Cricket is one of the oldest and most popular sports in the world. Although the sport slightly pales in comparisons to sports like soccer and athletics, cricket is most popular in countries like South Africa, India, Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the West Indies, nevertheless, the sport is adored by many across the globe. Due to the limited number of countries where cricket is played professionally, there is a limited number of major cricket leagues compared to other sports, although, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is reputed as the major cricket league in the world. The sport has been around for centuries and of course, there’s been a host of players who have distinguished themselves for club and country during the course of their careers. Depending on whom you ask, the rating of the best cricket players in history may vary, hence, the individuals discussed in this article are not listed in any particular order.
Top 5 Greatest Cricket Players
1. Sir Donald Bradman:
Sir Donald Bradman is arguably known as the greatest batsman in cricket and possibly the greatest cricketer of the 20th century. Such was the greatness of this cricketer that it would be advisable for a newbie cricket player to read up on his record as it serves as motivation for what is possible in the sport of cricket. The accolades aren’t merely honorary; he posted a stellar batting record to justify the accolades. He played for a period of two decades and recorded a batting average of 99.94 which is such a great record that would be tough to replicate. He once recorded 309 runs in a day and was such a dominant figure in his playing days that Australia only lost the Ashes once and even at that, Bradman still recorded a healthy record of 56 in the series.
2. Sachin Tendulkar
If you ramp up a record of 15,921 test runs and a batting average of 53.78 as well as a bowling average of 54.17 then chances are that you are a stud or a maverick in your sport. Sachin Tendulkar fondly known as the master blaster was able to build a stellar career in cricket which is India’s most successful sport. He is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of the sport. He is reputed as the only man to have to record over 30,000 runs in international cricket. He was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2019.
3. Imran Khan
Imran Khan enjoyed a successful career in cricket prior to launching out into politics. He captained the Pakistan national cricket team to world cup glory in the 1992 cricket world cup which incidentally is their only world cup title to date. He is regarded as Pakistan’s greatest cricket player. In his final 10 years of international cricket, he featured in 51 Tests and posted an average of 50 with the bat and 19 with the ball. His popularity perhaps is responsible for a smooth transition into the world of politics as he currently occupies the position of Pakistan prime minister in Pakistan.
4. Sir Garfield St Aubrun Sobers
Sir Garfield Sobers can be described as one of the best bowlers and an aggressive batsman. He can be also be described as a gifted all-around player. During the course of an illustrious career, Garfield scored over 28,000 runs and took over 1000 wickets, and was inducted into the ICC cricket hall of fame in 2009. It is also worthy of note that he played in 93 Tests for West Indies where he had a healthy output of 8032 runs with an average of 57.78, and taking 235 wickets at an average of 34.03. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1975 for his services to cricket.
5. Shane Warne
Shane Warne can be described as an expert bowler and a top spinner in his prime. He made history in 2006 when he became the first bowler to achieve 700 Test wickets. Overall, through the course of his career, he recorded 708 Test wickets. Since playing his first test match in 1992, Warne produced over a thousand wickets in tests and one-day internationals. He was inducted into the ICC cricket hall of fame in 2012.
Apparently, the list above is not exhaustive as several cricket greats couldn’t find a space in the list for the purpose of space. The ranks of cricket greats will also increase with time even as more legendary cricketers retire from the sport. Cricket is a great sport to indulge in especially for the health benefit it portends to the human body. The fame of cricket may increase further and spread to other countries in the nearest future and then more and more greats can be associated with the sport.