49 South African Cricketers Who Left Their Country for Kolpak Deals
  6. 20 South African Born Cricketers Who Play for Other Countries: Labuschagne, Neil Wagner,…Can you Guess the Rest?
  7. Top 11 Cricketers Who Retired Too Early – The Lost Generation of Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, AB De Villiers, Hashim Amla, and Michael Clarke
  8. Faf du Plessis & AB De Villiers’ Friendship: Broken Dreams of Faf and ABD
  9. Dale Steyn, The Embodiment of Simplicity and Intensity, Retires—The Greatest Fast Bowler of Them All

Top 15 List of South Africa World Cup Chokes

1. 1999 World Cup Semi-Final (The Run-Out)

Match Scorecard:

What Happened?

The heartbreaks of all heartbreaks. 8 runs needed in 1 over, 1 wicket remaining. Lance Klusener, in the form of his life, hits two fours. 1 run needed in 4 balls. Klusener – 31*(14). Surely, Proteas has one foot in the finals. Unfortunately, not enough feet as Klusener calls for a panic run, Allan Donald ball watches, runs late, and gets run out. Match Tied. The tie breaker? The Super Six match between Australia and South Africa, which Australia won, most famously known for Steve Waugh’s comment to Herschelle Gibbs, “You just dropped the World Cup.” Waugh went on to make a century and Australia won that clash.

Video: The Final Over, Gibbs Drops the World Cup

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2. 1992 World Cup Semi-Final (Rain Drama)

Match Scorecard: Full Scorecard of England vs South Africa 2nd SF 1991/92 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

What Happened?

What’s the fuss with DL method? Or the DLS vs VJD methods? Well, long, long time ago these rules did not exist. 22 needed in 13. Anyone’s game. Rain intervened for a short 10-minute break. Next thing you know, South Africa need 22 runs in 1 ball. Explain that.

3. 2022 T20 World Cup Group Stage Exit (Nerves)

Match Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Netherlands vs South Africa 40th Match, Group 2 2022/23 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

What Happened?

Myburgh, Max O’Dowd, Colin Ackermann, Tom Cooper, and Scott Edward’s little contributions took Netherlands to 158/4. Quick start by the Proteas but regular wickets and THAT CATCH by former South African cricketer, Roelof van der Merwe meant SA could only get to 145/8. From top of the group to crashing out. They only needed to win one game of the last two and they failed. The No-Result vs Zimbabwe will pinch them as well.

4. 2003 World Cup Group Stage Exit (Math/DL Method)

Match Scorecard: Full Scorecard of Sri Lanka vs South Africa 40th Match 2002/03 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

What Happened?

1, 0, 0, 5 wides, 1, SIX!, 0, RAIN. Match Tied. South Africa eliminated in the group stage at a home world cup.

Murali bowling to Klusener-Boucher. Last ball-Dot. Reason? South Africa management had miscalculated the DL method and stayed at 229. Had they taken a single, SA would have qualified for the next round.

When asked captain Shaun Pollock in the post-match presentation whether there was any confusion over DL calculations, Pollock replied with “Yeah, Boucher was given a message of 229.”

“So for the second time in a row, South Africa exited with a Tied game. South Africa and the public couldn’t believe it. One run the difference between success and failure.”

– Broadcaster

Video: Duckworth Lewis Drama

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5. 2015 World Cup Semi-Final (Politics, Nerves)

Match Scorecard: Full Scorecard of South Africa vs New Zealand 1st Semi-Final 2014/15 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

What Happened?

Well on the field, you cannot really blame South Africa. With the bat, Faf-ABD-Miller got South Africa to a massive total in a, wait for it, rain curtailed game. NZ had less overs to chase, Baz went all out, Grant Elliot played the innings of his life, and Dale Steyn was on his feet at the end. Rain had arrived when SA were cruising at 216/3 in 38 overs. They got 281 in 43, but NZ magnificently chased 299 (DL).

Nerves, drops, run outs missed. But more serious was the off the field news that emerged later about the Abbott-Philander fiasco and the quota interference. The great South African generation was fractured and would collapse in the next couple of years.

Grant Elliot, Superman.

Video: Ian Smith’s Final Moments

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6. 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup Semi-Final (Rain/DL Method)

Match Scorecard: Full Scorecard of AUS Women vs SA Women 2nd Semi-Final 2019/20 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

What Happened?

Meg Lanning gets Australia to 134/5. Runs on the board, but still chaseable with South Africa’s solid batting order. But then, rain intervened. Again. And now they needed 98 in 13 overs, much more challenging with the higher required rate. Laura Wolvaardt played a gem of a knock 41* (27) and brought it down to 19 off 6, but unfortunately, no Carlos Brathwaite moment for them.

Video: Australia breaks South Africa’s Hearts

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7. 2017 Women’s ODI World Cup Semi-Final (Nerves/Drops/Extras)

Match Scorecard: Full Scorecard of SA Women vs ENG Women 1st Semi-Final 2017 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

What Happened?

South Africa scored a competitive 218. South Africa defending their last over – Dropped dot ball, 1, Wicket, Four. Another last over heartbreak. The difference between the sides? Extras.4 given by England and 25 by South Africa.

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8. 2011 World Cup Quarter Final (Run-Out Induced Collapse)

Match Scorecard: Full Scorecard of New Zealand vs South Africa 3rd Quarter-Final 2010/11 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

What Happened?

Small total to chase, good partnership. All looking good. Then some harsh fighting on the field, a run-out, and the collapse. Perfect ingredients for the ideal South African choke.

From 108-2 in 24 overs to 172 all out in the small chase of 222.

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9. 2021 T20 World Cup Group Stage (Net Run Rate)

Match Scorecard: South Africa beat England South Africa won by 10 runs – South Africa vs England, ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, 39th Match

What Happened?

4 wins out of 5. Net Run Rate of +0.739. Temba Bavuma unites the team after Quinton de Kock sits out. Surely, nothing can stop them now? Nope. England & Australia both won 4/5 and had an EVEN BETTER net run rate. The Stoinis-Wade partnership in the low scoring first match hurt South Africa.

In their final match against England, they had scored 189/2 and won against the great English side. Even that wasn’t enough as they had to restrict England to 131 to get their NRR high enough.

10. 2009 T20 World Cup Semi-Final (Collapse)

Match: Full Scorecard of Pakistan vs South Africa 1st Semi-Final 2009 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

What Happened?

5 overs, 39/0 in chase of 150. Kallis, AB De Villiers, Smith, Gibbs. Pakistan team squeezed, SA lost by 7 runs. Another semi-final loss.

11. 2007 T20 World Cup Group Stage (Net Run Rate)

Match Scorecard: Full Scorecard of India vs South Africa 24th Match, Group E 2007/08 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

What Happened?

India won this one comfortably. South Africa could only get to 116 in chase of 154. Had they got 10 more runs, they would have qualified to the semi-finals of the inaugural T20 World Cup, but lost out due to NRR yet again.

12. 2007 World Cup Semi-Final (Outplayed)

Match Scorecard: Full Scorecard of South Africa vs Australia 2nd Semi-Final 2006/07 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

What Happened?

Finally, South Africa could take revenge of the 1999 World Cup semi-final.

However they only scored 149 and at one time were reeling at 27/5. Never in the game as McGrath blew them away.

13. 2022 Women’s ODI World Cup Semi-Final (Outplayed)

Match Scorecard: Full Scorecard of ENG Women vs SA Women 2nd Semi Final 2021/22 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

What Happened?

Danni Wyatt 129* and Ecclestone’s 6/36 made sure South Africa were just not in the game.

14. 2014 T20 World Cup Semi-Final (Virat Kohli Special)

Match Scorecard: Full Scorecard of South Africa vs India 2nd Semi-Final 2013/14 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

What Happened?

Yuvraj Singh departs. India 133-3 in 16 overs, India still need 43 in 4, but Virat Kohli was just too good on that day.

Video: http://Kohli demolishes South Africa

15. 2000 Women’s ODI World Cup Semi-Final (Outplayed)

Match Scorecard: Full Scorecard of SA Women vs AUS Women 1st SF 2000/01 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

What Happened?

South Africa got to 181 in 50 overs, but Lisa Keightley & Belinda Clark were just too good. Chase complete in 31.2 overs.

Also Read: History of Women’s Cricket World Cup – Everything You Need to Know to Prep Yourself for the 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup

16. 2014 Women’s T20 World Cup Semi-Final (Outplayed)

Match Scorecard: Full Scorecard of SA Women vs ENG Women 2nd Semi-Final 2013/14 – Score Report | ESPNcricinfo.com

What Happened?

South Africa could only score 101, while England’s stalwarts Sarah Taylor, Charlotte Edwards, and Heather Knight breezed through the chase in 16.5 overs.

Why are South Africa called ‘Chokers’ in world cricket?
South Africa have failed to qualify due to rain & nerves in 1992, 1999, 2007, 2011, and 2015 ODI World Cups along with 2007, 2009, 2014, and 2022 T20 World Cups, 2014, 2022 Women’s T20 World Cup and 2000, 2017, and 2022 Women’s ODI World Cups.

A collage of South Africa World Cup Chokes and Heartbreaks

Comment below on your thoughts about South Africa World Cup Chokes and Heartbreaks! Also, feel free to checkout some of our other recent articles.

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 11/04/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Top 13 Unlucky Indian Cricketers Who Were Dropped for No Reason

India is quietly growing its massive depth in cricket, which means there will always be a few unlucky Indian cricketers. Here is our Top 13 list as well as a list of cricketers at the bottom who only played 1-5 matches for India without being given more chances.

We have already done a list of 22 Unlucky Players of All Time. This is a list that only pertains to Indian cricketers who debuted for India.

Also Read: Indian Cricket’s Abundance of Talent: A Blessing or a Curse?, 54 Contenders for the Indian 2022 T20 World Cup Squad

List of Unlucky Indian Cricketers

*Note: We do not consider the current crop of players like Sanju Samson because their career is still to play out.

13. Parvez Rasool

All-rounder from Jammu & Kashmir, did not get to bat in his only ODI and 10-0-60-2. Waited 3 years for another chance and got picked for the T20I series vs England.

Run out for 5(6) and decent figures of 4-0-32-1. Never to play an international game again. 4 years and only 2 games where he did not have much of a chance to showcase his talent.

12. Pragyan Ojha

That match seem familiar? Not only was it Sachin Tendulkar’s last match in his 24-year career, it was also Pragyan Ojha’s last match in his five-year international career.

5/40 & 5/49 with a player of the match performance. Next thing you know, the Ashwin-Jadeja pair is tried out next season, and Ojha was never picked again. He was only 27 at that time (only 35 right now and doing commentary).

*One of the reasons may have been the legality of his action. He was officially banned a year and a half later but might be ‘why he disappeared from the selectors’ radar.’

11. Joginder Sharma

4 ODI matches, 4 T20I matches. His T20I career spanned between Yuvraj Singh’s six sixes & Misbah’s mistimed scoop that resulted in India’s victory.

3.3-0-20-2 & a World Cup winner tag to sign off his international career at the age of 24. Now an officer in Haryana police.

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10. Subramaniam Badrinath

Batting at #4, top scored with 43 (37) and won the player of the match award in his only T20I. A poor ODI series meant his career ended 9 days later. 2 Tests (in SA), 7 ODIs, and 1 T20I only for the domestic giant (10245 runs, 54.49 average, 32 – 100s, 45 – 50s). Vital cog in CSK’s 2011 victory.

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9. Barindar Sran

ODI debut: 9.2-0-56-3, T20I debut: 4-0-10-4, best T20I debut by an Indian.

Two days later, his second T20I & final match, 4-1-31-2.

Was picked after only 8 List A matches and performed well only to be dropped. Now doesn’t even get IPL gigs (net bowler for Gujarat Titans this year). With Khaleel Ahmed, Natarajan, and Arshdeep Singh in the scheme of things, it looks like the 29-year old has a tough road to a comeback and may have already played his last match.

8. Manish Pandey

A casualty of India’s bizarre chop and change policy between 2016-2019 in their quest to find a perfect #4 batter.

Debuting a year later than Virat Kohli & the first Indian to hit an IPL century, Pandey has never been able to do justice to his talent due to limited opportunities. It seemed that his time had come with a magnificent chase of 330, where he hit an unbeaten 104* at #6 to take India home.

An average of 44.31 in T20I with 3 fifties, more opportunities were expected, but it looks like that the time has passed.

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7. Manoj Tiwary

104* (1 hundred, 1 fifty), but didn’t get anymore than his 12 ODIs and 1 T20I. Made frequent appearances for KKR but his forte was first class cricket – 9398 runs, 49.98 average, best of 303*, 29 hundreds, 39 fifties – and never played a single Test match. His ODI debut itself was delayed for more than a year after he suffered a shoulder injury on the eve of his potential ODI debut.

Also fascinating is the XI fielded in Tiwary’s last match – 8 out of these 11 can be considered ‘unlucky Indian cricketers,’ at least in limited overs cricket.

  1. Ajinkya Rahane, 2. Murali Vijay, 3. Robin Uthappa, 4. Manoj Tiwary, 5. Manish Pandey, 6. Kedhar Jadhav, 7. Stuart Binny, 8. Mohit Sharma
  • Player of that series – Ambati Rayudu
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6. Vinod Kambli

Although Kambli had a decent 104 match ODI career and was rightly axed after India collapsed for 54 in the Champions Trophy final, it was his Test career that perplexes me. 17 Tests, best of 227, 4 hundreds, 3 fifties, and yet he played his last Test at the age of 23.

Sachin Tendulkar would play, almost to the date, 18 years longer in his Test career.

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5. Ambati Rayudu

More than Manish Pandey, Ambati Rayudu suffered the most & so did India as they crashed out of the 2019 ODI CWC semi-final.

A talent of his generation, ODI average of 47.05 (3 hundreds, 10 fifties) – he was unceremoniously dropped both before the 2015 ODI World Cup (after player of the series performance vs Zimbabwe) and the 2019 ODI World Cup.

His last 10 ODI scores were 24, 13*, 47, 40*, 0, 90, 13, 18, 2. Unlucky Indian cricketer at its finest.

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4. Amit Mishra

Amit Mishra played 22 Tests, 36 ODIs, and 10 T20Is, and he never looked out of sorts. With figures of 4-0-23-1 in his last T20I, 6-2-18-5 (player of the match & player of the series – 15 wickets) in his last ODI, we wonder how things could have been.

3. Wasim Jaffer

A domestic cricket giant with a couple of Test double centuries, he last played Test cricket at the age of 30.

Most capped Ranji player, most runs, 57 hundreds, 91 fifties, average of 50.67. Played 20 of his 31 Tests in West Indies, South Africa, England, Bangladesh, and Australia. Maybe if we was given more chances at home…

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2. Jayant Yadav

Although Jayant Yadav recently played, it seems that was more because of injuries and COVID replacement.

Scoring a century at #9 and a handy offspinner, it seemed that he was bound for better things. However, he has ended with only 4 Tests & 1 ODI. With Ashwin, Jadeja, Chahal, Kuldeep, Bishnoi, Sundar, and Axar’s glorious Test debut, it seems that his international career is good as done.

1. Karun Nair

Last but not the least – Karun Nair. Someone who has scored a triple century definitely deserves a rope longer than 6 Test matches.

Notable Exclusion: Faiz Fazal (55* in his only ODI with a 126* partnership with KL Rahul), Shahbaz Nadeem (Rewarded for domestic performances but only played 2 Tests)

List of Indian Cricketers Who Only Played in 1-5 International Matches

What is our definition of the ‘unlucky cricketer’?

  • Only given 1-3 opportunities without much chances after
  • Dropped inexplicably even after a few good performances

Here is a list of several other unlucky Indian cricketers who deserve a mention – Only played between 1-5 matches. In some cases, did not even get to bat or ball. How can someone showcase talent in these limited opportunities? I am glad the current Rohit Sharma-Rahul Dravid lead management are giving each player a run and ‘allowing players to fail’ (i.e. players will get enough of a run. If they do not perform, then only will they be dropped).

In any case, most of the retired players are now prominent coaches or commentators.

  • Gurkeerat Singh, Rishi Dhawan, Karn Sharma, Saurabh Tiwary, Naman Ojha, Pankaj Singh, Tinu Yohannan, Bharat Arun, Manpreet Gony, Abhishek Nayar, Sudeep Tyagi, Abhimanyu Mithun, VRV Singh, Abhijeet Kale, Vivek Razdan, Lalchand Rajput, Ajay Ratra, Shiv Sundar Das, Deep Dasgupta, Dodda Ganesh, Pankaj Dharmani, Paras Mhambrey, Utpal Chatterjee, Prashant Vaidya, Bhupinder Singh Sr., Sardindu Mukherjee, Gursharan Singh, Margashayam Venkataramana, Shivlal Yadav, Suru Nayak, Bharat Reddy, Sanjay Raul, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Gyanendra Pandey, Gagan Khoda, Rashid Patel, Rajinder Ghai, Thirumalai Ananthanpillai Sekar, Randhir Singh, T.E. Srinivasan, Iqbal Siddique, Hemang Badani, Rahul Sanghvi, Sairaj Bahutule, Sarandeep Singh, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Vijay Bharadwaj, Nikhil Chopra, Devang Gandhi, Robin Singh, Robin Singh Jr., Debashis Mohanty, Nilesh Kulkarni, Harvinder Singh, David Johnson, Vijay Yadav, Subroto Banerjee

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2022. Originally published on 08/10/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

42 Unlucky Indian Cricketers Who Never Played for India in Tests but Dominated Ranji Trophy (Updated 2023)

Who are some of the unlucky Indian cricketers who never played for India? Rajinder Goel, Amol Muzumdar, Padmakar Shivalkar, AG Ram Singh, B.B. Nimbalkar, Amarjit Kaypee, Sudhakar Adhikari, Hari Gidwani, Jalaj Saxena, and Pandurang Salgaoncar are the Top 10 unluckiest players who never played for India.

Here is the complete list of 39 unlucky Indian players who never played for India (plus honorable mentions at the bottom).

Keep on reading.

List of Unlucky Players Who Never Played for India

*Note: Sunil Valson is not on this list because he was selected in the 1983 ODI World Cup on the basis of his List A exploits in the Deodhar & Duleep Trophies, not Ranji Trophy

42. Sheldon Jackson (Saurashtra, 2011-)

  • Role: Batter/Keeper
  • FC Record: 87 Matches, 6343 Runs, best of 186, 48.79 average, 19-100s, 35-50s
  • Claim to Fame: Scored 59* in the Irani Cup, which was Indian first class’ third highest successful chase
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Scored 854 runs at 47.44 in the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy and 809 runs at 50.56 the year after, but did not make it to the India A tours. Despite being a consistent presence in the Saurashtra line up, he has not been able to get into the national spotlight, which lead him to depression. Did get rewarded with an IPL contract and some games with KKR though.

41. Maturi Venkat ‘MV’ Sridhar (1988-2000)

  • Role: Right Arm Bat
  • FC Record: 97 Matches, 6701 Runs, best of 366, 48.91 average, 100s-21, 50s-27
  • Claim to Fame: 366 Runs vs Andhra in 1993/94, the fourth best score of all time in Ranji (3rd best at that time). He entered at 30/1 & left at 880/5, a world record
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Although he was among the best in the domestic circuit, he could not break into the national squad at any stage of his career.

40. Yashpal Singh (Sikkim, Manipur, Services, 2001-2020)

  • Role: Right arm bat/Right Arm Medium Fast
  • FC Record: 134 Matches, 9777 runs, 50.13 average, 24-100s, 52-50s
  • Claim to Fame: 5th Highest Ranji Trophy run scorer of all time (8700)
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Not that close. Although he is a stalwart in the first-class circuit, most of his runs has come for Sikkim in the Plate Group. He was a rewarded with a Kochi Tuskers Kerela contract in IPL 2011.

39. Gagandeep Singh (Punjab, 1999-2009)

  • Role: Right Arm Medium Fast
  • FC Record: 66 Matches, 266 Wickets, 6/14 (best innings), 20.84 average, 16/3 – 5w/10w
  • Claim to Fame: Impressive average of 20.84 & economy of 2.52. 3rd Highest wicket-taker of the 2003-04 Ranji Trophy eason (36 wickets in 6 matches)
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test cap?

He was selected in the 2004 Test series vs Bangladesh alongside Shib Sankar Paul, but was not picked with Zaheer Khan & Irfan Pathan in the 15.

So near, yet so far.

38. Rajesh Pawar (Mumbai, Baroda, 1996-2013)

  • Role: Left-arm Orthodox
  • FC Record: 84 Matches, 281 Wickets, 7/87 (best innings), 30.07 average, 11/2 (5w/10w)
  • Claim to Fame: Part of the 1998 U-19 WC Squad, 44 first class wickets in the 1999-2000 season
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Was close to selection after his stellar 1999-2000 season, but came even closer in 2007, when he was included in the India-Bangladesh Test series. However, he did not play in the XI and was never considered for selection again. According to Siddharta Vaidyanathan from ESPNCricinfo, at his first-class debut at the age of 16, “Pawar was being touted as India’s next great left-arm spin hope.” Unfortunately, that never materialized.

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37. Rakesh Tandon (Vidarbha, Mumbai, 1969-1978)

  • Role: Allrounder (Right arm legspin/lower order batter)
  • FC Record: 50 Matches, 108 Wickets/1202 Runs, 6/34 (best innings), best of 142*, 28.62 bowling average, 24.53 batting average, 2/0 (5w/10w), 2-100s
  • Claim to Fame: Bowling alongside Salim Durani for Central Zone, they dismantled North Zone for 85/10. Played number of gutsy knocks as well including two hundreds
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

He played in the 2nd ‘Unofficial Test’ between Sri Lanka and India in 1975. However, at that point, Sri Lanka did not have Test status. The Test status would come six years later, at which point Tandon would be long gone.

36. Rajendrasinh Jadeja (Saurashtra, 1974-1987)

  • Role: Right Arm Medium Fast/All rounder
  • FC Record: 50 Matches, 134 Wickets/1536 Runs, 7/58 (best innings), best of 97, 26.24 bowling average, 24.38 batting average, 5/0 (5w/10w), 11-50s
  • Claim to Fame: Was regularly selected for West Zone in the Duleep Trophy
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Dilip Vengsarkar said that “he was unlucky to have never played for India.” Sandeep Patil concluded that “he was in contention for the Indian berth in those days” but fell short in his bating to get the allrounder spot.

(also known as Rajendra Raisinh Jadeja)

35. Krishnan ‘KP’ Bhaskar Pillai (Delhi, 1982-1995)

  • Role: Batter
  • FC Record: 95 Matches, 5443 Runs, best of 222*, 52.84 average, 18-100s, 21-50s
  • Claim to Fame: Between 1983-1989, he scored 13 centuries and averaged 70 for Delhi
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

He was selected as a standby for the India-Sri Lanka Test series in 1985. However, he was never selected.

34. Shib Shankar Paul (Bengal, 2000-2014)

  • Role: Right Arm Medium
  • FC Record: 61 Matches, 220 Wickets, 7/44 (best innings), 24.95 average, 15/2 – 5w/10w
  • Claim to Fame: 5th Highest wicket taker of 2003-04 Ranji Trophy (33 wickets in just 9 innings)
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Was selected for the tour to East Africa in 2004 and later for the fourth Test vs Australia in 2004 & series against Bangladesh that year, but never got a shot. By his own admission, taking Marcus Trescothick’s wicket in a Board President’s XI in 2006 was one of his most memorable moments.

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33. Ranadeb Bose (Bengal, 1998-2011)

  • Role: Right Arm Fast Medium
  • FC Record: 91 Matches, 317 Wickets, 7/24 (best innings), 25.80 average, 24/6 – 5w/10w
  • Claim to Fame: In the 2006-07 season, he took 57 wickets, 9th best season haul of time (6th best at that time). According to ESPNCricinfo, after 10,658 & 2,113 List A deliveries, he had not bowled a single no ball.
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Although he was called up for the fast bowling conditioning camp by Greg Chappell, the dream was never fulfilled due to competition and lack of pace. With Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, Sreesanth, and VRV Singh getting chances, Bose never got a shot despite his consistency.

32. Bharamiah Vijayakrishna (Karnataka, 1969-1984)

  • Role: Allrounder (Left hand bat, Slow Left arm orthodox)
  • FC Record: 80 Matches, 194 Wickets/2297 Runs, 7/85 (best innings), best of 104, 27.30 bowling average, 25.80 batting average, 100s-2, 50s-16 7/1 – 5w/10w
  • Claim to Fame: Top scored in the final with 71 in Karnataka’s first Ranji Trophy win in the 1973-74 season
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

With the spin quartet ruling Indian cricket, there was not much chance for him to break into the Indian squad. Took 6/79 & 3/89 in the 1978/79 Karnataka vs West Indians tour match.

31. Syed Hyder Ali (Railways, 1963-1988)

  • Role: Allrounder (left hand bat/slow left arm orthodox)
  • FC Record: 113 Matches, 366 Wickets/3125 Runs, 9/25 (best innings), best of 121, 19.71 bowling average, 22.64 batting average, 100s-3, 50s-10, 25/3 – 5w/10w
  • Claim to Fame: Has the 4th Best bowling figures in Ranji Trophy history, 9/25
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Well respected in the domestic circuit, he never made it to the national stage due to India’s famed spin quartet.

30. Premangsu Chatterjee (Bengal, 1946-1960)

  • Role: Left arm medium pace
  • FC Record: 32 Matches, 134 Wickets, 10/20 (best innings), 17.75 average, 2.19 economy
  • Claim to Fame: Best bowling figures in Ranji Trophy History (10/78 in 1956-57); Took 15 wickets in the 1955-56 semi-final to push Bengal to the final
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Chuni Goswami, who captained Bengal to the 1971/72 title, reckons that Chatterjee “would have been very successful if he was born in this era. It’s really sad that he could not play for India because of poor backing from the state administration.”

29. Rajinder Singh Hans (Uttar Pradesh, 1976-1987)

  • Role: Slow left arm orthodox
  • FC Record: 78 Matches, 340 Wickets, 9/152 (best innings), 22.13 average, 27/5 – 5w/10w
  • Claim to Fame: 9/152 one of the best individual wickets haul
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Was called up to the 1979-80 Test series but never played an international game.

28. Yere Goud (Karnataka, Railways, 1994-2011)

  • Role: Batter
  • FC Record: 134 Matches, 7650 Runs, best of 221*, 45.53 average, 16-100s, 39-50s
  • Claim to Fame: Won 2 Ranji Trophies, 3 Irani Cps, and a Duleep Trophy, and a Ranji one-day trophy. Played 100 Ranji Trophy matches
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Despite score 761 runs in the 2001-02 Ranji season and regular member of the India A ide at that time, he could not find a place in the Indian middle order. At his retirement, Javagal Srinath that Goud was the “Rahul Dravid of the Railways team.”

27. Dheeraj Jadhav (Maharashtra, Assam, 1999-2015)

  • Role: Right Arm Batter
  • FC Record: 111 Matches, 7679 Runs, 50.85 average, 23-100s, 31-50s
  • Claim to Fame: Highest scorer of the 2003-04 Ranji Trophy season with 1066 runs in just 12 innings
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

He was selected in the squad for the 4th Test vs Australia in 2004 based on a good performance in India A’s tour to Kenya and was also the reserve opener in the 2005 Zimbabwe Test series.

26. Surinder Bhave (Maharashtra, 1986-2001)

  • Role: Right Arm Bat
  • FC Record: 97 Matches, 7971 Runs, best of 292, 58.18 average, 28-100s, 27-50s
  • Claim to Fame: Joint 6th highest number of centuries in Ranji Trophy
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Was selected for the 1992-93 SAARC Quadrangular tournament, a competition betwen India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh made up of ‘A’ squads. Bhave scored 81, but the final was abandoned due to riots in Dhaka.

25. Basant Mohanty (Odisha, 2007-2023*)

  • Role: Right Arm Medium
  • FC Record: 105 Matches, 403 Wickets, 7/27 (best innings) & 11/49 (best match), 20.97 average, 2.28 economy, 23/3 – 5w/10w
  • Claim to Fame: Was selected for East Zone in Duleep Trophy in 2009. Leading wicket-taker for Odisha in the 2018-19 season
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Statistically, he should have been right at the top in the national conversation. However, with India’s pace attack rising in this decade, Mohanty never got his chance.

*still playing

24. Priyank Panchal (Gujarat, 2008-)

  • Role: Right Arm Opening Batter
  • FC Record: 111 Matches, 7901 Runs, best of 314*, 47.02 average, 26-100s, 31-50s
  • Claim to Fame: Scored 1310 runs at 87.33 in 2016-17, when the weight of his runs lead Gujarat to a maiden Ranji Trophy victory. Between 2016-19, he had the most first class runs by anyone in India
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

When Rohit Sharma was injured for the tour of South Africa in 2021, Panchal was called up as cover. He was also in the England Test series squad that year and has been on the fringes with the India A for a number of years now. Earlier this year, Panchal was India A’s red ball captain, but another member in that India A squad got the Test cap before him—Shreyas Iyer.

Almost 33, it is difficult to see him making a debut now.

Further Reading: ESPNCricinfo’s Interview with Abhimanyu Easwaran and Priyank Panchal

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23. Venkatraman Ramnarayan (Hyderabad, 1975-1981)

  • Role: Right Arm Off break
  • FC Record: 25 Matches, 96 Wickets, 7/68 (best innings), 23.23 average, 5w – 4
  • Claim to Fame: Most successful bowler for Hyderabad in that era with 86 wickets in five seasons
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test cap?

He was named in the probables for the 1977-78 tour of Australia, but that was the farthest he got.

V Ramnarayan was “India’s third-best offspinner, kept out of the national side only by the giant skills of Erapalli Prasanna and Srinivas Venkataraghavan.” Based on this opinion, he wrote the book, “Third Man.”

22. KN Ananthapadmanabhan (Kerela, 1988-2004)

  • Role: Right arm Legspin/Allrounder
  • FC Record: 105 Matches, 344 Wickets/2891 Runs, 8/57 (best innings), best of 200, 27.54 bowling average, 21.90 batting average, 25/5 (5w/10w), 3-100s, 8 -50s
  • Claim to Fame: Scored a double century and cemented his tag of an all-rounder
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Received a few opportunities for India A, but not on the national stage as his career coincided with Anil Kumble. Now an umpire.

21. Sistanshu Kotak (Saurashtra, 1992-2013)

  • Role: Left-handed Batter
  • FC Record: 130 Matches, 8061 Runs, 60 Wickets, 6/81 (best innings), best of 168*, 41.76 batting average, 15-100s, 55-50s
  • Claim to Fame: At the time of his retirement, Kotak was the highest scorer in Ranji Trophy never to have won the title. They went to the finals in his final game in 2013, but lost to Mumbai in the finals
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

In his own words Kotak said that “Every player wants to play for his country. That could not happen for me, but that is not a regret. Maybe I was not destined to.”

20. Rashmi Ranjan Parida (Rajasthan, Vidarbha, Orissa, Assam, 1994-2015)

  • Role: Right Hand Batter/Wicketkeeper
  • FC Record: 139 Matches, 8317 Runs, best of 220, 42.21 average, 16-100s, 51-50s
  • Claim to Fame: Won the 2010-11 Ranji Trophy, 5th highest number of Ranji matches played (126)
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

With India’s middle order settled and even Amol Muzumdar not getting a chance, the likes of Rashmi Parida never got to see the green light for national selection. He did play a tour game against England though.

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19. Sridharan Sharath (Tamil Nadu, Assam, 1992-2007)

  • Role: Left-Handed Middle Order Batter
  • FC Record: 139 Matches, 8700 Runs, Bet of 224, 51.17 Average, 27-100s, 42-50s
  • Claim to Fame: At the time of his retirement, only Tamil Nadu player to play 100 Ranji Trophy matches
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Not very close due to the competition. He played in a Board President’s XI match vs Sri Lanka, but did not get any further.

Like many first-class giants during this time, Sharath just couldn’t break through the Indian squad with the golden generation of Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly, and VVS Laxman around. When he retired from Tamil Nadu cricket (came back year later for Assam), he said “My not playing for India, and the fact that Tamil Nadu did not win a Ranji Trophy title in my time, remain my biggest disappointments. The hard work factor was missing during the time I played.”

18. Parvez Rasool (Jammu & Kashmir, 2008-2022)

  • Role: Allrounder (Right arm off break, Right arm bat)
  • FC Record: 87 matches, 299 Wickets/5023 Runs, 8/85 (best innings) & 12/73 (best match), best of 182, 27.92 bowling average, 37.76 batting average, 20/4 – 5w/10w, 100s-13, 50s-20
  • Claim to Fame: Lala Amarnath Award (best allrounder) in 2013-14 & 2016-17 seasons
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Parvez has already featured in our unlucky Indian cricketers who deserved more chances, but that was in limited overs cricket. In first-class cricket, he deserved even more chances.

What a colossal allrounder he was in Ranji Trophy. First cricketer from Kashmir to be picked for India A, he took seven wickets against Australia while representing the Board President’s XI team in 2013. He went on to play a couple of limited overs matches in 2014 and was recalled in 2017 for the T20 squad, but never for Test cricket.

17. Kanwaljit Singh (Hyderabad, 1980-2001)

  • Role: Right Arm Off break
  • FC Record: 111 Matches, 369 Wickets, 8/86 (best innings), 28.24 average, 21/4 – 5w/10w
  • Claim to Fame: Holds the record for the 5th best season hall—62 wickets in 1999-2000 season.
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

He was selected for an India A vs England A in 1994/95 and did pretty well. However with Test season ending soon and Rajesh Chauhan India’s first choice off-spinner, he could not make it into the team. With 113 wickets after the age of 40, he still had a desire to play for the nation.

16. Faiz Fazal (Vidharba, 2003-2023*)

  • Role: Right Arm Opener (right arm medium part-time)
  • FC Record: 135 Matches, 9128 Runs, best of 206, 41.68 average, 100s-24, 50s-39
  • Claim to Fame: In the 2015-16 season, he scored 714 runs at 44.62 (including 127 in chase of 480 in Irani Cup)
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Played 1 ODI, scored 55 runs. Never played for India again. For all his first first-class run-scoring abilities, never received a Test call up. Did receive an India A call up during that time though.

*still playing

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15. Devendra Bundela (Madhya Pradesh, 1995-2017)

  • Role: Allrounder (Right arm bat/right arm medium)
  • FC Record: 164 Matches, 10004 Runs/58 wickets, best of 188, 6/37 (best innings), 43.68 batting average, 45.65 bowling average, 100s-26, 50s-54, 2/1 – 5w/10w
  • Claim to Fame: Highest Ranji Trophy appearances; 3rd Highest Ranji Trophy scorer of all time (9205)
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Member of the India U-19 team in 1995, he could never break into the senior national side. Also did not win a Ranji Trophy title (finals in 1998-99).

14. Kailash Gattani (Rajasthan, 1962-1983)

  • Role: Right Arm Medium
  • FC Record: 109 Matches, 396 Wickets, 7/13 (best innings), 19.91 average, 20/5 – 5w/10w
  • Claim to Fame: 51 wickets in 1969/70, highest of that season
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Although he was a regular in the Central Zone teams for the Duleep Trophy for a number of years, his name was not called up any further.

13. Connor Cecil Williams (Baroda, 1995-2011)

  • Role: Left Arm Orthodox
  • FC Record: 124 Matches, 7942 Runs, best of 237*, 39.9 average, 19-100s, 42-50s
  • Claim to Fame: Scored 143 & 83 in the Irani Trophy, which prompted him to national selection
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

He played in the India vs South Africa 3rd Test and scored 5 & 42. However, due to a controversy between the ICC and South African cricket, this match was deemed unofficial. Hence, he never got the honor of an official India Test cap.

He was later selected for the first Test against England in 2001 in the 14-man squad. However, he did not win the competition for the opening batter battle as Shiv Sunder Das and Deep Dasgupta opened.

12. Mithun Manhas (Delhi, 1997-2016)

  • Role: Right arm batter/wicketkeeper/allrounder
  • FC Record: 157 Matches, 9714 Runs, best of 205*, 45.82 average, 100s-27, 50s-49
  • Claim to Fame: 7th all-time Ranji run-scorer (8554), 9th most centuries (25), 3rd most matches played in Ranji (135)
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

With India’s Fab Four in their prime, there was never a chance that Manhas could break into India’s Test squad. Domestic giant nevertheless.

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11. Paras Dogra (Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry, 2001-2023*)

  • Role: Right Arm Batter
  • FC Record: 128 Matches, 9333 Runs, best of 253, 51.85 average, 100s-31, 50s-32
  • Claim to Fame: Holds the record for most double tons in Ranji Trophy. 6th highest on the all-time run list, and joint-second on all-time century list
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Came close to an India call-up in 2013, when he went to the West Indies with India A.

10. Jalaj Saxena (Madhya Pradesh, Kerela, 2005-2023*)

  • Role: Allrounder (Right Arm Bat/Legbreak googly)
  • FC Record: 133 Matches, 410 Wickets/6567 Runs, 8/36 (best innings) & 16/154 (best match), best of 194, 25.97 bowling average, 34.74 batting average, 28/7 – 5w/10w, 100s-14, 50s-32
  • Claim to Fame: Lala Amarnath (best all rounder award) in 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2017-18. Became the only Indian to hit a 100 & take an 8-wicket innings haul twice in the same match. Only player apart from Anil Kumble to take 16 wickets in a Ranji Trophy match
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Although he was selected in India A in 2013, he was out of contention till 2019 when he returned to play for India A against England Lions and South Africa A. He said “I spoke to the selectors and asked them. They told me that I am in their sights and they are watching me, and if they get the chance, they’ll give me an opportunity.”

That opportunity never came. The closest he got was in 2021 when Ravindra Jadeja was injured for the England Test series. However, Axar Patel got the nod (and Axar made it count).

*still playing

9. Hari Gidwani (Delhi, Bihar, 1972-1992)

  • Role: Right arm bat
  • FC Record: 119 Matches, 6805 Runs, best of 229, 42.53 average, 100s-15, 50s-32
  • Claim to Fame: Scored centuries in 5 consecutive Ranji Trophy matches between 1986-1988
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Scored 46 against West Indies and a century vs Sri Lanka in tour matches but did not climb the final ladder to national glory. In his own words, Gidwani stated that “I was closest to India selection in 1975-76 when I got a hundred against the visiting Sri Lankan team.”

8. Pandurang Salgaoncar (Maharashtra, 1971-1982)

  • Role: Right Arm Fast
  • FC Record: 63 Matches, 214 Wickets, 7/72 (best innings), 26.70 average, 11/1 – 5w/10w
  • Claim to Fame: Once hit Sunil Gavaskar on the hand. Was one of the fastest bowlers in the 1970s in India’s domestic circuit
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Very, very close. Played the unofficial Tests vs Sri Lanka in 1974. Then was in the West Zone team who played the West Indies XI. Madan Lal and Syed Abid Ali were selected after these matches respectively, with Salgaoncar narrowly missing out. On a couple of occasions, he was called for the 1975 World Cup team, but could not make it past the trials.

7. Sudhakar Adhikari (Mumbai, 1959-1971)

  • Role: Right Arm Opener
  • FC Record: 65 Matches, 3779 Runs, best of 192, 40.63 average, 100s-11, 50s-18
  • Claim to Fame: Scored a century in the morning and reached his wedding venue by the night
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

According to V Ramnarayan (in the list above himself), Adhikari was “considered distinctly unlucky not to gain the approval of the Indian selections in the 1960s.”

6. Amarjit Kaypee (Haryana, Punjab, 1980-2000)

  • Role: Right hand bat
  • FC Record: 117 Matches, 7894 runs, best of 210*, 52.27 average, 100s-27, 50s-34
  • Claim to Fame: At the time of his retirement, he was the highest run-scorer in Ranji history. 6th Most number of Ranji 100s (27), 2nd at the time. Once scored 150+ in both innings of a match
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

According to ESPNCricinfo, “there have been many cricketers who have received a raw deal from a jaundiced selectorial eye and Kaypee must consider himself very unlucky in this regard.”

5. Bhausaheb Babasaheb Nimbalkar (Maharashtra, Railways, Rajasthan, Baroda, 1939-1965)

  • Role: Right hand bat/wicketkeeper/Right arm Fast medium
  • FC Record: 80 Matches, 4841 Runs, best of 443*, 47.93 average, 100s-12, 50s-22
  • Claim to Fame: Highest individual score in Ranji Trophy history and the highest score for a cricketer never to have played international cricket—443*
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Played for the country unofficially against a Commonwealth match in 1949-50. However despite an illustrious domestic career from 1939-1965, he did not play a Test match.

4. Amritsar Govindsingh ‘AG’ Ram Singh (Madras, 1932-1947)

  • Role: Allrounder (Left hand bat/slow left arm orthodox)
  • FC Record: 56 Matches, 265 Wickets/3314 Runs, 8/14 (best innings), best of 126, 18.56 bowling average, 35.25 batting average, 24/8 – 5w/10w, 100s-6, 50s-22
  • Claim to Fame: Became the second cricketer to score 1000 runs and take 100 wickets in the Ranji trophy
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

Played in two unofficial Tests in 1935-36 in the tour to England and was selected in 1945 to a tour to Ceylon, but never had the honor to don the Indian cap. Due to his excellent all-round abilities, Natarajan Sriram reckons that “AJ Ram Singh takes his place as one of the unluckiest cricketers in the history of Indian cricket.”

3. Padmakar Shivalkar (Mumbai, 1961-1988)

  • Role: Slow left arm orthodox
  • FC Record: 124 Matches, 589 Wickets, 8/16 (best innings), 19.69 average, 2.04 economy, 42/13 -5w/10w
  • Claim to Fame: 361 Ranji wickets for Mumbai (record), Joint-second 10-wicket hauls in Ranji (11)
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

He went to Sri Lanka in 1973-74 and played a couple of tour matches.

From the age of 22 to the age of 48, Shivalkar played first class cricket. Yet during those 26 years, not once did he get a chance to represent India at a national level. With Bishan Singh Bedi, one of the all-time greatest, wreaking havoc and Rajinder Goel not getting a chance, Shivalkar was left behind.

Was honored for his contribution to the Indian domestic scene with a CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award.

2. Amol Muzumdar (Mumbai, Andhra, Assam, 1993-2013)

  • Role: Right Arm Bat
  • FC Record: 171 Matches, 11167 runs, best of 260, 48.13 average, 100s-30, 50s-60
  • Claim to Fame: 2nd highest All-time Ranji Runs (9205), 5th highest all-time centuries (28), 2nd most number of Ranji matches (136), Vice-captain of the 1994 India U-19 Team (As of 2007, he had won Mumbai 7 Ranji trophy titles)
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

By his own admission, he came close to the Indian team spot in 1994. Even after years of consistent runs scoring, selectors did not consider him. He deliberated quitting cricket in 2002, but ended up playing till 2013.

Fun fact. When Vinod Kambli & Sachin Tendulkar scored the 664-run partnership in their school days, Amol Muzumdar was slotted in the next position. That was probably the closest he got to the India cap.

1. Rajinder Goel (Haryana, Patiala, Southern Punjab, Delh 1958-1985)

  • Role: Slow left arm orthodox
  • FC Record: 157 Matches, 750 Wickets, 8/55 (best innings), 18.58 average, 2.10 economy, 59/18 – 5w/10w
  • Claim to Fame: Most Ranji wickets of all-time (637), 3rd Longest career (27 years), Highest wicket taker in the 1978-79, 79-80, 83-84, and 84-85 season. 53 five-fers & 17 10-fers, both Ranji records
  • How Close Was He to Indian Test Cap?

He played an unofficial Test against Ceylon in 1964-65, taking 4/33 in the second innings. According to Bishan Singh Bedi, ‘Goely, as I called him, was a much better bowler than me. Honestly, I was just lucky that I got the break [to play for India]. I was very fortunate. That is where Goely might have missed out. But I rated him very highly.”

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Will Sarfaraz Khan Remain an Unlucky Indian Cricketer?

Will Sarfaraz Khan add to the list of unlucky Indian cricketers who never played international cricket? The man has been bludgeoning runs for the last couple of first couple of first-class seasons.

At the moment, his first-class record reads: 37 Matches, 3505 Runs, 79.65 average, 13 centuries, 9 fifties, and a best of 301*.

Some like Jaydev Unadkat and Shahbaz Nadeem have recently lived to see the dream by playing a couple of Test matches after years of toil. Others like Priyank Panchal, KS Bharat, & Abhimanyu Easwaran have traveled with the reserve and India A squads for the last few years without breaking into the XI. Prithvi Shaw scored a 379 and still cannot break in the Indian Test squad.

On the other hand, the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, and Suryakumar Yadav have broken into India’s Test squads due to heroics in other formats. There is no right and wrong here, but due to timing and form, some first-class legends have missed out on international Test careers.

Honorable Mentions And Those Who Just Played 1-3 Test Matches (Separated by Era)

1950-1970

  • Vaman Vishwanath Kumar (2 Tests)
    • Played 2 Tests and got 7 wickets despite having a FC career of 599 wickets. In the era of the spin quartet
  • KR Rajagopal, Gokul Inder Dev, Anand Shukla, Vijay Bhosle, Ramesh Nagdev, AAS Asif, PK Belliappa, B Mahendra Kumar

1970-1980

  • Hemanth Kanitkar (2 Tests)
  • Abdul Ismail, Saad Bin Jung, AV Jayaprakash, Barun Burman, Uday Joshi, Sarkar Talwar, Vijay Mohanraj, Michael Dalvi, Naushir Mehta, Anil Mathur

1980-1990

  • Sadanand Vishwanath (3 Tests)
  • S Vasudevan, Abdul Azeem

1990-2000

  • Ajay Sharma (1 Test)
    • Scored 10,000+ first class runs at an average of 67.46 played exactly 1 Test for India (and later getting banned for match-fixing scandal). Also had 7 double tons in Ranji Trophy history.
  • Hrishikesh Kanitkar (2 Tests)
  • Ashish Winston Zaidi, Sunil Subramaniam

Post 2000s

  • Subramaniam Badrinath (2 Tests)
  • Vinay Kumar
    • Although Kumar played 31 ODI matches for India, he played only 1 Test match. For someone with 139 FC match experience & 504 wickets at an average of 22.44 to his name, that is a shame
  • Rishi Dhawan, Basant Mohanty

Also Read other articles in our Unlucky Cricketer Series:

Other Resources

Unlucky Indian Cricketers Who Never Played for India – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)?

Who is the unluckiest Indian cricketer and why?

Rajinder Goel is the unluckiest cricketer. Despite taking 750 first class wickets and 637 Ranji Trophy wickets (100+ more than the next highest), he was never considered at the highest level.

Who is the unluckiest player in cricket history?

Rajinder Goel & Amol Muzumdar are the unluckiest players in Indian history. They both have played for more than two decades and hold records in their respective crafts. Due to competition from India’s spin quartet in the 1960s, Rajinder Goel could not break through India’s ranks and due to the presence of the Fab Four, Amol Muzumdar could not break through.

Who are the best Indian players who have not played for the Indian national team?

Rajinder Goel, Padmakar Shivalkar, Amol Muzumdar, Hari Gidwani, AJ Ram Singh, B.B. Nimbalkar, Amarjit Kaypee, Paras Dogra, Mithun Manhas, and Pandurang Salgaoncar are the Top 10 unluckiest players who never played for India.

Who has played the most Ranji Trophy games without representing India?

Devendra Bundela (145), Amol Muzumdar (136), Mithun Manhas (135), Rashmi Parida, and Rajinder Goel (123) played the most Ranji Trophy matches without representing India.

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, LLC 2023. Originally published on 02/01/2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

24 Cricketers with Musical Talent Who Will Rock You Ft. Don Bradman, Sreesanth, and AB De Villiers

By Nitesh Mathur, Broken Cricket Dreams, 2/5/2022 With Inspiration from Marquess Raj, Berty Ashley, and Bharat Ramaraj.

*My deepest condolences to India’s legend Lata Mangeshkar, Nightingale of India, who unfortunately passed away this morning at the age of 92. Rest in peace. Here are some her greatest hits.

After a serious article last week contemplating the problems cricket needs to fix in the next decade, let us relax and have some fun. What does that mean?

That’s right—Time for another World XI with TwistsMusical Cricketers Edition.

My process was a bit different this time around, driven by the tweet above. As a violinist-slash-mathematician-in-training-slash-dude-attempting-to-write-about-cricket, this topic attracted me immediately. Here is my interpretation of “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic.

With ideas from other individuals in the Twitter thread, we were able to find several cricketers who played musical instruments. Due to COVID induced lockdown and the growth of Instagram and other social media handles of various teams and cricketers, we are slowly beginning to see the inner life of these cricketers.

Today I bring to you a compilation of musician cricketers. Videos and musical bits are attached with every nominee in the list. Wait till the end to see my XIs.

Contents

The Playing XI Rules

After we list the cricketers with musical talent below, the goal is to make a few playing XIs out of all the options. Here are the rules:

Make an XI such that each cricketer:

  • Either plays a musical instrument
  • Or has sung in a professional music video/major stage
  • This XI needs to have a wicketkeeper
  • 5 bowling options are necessary

*Note: This list only contains men’s cricketers, but another list can be created for women’s cricket (Jemimah Rodrigues, Laura Wolvaardt, etc.)

The Catch

We usually like to take the challenge to another level with these additional tasks:

  • Make a Versatile XI that can withstand anytime or format from the Bodyline series to the IPL.
  • Can you make a professional band or orchestra out of this XI? Try to create your list with as many different instruments in the XI as possible (There are several guitar options so try to limit them to 3-4).
  • Music has no language. Take it up a notch and see if you can involve players from as many nations in the XI if possible

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List of 22 Cricketers with Musical Talent

Here is the list of cricketers with musical talent. We will use this list of 22 players to come up with some XIs. The options are divided intl (1) Openers, (2) Middle Order Batters, (3) Wicketkeepers, (4) All-Rounders, (5) Spinner, and (6) Fast Bowlers.

There is probably a correlation between fast bowlers and innate musical genius. So many options….Prepare to be surprised. Some pretty great music below in a variety of genres.

** DRUM ROLLS PLEASE ** (See what I did there? Okay just kidding, let’s get started)

The Openers

1. John Wright (Singer/ Songwriter/Guitar)

Music Website: John Wright (johnwrightmusic.co.nz) Spotify Link: Spotify – Red Skies

  • Major Teams: New Zealand, Canterbury, Northern Districts, Auckland, Derbyshire, India (Coach)
  • Years Played: 1978-1993 (International), 1975-1993 (Overall)
  • Key Stats: 82 Tests, 5334 runs, 12/23 (100s/50s), best of 185, 149 ODIs, 3891 runs, 1/24 (100s/50s), best of 101
  • Instrument: Guitar
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

“Music and sports seem to go together,” says John Wright in this Cricinfo interview, where he shares the connection between music & cricket over the years. Going to university in the 1970s, the Beatles and Rolling Stones were the talk of the town which prompted him to play music alongside cricket & rugby. He has now gone pro and converted his hobby into a few albums. Here is “Christmas Away Blues” from his album Red Skies.

2. Shane Watson (Guitar)

Selected Videos: Shane Watson and Danielle de Villiers (RCB) – Titanium, Watson singing at RR event

  • Major Teams: Australia, Australia A, Australia U-19, New South Wales, Queensland, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings (IPL), Brisbane Heat, Sydney Thunder, Syndey Sixers (BBL), St. Lucia Zouks, Dhaka Dynamites, Rangpur Rangers, Quetta Gladiators,
  • Years Played: 2002-2016 (International), 2000-2020 (Overall)
  • Key Stats: 59 Tests, 3731 Runs/75 Wickets, 4/24 (100s/50s), best of 176 & 6/33, 190 ODIs, 5757 Runs/ 168 Wickets, 9/33, best of 185* & 4/36, 58 T20Is, 1462 Runs/ 48 Wickets, best of 124* & 4/15
  • Achievements In Cricket: Player of the Tournament (T20 WC 2012, IPL 2008, IPL 2012), 2007 & 2015 World Cup Winner
  • Instrument: Guitar
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

The IPL was a key part of Shane Watson’s cricketing career. The 2008 IPL revived his international career, and he did not look back ever since, becoming a modern Australian legend. The IPL also gave him a platform to fulfill his musical desires. Most of his guitar & singing clips can be found via the Rajasthan Royals or Royal Challengers Bangalore handles, where he has performed in several team events.

3. Sir Donald Bradman (Piano/Songwriter)

Music About Don Bradman: John Williamson’s Sir Don (Pipe Dream album), Jack O’Hagan’s Our Don Bradman (1930), Bradman (Leaps and Bounds) by Paul Kelly (1987)

  • Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales, South Australia
  • Years Played: 1928-1948
  • Key Stats: 99.94 average, 6996 runs, 29/13, best of 334, 52 Tests (First Class: 28, 067 runs, 117/69, best of 452* at a relatively poor average of 95.14, 234 matches)
  • Instrument Played: Piano
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

Sir Donald Bradman has the honor of both playing music & have music written on him. He was a pianist and in 1930, wrote & published “Every Day is a Rainbow Day for Me.” John Williamson, Paul Kelly, and Jack O’Hagan have written some memorable pieces on him. Below is a recording of Don Bradman’s piano work as well his granddaughter, Greta Bradman, a famous opera soprano, singing Don Bradman’s composition.

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4. Sir Alastair Cook (Saxophone/Clarinet/Choir)

  • Major Teams: England, England Lions, England U-19s, Essex
  • Years Played: 2006-2018 (International), 2003-2021* (Overall)
  • Key Stats: 161 Tests, 12472 Runs, 45.35 Average, 33/57, best of 294, 92 ODIs, 3204 runs, 5/19, best of 137
  • Instrument: Clarinet, Saxophone, Piano
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

From a cricketing point of view, Alastair Cook might not be termed an ‘all-rounder,’ but in real-life, he definitely is one. Turns out, England’s greatest opener (a rarity in the England circuit these days) also has a few hidden talents. He grew up going to boarding school and explored his musical side. He was in a choir (video below) and learned how to play the clarinet (from the age 8-13). Later he added piano and saxophone to his repertoire.

No wonder he can focus in tough batting conditions for hours and hours.

*Still playing in County Cricket

5. Mark Butcher (Guitar/Singer – Professional)

Other Videos: Jamming Session with Jemimah, I am still in Love With You

Music Website: Mark Butcher Music YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/mb173

  • Major Teams: England, Surrey
  • Years Played: 1997-2004 (International), 1992-2009 (Overall)
  • Key Stats: 71 Tests, 4288 runs, 8/23, best of 173*
  • Instrument: Guitar
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

If you YouTube Mark Butcher right now, it is likely you will see more of his music videos than cricket even though he is an Ashes hero and has played 71 Tests. His musical career came to the public’s eye when he sang You’re Never Gone on cricketer’s Ben Hollioake’s funeral, who died in a car crash at the age of 24. Since his retirement, he has released multiple albums. Apart from his commentary stints, he regularly tours around England and performs. Here is just one of his videos. His passion for music really shines through.

The Fabulous Middle Order Strummers

Kane Williamson, Joe Root, and Steve Smith are not only competing in the Fab 4/Fab 5 best-batters-of-the-generation debate, but they are also fighting out for a spot in the Musicians XI.

6. Kane Williamson (Guitar/ Ukulele)

  • Major Teams: New Zealand, New Zealand A, New Zealand U-19s, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Yorkshire, Barbados Tridents
  • Years Played: 2010-2022* (still playing), 2007 – domestic debut
  • Key Stats: 86 Tests, 7272 runs, 53.47 average, 24/33, best of 251, 151 ODIs, 6173 runs, 13/39, best of 148, 74 T20Is, 2021 runs, best of 95, 32.59 average
  • Cricket Achievements: World Test Champion, Player of the Tournament (2019 CWC), Finalists – 2015/2019 CWC, Most Runs IPL 2018 (735)
  • Instrument: Guitar/Ukulele
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

Social Media, Instagram, and YouTube is the reason we know about Kane Williamson’s musical talent. Here are a couple of his video below.

YouTube Video: Kane Williamson Jams on the GrayNics Guitar (bat shaped)

7. Joe Root (Ukulele)

  • Major Teams: England, England Lions, England U-19s, Yorkshire, Trent Rockets
  • Years Played: 2012-2022* (still playing), 2009 – domestic debut
  • Key Stats: 114 Tests, 9600 runs, 23/53, 49.23 average, best of 254, 152 ODIs, 6109 runs, 16/35, best of 133*, 51.33 average
  • Instrument: Ukulele
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

Before the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Joe Root started to learn the ukulele on the side to ‘unwind‘ from cricket. First because he does not consider singing his strong suite and because the ukulele is more portable for overseas tours than a guitar.

8. Steve Smith (Guitar)

Other Videos: Steve Smith in conversation with Guy Sebastian

  • Major Teams: Australia, Australia A, Australian XI, New South Wales, Rajasthan Royals, Rising Pune Supergiants, Pune Warriors, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Capitals, Barbados Tridents
  • Years Played: 2010-2022* (still playing), 2007 – domestic debut
  • Key Stats: 59.87 average (just dropped below 60) 82 Tests, 7784 runs, 27/33, 128 ODIs, 4378 runs, 43.34 average, 11/25, best of 164
  • Instrument: Guitar
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

Steve Smith posted the video below during IPL 2020 in Dubai. He is trying to pick up this new hobby and has worked with Australian singer Guy Sebastian on his music skills.

9. Sanjay Manjrekar (Singer)

Album Summary: Sanjay Manjrekar’s – Restday (1994, CD) – Discogs

  • Major Teams: India, Mumbai
  • Years Played: 1987-1996 (International), 1984-1998 (Overall)
  • Key Stats: 37 Tests, 2043 runs, 37.14 average, 4/9, best of 218, 74 ODIs, 1994 runs, 1/15
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

Sanjay Manjrekar’s musical claim to fame is actually releasing an Indie pop album in 1994 called ‘Restday.’ He revisits some old classical Bollywood songs and gives it his own interpretation. Listen to his collection below. Pretty neat voice.

10. Sir Richie Richardson (Guitar)

  • Major Teams: West Indies, West Indies B, Leeward Islands, Windward Islands,
  • Years Played: 1983-1996 (International), 1981-2001 (Overall)
  • Key Stats: 86 Tests, 5949 runs, 44.39 average, 16/27, best of 194, 224 ODIs, 5248 runs, 5/44, best of 122
  • Instrument: Guitar
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

Sir Richie Richardson has been in his several roles with West Indian cricket, but when he is not in the cricket world, he is in his music world with Sir Curtly Ambrose (see below). They have a band named ‘Spirited’ and have been performing locally since 2009.

Wicketkeepers

11. AB de Villiers (Guitar)

Other Video: AB de Villiers singing a Hindi song

  • Major Teams: South Africa, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Daredevils, Lahore Qalandars, Brisbane Heat, Rangpur Riders, Titans
  • Years Played: 2004-2018 (International), 2003-2021 (Overall)
  • Key Stats: 114 Tests, 50.66 Average, 8765 runs, 22/46, 228 ODIs, 9577 Runs, 53.50 Average/101.09 SR, 25/53, 78 T20I, 1672 runs, 135.16 SR, 340 T20s, 9424 runs, 37.24 average/150.13 SR, 4/69, best of 133*
  • Instrument: Guitar
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

Scores runs, keeps wickets, plays instruments, middle school scientist, in one word—genius. A fan favorite. We all know his deep roots with Royal Challengers Bangalore, but over the years he has jammed casually alongside his wife, Danielle de Villiers. Here is one of those videos.

Also Read: Faf du Plessis & AB De Villiers’ Friendship: Broken Dreams of Faf and ABD

12. Azam Khan (Guitar)

  • Major Teams: Pakistan, Quetta Gladiators, Islamabad United, Barbados Royals
  • Years Played: 2021-2022* (still playing), 2018 – domestic debut
  • Key Stats: 67 T20s, 145.70 SR
  • Instrument: Guitar
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

Azam Khan is the free-spirited finisher every T20 team needs in their lower order. Definitely a bright star for Pakistan in the coming years, he is also a great guitarist. The bubble life and PSL has helped the world see his inner talent.

Lower Order Allrounders

13. Omari Banks (Singer/Official Band)

Music Websites: MUSIC – Omari Banks, Bankie Banx (Father’s) Website

YouTube Channel: Omari Banks – YouTube Interview: Cricinfo

  • Major Teams: West Indies, West Indies U-19s, Anguilla, Leeward Islands, Leicestershire, Somerset
  • Years Played: 2003-2005 (International), 2000-2010 (Overall)
  • Key Stats: 10 Tests, 28 Wickets, best of 4/87, best of 50* (along with 5 ODIs), 204 wickets in 80 first class matches with best of 7/41
  • Cricket Claim to Fame: 47* in the record 418/7 chases against Australia, Most prized Wickets: Hayden, Langer, Dravid, Sangakkara, Dilshan
  • Instrument: Guitar
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

The first player from Anguilla to play for the West indies, Omari Banks has had quite an interesting life so far. He comes from a musical family (His father is Bankie Bankx – the Anguillan Bob Dylan). Post cricket, he has become a professional entertainer, touring around the world with his music. His genre is a mix of reggae music & blues, and Bob Marley is one of his inspirations.

In his own words, “I want people to enjoy the music and to be able to dance to the music” with the message of “peace, love, togetherness.”

14. Dwayne Bravo (Singer/Rapper – Music Video)

  • Major Teams: West Indies, Trinbago Knight Riders, St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Gujarat Lions, ICC World XI, and a million more
  • Years Played: 2004-2021 (International), 2001-2022 (Overall)
  • Key Stats: 517 T20s, 563 wickets/6685 runs, 20 fifties, best of 5/23 & 70*, 40 Tests, 86 wickets/2200 runs, 3-100s/13-50s, best of 6/55 & 113; 164 ODIs, 199 wickets/2968 runs, 2/10, best of 6/43 & 112*, 91 T20Is, 78 wickets, 1255 runs, best of 4/19 & 66*
  • Cricket Achievements: 2012 & 2016 T20 World Cup Winner, Most T20 Championships around the world (Pollard 2nd), 167 wickets in IPL (2nd Best), Purple Cap (2013, 215 – CSK)
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

With 122 million views, I am sure you already know the ‘Champion,’ DJ Bravo. Not only did it take Bravo’s image as an entertainer to the next level, it also became the main theme song synonymous with the great World Cup winning T20 generation of the 2010s for the West Indies.

15. Corey Anderson (Guitar)

  • Major Teams: New Zealand, NZ A, NZ U-19, Auckland, Canterbury, Northern Districts, Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians, Lahore Qalandars, Barbados Tridents, Somerset, singed with US Major League Cricket
  • Years Played: 2012-2018 (NZ International Career), 2007-2020 (Overall – might still lay in the United States; only 31 years old)
  • Key Stats: 49 ODIs, 1109 runs/ 60 wickets, 1/4, best of 131*, 31 T20I, 2-50s, best of 94*, 13 Tests, 1-100/4-50s, best of 116
  • Cricket Claim to Fame: 36-ball 100 (131* (47), 95* (44) chasing 190 in 14.3 overs to take Mumbai Indians to the playoffs last-minute
  • Instrument: Guitar
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

I only found one 15-second video of Corey Anderson, but he seems to have a good country singer voice and is mature in his guitar skills as well.

Also Read: USA Cricket: The Next NFL Or NBA – Trillion Dollar Bet?

Spinner

In our squad, we already have Omari Banks as an off-spinner with Joe Root-Kane Williamson-Steve Smith can turn the ball as well, but here is our lone spinner with some degree of international bowling experience.

16. Graeme Swann (Singer in a Band)

Music Facebook Page: Dr. Comfort And The Lurid Revelations Band

  • Major Teams: England, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire
  • Years Played: 2000-2013 (International), 19980-2013 (Overall)
  • Key Stats: 60 Tests, 255 wickets, 6/64 best innings (10/132 best match), 14 – 4w/17 – 5w, 3- 10w, 79 ODIs, 104 wickets, 39 T20Is, 51 wickets, 252 FC games, 739 wickets
  • Instrument: Guitar
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

The spinner in England’s golden generation of Test cricket (before Mitchell Johnson ended half their careers in 2013), his career post cricket seems to have taken off in the media industry—commentator, dancer in BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, and is the lead singer in a band. He is in a band called Dr. Comfort And The Lurid Revelations and has performed several times. In this interview with the Guardian, it is revealed that he taught Jimmy Anderson how to play the guitar (and Timmy Ambrose is another teammate with some guitar talent).

The Fast Bowlers

17. Brett Lee (Guitar/Singer)

Other Videos: Brett Lee singing/playing guitar in Rendezvous with Simi Garewal

  • Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales, Sydney Sixers, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Otago, Wellington
  • Years Played: 1999-2012 (International), 1997-2015 (Overall)
  • Key Stats: 76 Tests, 310 wickets, best of 5/30 (inns) & 9/171 (match), 17 – 4w/10 -5w, 221 ODIs, 380 wickets, best of 5/22, 14/9
  • Instrument Played: Guitar
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

Brett Lee ruled the 2000s with his lightning bolts but later in the decade, he captured the imagination of the Indian audience with this music video along with Asha Bhosle below. Beautiful song and with catchy beats. He has a nice voice and plays guitar in his free time.

18. Henry Olonga – This Is the Moment (Singer/Opera on the VOICE)

Other Videos: “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” Magic Spell in 1999.

  • Major Teams: Zimbabwe, Mashonaland, Matabeleland
  • Years Played: 1995-2003 (International), 1993-2003 (Overall)
  • Key Stats: 30 Tests, 68 wickets, best of 5/70, 50 ODIs, 58 wickets, best of 6/19
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

This is my favorite music of the list. Took me by complete surprise. Henry Olonga, the youngest player and the first black cricketer to play for Zimbabwe, he came to the fore in the 2003 Cricket World. He had to flee to England after his open protest against his country’s dictator. He auditioned for the Voice Australia in 2019 with his deep operatic voice, was selected, and went through to the next couple of rounds as well.

19. Sir Curtly Ambrose (Bass Guitar)

Website: http://curtlyambrose.com/my-music.php

YouTube Video Collection: All Stars Cricket Concert- Grenada – Oct 10, 2010 – YouTube

  • Major Teams: West Indies, Leeward Islands, Northamptonshire
  • Years Played: 1988-2000 (Interntaional), 1985-2000 (Overall)
  • Key Stats: 98 Tests, 405 wickets, 21-4w/22-5w/3-10w, best of 8/45 (inn) & 11/84 (match), 176 ODIs, 225 wickets, best of 5/17, 239 FC, 941 wickets
  • Instrument: Bass Guitar
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

Bowls with menace & plays music in style, the complete West Indian package. With Richie Richardson, he headlines the band, Spirited, of about 11 musicians and is the bass guitarist. The genre is reggae music.

20. S Sreesanth (Drums)

  • Major Teams: India, Kerela, Asia XI, Warwickshire, Kings XI Punjab, Kochi Tuskers Kerela, Rajasthan Royals
  • Years Played: 2005-2011 (International), 2002-2021 (Overall)
  • Key Stats: 27 Tests, 87 wickets, best of 5/40 (inn) & 8/99 (match), 53 ODIs, 75 wickets, best of 6/55
  • Instrument: Drums
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

Sreesanth is known for dancing on the field, but he is pretty handy with the drums off the field. He has also come in a few reality TV shows. Entertainer for sure.

21. Trent Boult (Guitar)

  • Major Teams: New Zealand, NZ A, NZ U-19s, Northern Districts, Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians
  • Years Played: 2011-2022* (still playing), 2008 – domestic debut
  • Key Stats: 75 Tests, 301 wickets, best of 6/30 (inn), 10/80 (match), 17-4w/9-5w/10w-1, 93 ODIs, wickets 169, best of 7/34, 44 T20I, 62 wickets
  • Instrument: Guitar
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

Trent Boult has been central to New Zealand’s progress over the last 5-10 years, but the victory song after the World Test Championship is his claim to fame in his musical life. Great guitar skills right there.

22. Rubel Hossain

  • Major Teams: Bangladesh, Bangladesh A, Bangladesh U-19s, Chattogram Challengers
  • Years Played: 2009-2021* (still playing), 2007 – domestic debut
  • Key Stats: 104 ODIs, 129 wickets, best of 6/26, 27 Tests, 36 wickets, best of 5/166, 28 T20Is, 28 wickets
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

Rubel Hossain, one of Bangladesh’s pace spearheads in a predominantly left-arm spinning country, he also seems to have sang on the stage in TV show. Very sweet voice.

Honorable Mentions

23. Hardavinder (Harrdy) Sandhu (Singer)

  • Major Teams: India U-19, Punjab
  • Year Played: 2005
  • Key Stats: 3 FC matches, 12 wickets, best of 3/62
  • Musical Claim to Fame:

You might have seen him playing the role of Madan Lal in the ’83 movie, but did you know, he was actually a cricketer? He was selected alongside Shikhar Dhawan, Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, and Suresh Raina, VRV Singh, and RP Singh. Unfortunately he suffered a career ending elbow injury a couple of years later and his cricket dream was broken. Since 2011, he is a full time professional musician. The video below has 611 million views…maybe things happen for a reason.

Also Read: 83 Movie Review – Does the Film Do Justice to India’s Unlikely Dream 1983 World Cup Journey?

259 Million Views…

24. Frank Parr (Jazz Trombone)

  • Major Teams: Lancashire
  • Role: Wicketkeeper
  • Years Played: 1951-1954
  • Key Stats: 49 FC matches, 507 runs, 71 catches, 20 stumpings
  • Musical Claim To Fame:

According to the Guardian, Parr joined the Merseysippi Jazz Band in 1949 and after his cricketing career, in 1956, he joined the Mick Mulligan band. By the end of the 1960s, his musical career had come to an end. Later, he tried acting and picked up a role in TV series Psychoville (2009) and the acclaimed movie The King’s Speech (2010). He still had cricket in his life and captained a team called the “Ravers,” other cricket team made entirely out of jazz musicians.

Other Members of the Ravers: Ray Smith (Ray’s Jazz Shop, Essex), Jim Godbolt Campbell Burnap (Omega Jazz Band, Derbyshire)

Cricketers With Musical Talent – The XIs

An all-rounders list without Jacques Kallis or Garfield Sobers, who would have thought?

No violinists among these cricketers unfortunately, but we have plenty of options to cricket a band out of an orchestra as well as teams that would do well in any T20 league, ODI World Cup, or World Test Championship.

Coach (Player/Mentor): John Wright

Versatile XI

  1. Shane Watson
  2. Sir Donald Bradman
  3. Kane Williamson (C)
  4. Joe Root
  5. AB De Villiers (WK)
  6. Steve Smith
  7. Dwayne Bravo
  8. Graeme Swann
  9. Brett Lee
  10. Curtly Ambrose
  11. Trent Boult

Cricket Band XI

  1. John Wright (Singer/Songwriter)
  2. Alastair Cook (Saxophone)
  3. Sir Donald Bradman (Piano)
  4. Joe Root (Ukulele)
  5. Richie Richardson (Guitar/Band Manager)
  6. Dwayne Bravo (Music Producer)
  7. Graeme Swann (Lead Singer)
  8. Omari Banks (Singer/Producer/Director)
  9. Henry Olonga (Opera Singer)
  10. Curtly Ambrose (Bass Guitar)
  11. S Sreesanth (Drums)

T20 Franchise XI

  1. Shane Watson
  2. Kane Williamson
  3. Steve Smith
  4. AB De Villiers
  5. Corey Anderson
  6. Azam Khan (WK)
  7. Dwayne Bravo
  8. Graeme Swann
  9. Brett Lee
  10. S Sreesanth
  11. Trent Boult

ODI World Cup XI

  1. John Wright (1992 SF)
  2. Shane Watson (2007/2015)
  3. Kane Williamson (C) (2015/2019 Finals)
  4. Joe Root (2019)
  5. Steve Smith (2015)
  6. AB De Villiers (WK) (2007/ 2015 SF)
  7. Dwayne Bravo
  8. Henry Olonga
  9. Brett Lee (2003)
  10. Curtly Ambrose (1996 SF)
  11. Trent Boult (2015/2019 Finals)
  12. Rubel Hossain (knocked England out 2015)

Test XI

  1. Sir Alastair Cook
  2. Sir Donald Bradman
  3. Kane Williamson
  4. Steve Smith
  5. AB De Villiers
  6. Sanjay Manjrekar
  7. Omari Banks
  8. Graeme Swann
  9. Curtly Ambrose
  10. Trent Boult
  11. S Sreesanth

A Bit of Philosophy Of Course – What Can We Learn from Them?

We can learn various valuable life lessons from these multidimensional cricketers. It is never too late to pursue your dreams as Omari Banks and Henry Olonga have shown with their lives.

There is no one path—try a few things out, invest in different experiences, take risks. It is completely okay to change careers and hit restart on your life.

Finally spend some time for yourself. Learn a new hobbydancing, music, reading, gardening, anything. The pandemic hit pause in everybody’s lives and the grueling pace of the 21st century. We have been given some time to reflect what is important. Time will pass, things will change, but you can always rely on your family, friends, and a hobby to fall back upon to give you a peace of mind. I will leave you with this one final thought from Dead Poets Society:

“Poetry, beauty, romance, love—these are what we stay alive for….’That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.’ What will your verse be?”

Other Cricketers Singing Videos

Although we had to restrict the singers to the ones that had performed at a semi-professional level, there are still several cricketers who like to sing. Here are some videos of them.

And finally, the West Indies Cricket Team surely knows how to celebrate. Full of singing, dancing, and more! Gangnam Style in 2012 and Champion in 2016.

More World XI with Twists

If you enjoyed this World XI with Twists about cricketers with musical talent, be sure to check out some of my other articles in this category.

  1. Most Beautiful Stadiums in Each of the 12 Countries
  2. South African Cricketers Who Play For Other Countries
  3. Commentators XI
  4. Most Stylish Batsman Of The Modern Era: Which Player Plays Each Shot Best – Tendulkar’s Drive, Ponting’s Pull, Lara…?
  5. Kolpak South African Players Eligible for National Comeback
  6. Best Cricket Fielders in the Modern Generation
  7. 11 Cricketers Who Retired Too Early – The Lost Generation of Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, AB De Villiers, Hashim Amla, and Michael Clarke
  8. Who Are the Most Underrated Cricketers? Create Your Own XI. Here is Mine.
  9. 22 Unlucky Cricketers Wasted Talents: Alex Hales, Fawad Alam, Robin Uthappa, Can You Guess The Rest?
  10. All-Time XI Cricket – World Cup Edition
  11. Cricket All-Time World XI – With a Twist
  12. My Favorite Player from Each Country
  13. List of 42 Players in the West Indian T20I World Cup Squad
  14. 44 Contenders For 23-Men England T20 World Cup Squad
  15. Indian Cricket Team Depth of 75 Players
  16. English Cricket Team Depth of 50 Players

Cricketers With Musical Talent – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which Cricketers Are Also Singers?

Henry Olonga, Harry Sandhu, John Wright, Alastair Cook, Mark Butcher, Sanjay Manjrekar, Omari Banks, Dwayne Bravo, Graeme Swann, Brett Lee, and Rubel Hossain are cricketers who can also sing.

Which Cricketers can play musical instruments?

Sir Donald Bradman (piano/songwriter), Alastair Cook (saxophone, clarinet, choir), Joe Root (ukulele), S. Sreesanth (drums), and Frank Parr (Jazz Trombone) are some of the many cricketers with musical talent.

Who are the most gifted and talented cricketers outside of cricket?

John Wright, Shane Watson, Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Alastair Cook, Mark Butcher, Kane Williamson, Joe Root, Steve Smith, Sanjay Manjrekar, Sir Richie Richardson, AB De Villiers, Azam Khan, Omari Banks, Dwayne Bravo, Corey Anderson, Graeme Swann, Brett Lee, Henry Olonga, Sir Curtly Ambrose, S. Sreesanth, Trent Boult, Rubel Hossain, Harry Sandhu, and Frank Parr are all cricketers with musical talent.

Which Cricketers Can play the guitar?

Shane Watson, Mark Butcher, Kane Williamson, Steve Smith, Sir Richie Richardson, AB De Villiers, Azam Khan, Corey Anderson, Brett Lee, Sir Curtly Ambrose, Trent Boult are cricketers who can also play the guitar.

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 02/05/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

History of Women’s Cricket World Cup – Everything You Need to Know to Prep Yourself for the 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup

The 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup is right around the corner, and we are here all for it!

Women’s cricket has become mainstream over the last decade, especially with the breakthrough 2017 ODI World Cup and the 2020 T20 World Cup final, but how much do we really about it?

The general public can remember who won the 1979 Cricket World Cup, Kapil Dev’s 1983 catch, Wasim Akram’s 1992 swing, South Africa’s collapses, and Australia’s dominance in men’s cricket. Here we will educate ourselves about the Women’s Cricket World Cup—How many World Cups have happened, what happened in each world cup, who is the highest runs scorer, wicket taker, and much more!

By the end of this article, you will know everything from history to prepare yourself for the upcoming 2022 Cricket World cup.

Table of Contents

Facts About Women’s Cricket World Cup

Did You Know?

  1. Cricket’s first ODI World Cup was the 1973 Women’s Cricket World Cup, not the 1975 Men’s Cricket World Cup.
  2. Denmark played cricket? That’s right. While teams like Ireland and Netherlands made their impact in men’s world cup in the 2000s, teams like Ireland, Denmark, and Netherlands made their Women’s World Cup debut from the 1988 & 1993 world cups onwards.
  3. In the 1973 World Cup, Jamaica & Trinidad and Tobago played as separate nations, not under West Indies.
  4. Belinda Clark scored 229* in the 1997 World Cup vs Denmark, the highest ODI score across cricket at that time.
  5. In the 1973 & 1982 World Cup, an International XI was fielded as one of teams, comprised of players from England, New Zealand, Netherlands, Australia, India, Trinidad, and Jamaica.
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Also Read:

  1. 20 Years of Mithali Raj And Jhulan Goswami: Eternal Legends for Indian & Women Cricket
  2. What Can Ellyse Perry Not Do?
  3. Case For 5-Day Tests In Women’s Cricket?
  4. Need For Change in Women’s Cricket: Hoping Against Hope
  5. Controversy Alert: Who Cares About Women’s Cricket Anyway?

Stats

Most Wins

How Many Times Have They Won?Runners-Up
Australia6 (1978, 1982, 1988, 1997, 2005, 2013)2 (1973, 2000)
England4 (1973, 1993, 2009, 2017)3 (1978, 1982, 1988)
New Zealand1 (2000)3 (1993, 1997, 2009)
India02 (2005, 2017)
West Indies01 (2013)

Most Runs

World CupsMatchesRunsBestAverage50s/100s
Debbie Hockley (New Zealand)1982-2000451501100*42.8810/2
Jan Brittin (England)1982-1997361299138*43.303/4
Charlotte Edwards (England)1997-2013301231173*53.527/4
Belinda Clark
(Australia)
1993-2005311151229*60.576/1
Mithali Raj
(India)
2000-202231*113910954.239/2

*will be playing the 2022 ODI World Cup

Most Wickets

World CupsMatchesWicketsBest Figures4/5
Lyn Fullston
(Australia)
1982-198820395/272/2
Carole Hodges
(England)
1982-199324374/33/0
Clare Taylor
(England)
1988-200525364/132/0
Jhulan Goswami
(India)
2005-200228364/162/0
Cathryn Fitzpatrick
(Australia)
1993-200525333/182/0

Most Dismissals

World CupsMatchesDismissals
(Catches/Stumpings)
Best
Jane Smit
(England)
1993-20052940 (22/18)4 (2/2)
Rebecca Rolls
(New Zealand)
1997-20052232 (24/8)4 (4/0)
Anju Jain
(India)
1993-20052431 (14/17)5 (3/2)

Most Catches

World CupsMatchesCatches
Jan Brittin
(England)
1982-19973619
Jhulan Goswami
(India)
2005-20172816
Lydia Greenway
(England)
2005-20131814

1. 1973 Women’s Cricket World Cup

Venue: England

Winner: England 🥇

Runners Up: Australia 🥈

  • Teams: 7 (England, Australia, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Young England, International XI)
  • Format: Round Robin (6 matches each), 21 matches total
  • Highest Run-Scorer: Enid Bakewell (264) – England
  • Highest Wicket Taker: Rosalind Heggs (12) – Young England

Fun Fact: England were captained by Rachael Heyhoe Flint, who is quoted to be the “WG Grace of women’s cricket.”

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2. 1978 Women’s Cricket World Cup

Venue: India

Winner: Australia 🥇

Runners Up: England 🥈

  • Teams: 4 (Australia, England, New Zealand, India)
  • Format: Round Robin (3 matches each), 6 matches total
  • Highest Run-Scorer: Margaret Jennings (127) – Australia
  • Highest Wicket Taker: Sharyn Hill (7) – Australia

Venue: New Zealand

Fun Fact: Australia won their first cricket world cup….first of their 20 world cups (5 men’s ODI, 1 T20 WC, 3 U-19 WC, 6 women’s ODI WC, 5 T20I WC)…WOW.

3. Hansells Vita Fresh 1982 Women’s Cricket World Cup

Venue: New Zealand

Winner: Australia 🥇

Runners Up: England 🥈

  • Teams: 5 (Australia, England, New Zealand, India, International XI)
  • Format: Triple Round Robin + Final (12 matches each), 31 matches total
  • Highest Run-Scorer: Jan Brittin (391) – England
  • Highest Wicket Taker: Lyn Fullston (23) – Australia (most in any women’s WC)

Fun Fact: Jackie Lord took 8-2-10-6 against India, women’s cricket best WC bowling figures to date. Electing to bat, NZ were bundled out for 80 in 58.5 overs via Diana Edulji’s 11.5-7-10-3 (60-over match). In reply, Lord helped bundle India for 37 in 35 overes.

Each team played each other THREE TIMES! Can you imagine that in today’s day and age? Also International XI makes a comeback.

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4. Shell Bicentennial 1988 Women’s Cricket World Cup

Venue: Australia

Winner: Australia 🥇

Runners Up: England 🥈

  • Teams: 5 (Australia, England, New Zealand, Ireland, Netherlands)
  • Format: Double Round Robin + Playoffs (8 matches each), 22 matches total
  • Player of the Tournament: Carole Hodges (England)
  • Highest Run-Scorer: Lindsay Reeler (448) – Australia
  • Highest Wicket Taker: Lyn Fullston (16) – Australia

Fun Fact: Ireland & Netherlands make their cricket world cup debut.

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5. 1993 Women’s Cricket World Cup

Venue: England

Winner: England

Runners Up: New Zealand

  • Teams: 8 (Australia, England, Australia, India, Ireland, West Indies, Denmark, Netherlands)
  • Format: Round Robin + Playoffs (7 matches each), 29 matches total
  • Highest Run-Scorer: Jan Brittin (416) – England
  • Highest Wicket Taker: Julie Harris (15) – New Zealand, Karen Smithies (England)

Fun Fact: The 1993 WWC was on the verge of being cancelled before a last minute £90,000 donation. Denmark comes into the cricketing market.

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6. Hero Honda 1997 Women’s Cricket World Cup

Venue: India

Winner: Australia 🥇

Runners Up: New Zealand🥈

  • Teams: 11 (Australia, England, South Africa, Ireland, Denmark, Pakistan, New Zealand, India, Netherlands, Sri Lanka, West Indies)
  • Format: Round Robin (2 groups) + Quarter-Finals + Semi-Finals + Finals, 33 matches totals
  • Highest Run-Scorer: Debbie Hockley (456) – New Zealand (most in any women’s WC)
  • Highest Wicket Taker: Katrina Keenan (13) – New Zealand

Fun Fact: Belinda Clark 229* (pushing Australia to 412/7, best WC score ever till date) and Charlotte Edwards’ 173 broke ODI batting world records, Pakistan collapsed for 27/10 (lowest ever WC score), and Jhulan Goswami, on ball duty, was inspired to take up the sport as a child. The beginning of professionalization of women’s cricket (from skirts/culottes to trousers)

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7. CricInfo 2000 Women’s Cricket World Cup

Venue: New Zealand

Winner: New Zealand 🥇

Runners Up: Australia 🥈

  • Teams: 8 (Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, England, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands)
  • Format: Round Robin + Semi-Finals + Finals, 31 matches total
  • Player of the Tournament: Lisa Keightley
  • Highest Run-Scorer: Karen Rolton (393) – Australia
  • Highest Wicket Taker: Charmaine Mason (17) – Australia

Fun Fact: A classic Australia Vs New Zealand final in New Zealand, who actually won their first (and only) ODI World Cup. The 2015 men’s world cup was actually just a revenge battle.

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8. 2005 Women’s Cricket World Cup

Venue: South Africa

Winner: Australia 🥇

Runners Up: India 🥈

  • Teams: 8 (Australia, India, New Zealand, England, West indies, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Ireland)
  • Format: Round Robin + Semi-Finals + Finals, 31 matches total
  • Player of the Tournament: Karen Rolton (Australia) (Rolton boasts the best WC average across women’s WC – 74.92)
  • Highest Run-Scorer: Charlotte Edwards (280)
  • Highest Wicket Taker: Neetu David (20)

Fun Fact: Featured a star cast—Belinda Clark, Lisa Sthalekar, Karen Rolton, Lisa Keightley, Cathryn Fitzpatrick, Charlotte Edwards, Katherine Brunt, Isa Guha, Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Anjum Chopra, Neetu David, Anisa Mohammeda clash of generations.

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9. ICC 2009 Women’s Cricket World Cup

Venue: Australia

Winner: England 🥇

Runners Up: New Zealand 🥈

  • Teams: 8 (New Zealand, Australia, England, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies)
  • Format: 2 Groups + Super Six + Final, 25 matches total
  • Player of the Tournament: Claire Taylor (England)
  • Highest Run-Scorer: Claire Taylor (324) – England
  • Highest Wicket Taker: Laura Marsh (16) – England

ICC Team of the Tournament:

  1. Suzie Bates (NZ), 2. Shelley Nitschke (Aus), 3. Claire Taylor (Eng), 4. Mithali raj (Ind), 5. Charlotte Edwards (C – Eng), 6. Kate Pulford (NZ), 7. Sarah Taylor (WK – Eng), 8. Amita Sharma (Ind), 9. Katherine Brunt (Eng), 10. Priyanka Roy (Ind), 11. Laura Marsh (Eng), 12. Sophie Devine (NZ)

Fun Fact: Ellyse Perry makes her ODI World Cup debut at the age of 18 taking 3/40 in Australia’s first match of the World Cup.

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10. ICC 2013 Women’s Cricket World Cup

Venue: India

Winner: Australia 🥇

Runners Up: West Indies 🥈

  • Teams: 8 (England, Sri Lanka, West Indies, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan)
  • Format: 2 Groups + Super Six + Final, 25 matches total
  • Player of the Tournament: Suzie Bates (New Zealand)
  • Highest Run-Scorer: Suzie Bates (407) – New Zealand
  • Highest Wicket Taker: Megan Schutt (15) – Australia

Fun Fact: India & Pakistan were the two teams that failed to qualify for the Super Sixes, while West Indies qualify for the Finals for the first (and only) time.

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11. ICC 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup

Venue: England & Wales

Winner: England

Runners Up: India

  • Teams: 8 (Australia, England, New Zealand, West indies, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan)
  • Format: Round Robin + Final
  • Player of the Tournament: Tammy Beaumont (England)
  • Highest Run-Scorer: Tammy Beaumont (410) – England
  • Highest Wicket Taker: Dane van Niekerk (15) – South Africa

ICC Team of the Tournament:

  1. Tammy Beaumont (Eng), 2. Laura Wolvaardt (SA), 3. Mithali Raj (C- Ind), 4. Ellyse Perry, 5. Sarah Taylor (WK – Eng), 6. Harmanpreet Kaur, 7. Deepti Sharma, 8. Marizanne Kapp (SA), 9. Anya Shrubsole (Eng), 10. Alex Hartley (Eng), 12. Natalie Sciver (Eng)

Fun Fact: Harmanpreet Kaur’s 171* in the semi-finals caught Australia. India lit up the tournament only to fall short due to a Shrubsole caused collapse in the final. Game changer for women’s cricket, bringing new fans to the game.

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Sources: ICC History, Cricinfo

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 01/19/2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).