There is no doubt that fast bowling is an exciting sight to watch in professional cricket. When any bowler runs in hard at top speed, takes a perfect jump and delivers the ball at a speed of light, fans as well as the experts of the game go berserk.
In the rich history of international cricket, there have been quite a few bowlers who terrified batsmen with sheer pace. From inch-perfect yorkers to jaw-breaking bouncers, fast-bowlers have more often than not puzzled various batsmen – be it attacking or defensive.
On that note, let’s have a look at the five fastest deliveries bowled in international cricket:
5.) Mitchell Starc
Australian speedster Mitchell Starc has a speciality in bowling unplayable yorkers with extreme pace. No wonder the left-armer is in this list. Starc had reached a record when he delivered a 160.4 kph ball during a Test match against New Zealand.
At the WACA in November 2015, Starc bowled a lethal yorker to Ross Taylor, who was batting at 137.
Taylor defended the delivery successfully, but Starc went on to register his name in history books. He also finished with figures of 4 for 119 from 37 overs as Black Caps posted a mammoth 624 runs in their first innings.
4.) Jeff Thompson
Another Australian in this list is the legendary fast bowler Jeff Thompson. The veteran pacer shattered the 160 kph barrier back in 1975 when he bowled a 160.5 kph delivery against West Indies in 1975.
Incidentally, this match was also played at the WACA, where Thompson reached the 160.4 kph benchmark.
3.) Shaun Tait
Yet another Aussie paceman in this list is Shaun Tait. The South Australian bowler was considered as one of the most feared quicks of his generation. Though injuries affected his career, but he never compromised with quick bowling.
During a One-Day International (ODI) game against England in 2010, Tait clocked 161.1 kph and created history.
2.) Brett Lee
One of the greatest bowlers to have ever played the game, Brett Lee features in this list at the second spot. Lee was known for his accuracy as well as extreme pace, which made a deadly combination for any batsman.
The former Australian registered his name in record books when he bowled a 161.1 kph delivery against New Zealand in 2005. The 43-year-old finished his international career with 718 wickets to his name.
1.) Shoaib Akhtar
Widely popular as the Rawalpindi Express in the cricketing world, Shoaib Akhtar leads the table. The Pakistani pacer was observed as one of the most feared bowlers in the world. The thing which made him different was his ability to bowl consistently over 150 kph.
Akhtar accomplished the milestone of bowling the fastest ball when he bowled at 161.3 kph during a 2003 ICC World Cup match against England at Newlands in Cape Town. Until now, no other bowler has managed to overtake Akhtar.