If cricket is a religion then there are many Gods. Cricket unites individuals better than any religion can ever do. With millions of ardent followers, cricket is the one of the most celebrated sports in the world.
The history of cricket started hundreds of years ago during the 16th century. The game originated in southern England but today has gained worldwide popularity. Since its early days cricket has produced numerous renowned and legendary players. Today we’re going to take a look at the top 10 greatest cricketers of all time:
Sir Donald George “Don” Bradman, often referred to as “The Don”, was an Australian cricketer, widely acknowledged as the greatest batsman of all time. Bradman’s career Test batting average of 99.94 is often cited as statistically the greatest achievement by any sportsman in any major sport. Bradman held a lot of batting records, such as the most double centuries and the highest score in test cricket for many years before some of these records were eventually broken. However, he still holds the record for the highest average in test cricket history. A record that many experts believe will never be broken.
When Bradman retired from test cricket in 1948 he had scored 6,996 runs in 52 tests with 29 centuries and 13 fifties at a staggering average of 99.94!
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Sachin Tendulkar is considered one of the greatest batsmen in the history of his sport. No player has ever enjoyed the level of fandom that Sachin did and after retirement also nothing has changed. In 2012, he became the first player to score 100 international tons besides being miles ahead in terms of runs scored in Tests and ODIs. He was also the first player to break the double-hundred barrier in ODIs in 2008 when he achieved the unthinkable in Gwalior against South Africa.
In 2008, he reached another major milestone by surpassing Brian Lara’s mark of 11,953 Test runs. Tendulkar took home the World Cup with his team in 2011, and wrapped up his record-breaking career in 2013. After a few hours of his final match on 16 November 2013, the Prime Minister’s Office announced the decision to award him the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award.
His talent and achievements consistent over more than two decades made him a giant of a player, and even years after quitting the game he remains India’s favorite son.
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Sir Garfield St Aubrun Sobers is a former cricketer who played for the West Indies between 1954 and 1974, and is widely considered to be cricket’s greatest all-rounder. His temperament, class and test match batting average is above many legendary cricketers. Originally playing mainly as a bowler, he was soon promoted up to the batting order. Against Pakistan in 1958, Sobers scored his maiden Test century, progressing to 365 not out and establishing a new record for the highest individual score in an innings, which was not broken until Brian Lara scored 375 in 1994. He is surly one of the finest Cricket of all time.
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Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards is known for his style and grace on and off the field. He is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. Overall, Richards scored 8,540 runs in 121 Test matches at an average of 50.23, including 24 centuries. As a captain, he won 27 of 50 Test matches and lost only 8. He also scored nearly 7,000 runs in One Day Internationals and more than 36,000 in first-class cricket. Knighted for his contributions to cricket, today Richards is an occasional cricket commentator and team mentor.
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Imran Khan is indisputably the greatest cricketer to emerge from Pakistan, and arguably the world’s second-best all-rounder after Garry Sobers. Khan served as the team’s captain intermittently throughout 1982–1992. He, notably, led Pakistan to victory at the 1992 Cricket World Cup.
His averages (37 with the bat, 22 with the ball) put him at the top of the quartet of all-rounders (Ian Botham, Richard Hadlee and Kapil Dev being the others) who dominated Test cricket in the 1980s.
Kapil Dev was India’s best fast bowler, best all-rounder and one of India’s best captains who will always be remembered for leading the country to the biggest thing to happen to Indian cricket: the 1983 World Cup triumph. With the ball, he was known for his energetic action and lethal out swingers which took the ball away from the right handers. With the bat, he was an aggressive lower-middle order batsman who could shift the momentum of a game in minutes. On the field, he was known for his inspirational leadership (often by example) and athletic fielding. All these qualities made him the only player in the history of the game to have taken 400 wickets and scored more than 5000 runs in Test cricket, making him one of the all-time best all-rounders of the game.
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Viewed purely through numbers, The King of Swing Muralitharan is a giant performer and is in the unique position of holding the records for most wickets in One Day Internationals as well as Test matches. In fact, what Murali has done in bowling is akin to what Tendulkar has done in batting. He averaged 20.80 in Test matches and 21.23 in ODIs, picking up over 1000 international wickets (653 in Tests and 405 in ODIs).
The spin wizard signed off Test cricket in 2010, with a wicket off his last ball, propelling his tally to 800 wickets.
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Brian Charles Lara is a former Trinidadian international cricket player. He is one of the dominant ODI and test batsmen of all times. No-one since Bradman has built massive scores as often and as fast as Lara in his pomp. He is the only batsman to have ever scored a century, a double century, a triple century, a quadruple century and a quintuple century in first class games over the course of a senior career.
One of the greatest batsmen ever. Ricky Thomas Ponting – a specialist right hander from Tasmania – is the highest run getter for Australia in both Tests and ODIs and is also their most successful captain. Ricky, who made his debut in 1995, took over as the Australian ODI captain in 2002 and has been a part of three successful World Cup campaigns which also included a 34 match winning streak – a record that very few people can match.
More popularly known among his teammates as Punter, he stands third in the list of century makers in Tests – behind Tendulkar and Kallis – and is only behind Sachin Tendulkar when it comes to ODI tons. A predominantly front-foot player, Ponting is known for his exquisite cover drives but has often fallen prey for the delivery that moves away from the bat.
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Wasim Akram is an erstwhile Pakistani Cricketer and pioneer of reverse swing bowling. Akram, the finest fast bowler ever, has headed the cricket team of Pakistan in Test as well as One Day Internationals. He holds world records for taking the most wickets in ODIs.
During the 2003 World Cup, Akram became the first cricketer to record 500 wickets in the 50-over format. He holds the world record for most wickets in List A cricket with 881 and is second only to Sri Lankan off-spin bowler, Muttiah Muralitharan in terms of ODI wickets with 502