Top 10 Cricketers of All Time

Cricket has been dubbed as the second most popular sport in the world. In the 16th century, the evidence of the existence of the game was first recorded in Tudor Times. However, it was believed that the son of Edward I (Longshanks), Prince Edward, used to play the game in 1301 which they called creag.

In 1478, King Louis XI left a written proof of the sport being played in France. Now, cricket has gone miles in becoming one of the most played sports in the history. Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played by two teams consisting of eleven players each. With about 120 million cricketers in the world, here are the top ten best cricketers of all time.

10. Muttiah Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan

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A former Sri Lankan cricketer, Muralitharan is referred to as the “King of Swing.” In 2002, he was ranked as the greatest Test match bowler by the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. Before he filed for his retirement in 2010, he took his 800th and final wicket in July of the same year from his last ball in his last Test match. He holds the record with the greatest wickets in both Test and one-day cricket.

The legendary cricketer overtook ad surpassed the records of the previous players on the same field earning him various awards and break records like the ODI record of 501 wickets. He is highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, breaking Courtney Walsh’s 519 wickets and holding the top spot in the International Cricket Council’s player rankings for Test bowlers.


9. Jacques Kallis
Jacques Kallis

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A former South African cricketer, Kallis is a right-handed batsman, and right-arm fast medium swing bowler often referred to as one of the greatest players of the game and all-rounders. With about 10,000 runs and 250 wickets in both one-day and Test match cricket, no one has broken his record as of 2013 yet. He played 166 Test matches and scored a batting average of over 55 runs per innings.

In 2011, he became the second highest scorer of Test century and was named the Leading Cricketer in the World by the Wisden as well as the Test Player of the Year in 2007 and the ICC of the Year in 2005. He is the fourth player and first South African cricketer to score 13,000 Test runs in 2013.


8. Dennis Lillee
Dennis Lillee

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A former Australian cricketer, Lillee has been named as the “outstanding fast bowler of his generation.” Aside from his emotional temperament, he was also known for his “never say die” attitude and he was the crowd’s’ favorite earning his popularity and fame. Before he retired in 1984, he was acknowledged as the record holder for most Test wickets of about 355 and as one of the most famous and legendary Australian sportsmen of all time.

In 2009, he was conscripted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. He started his career at the age of 20 and faced some issues about his back injury which was assumed to have ended his career before. Lillee is one of the deadliest cricketers and bowlers of all time.


7. Ian Botham
Ian Botham

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A former England Test cricketer and Test team captain, Botham currently serves as a cricket commentator. He is known by his nickname “Beefy” as a bona fide all-rounder with 14 centuries and 338 wickets in Test cricket. Aside from cricketing, he is also seen playing for the football league.

In 2007, Botham was recognized by Queen Elizabeth II in the New Year’s Honors List and inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009. In the 1970s, he was best known as the best all-rounder and one of the best all-rounders in England.


6. Imran Khan
Imran Khan

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A former Pakistani cricketer, the Khan, is now serving as a politician, philanthropist, cricket commentator and the former Chancellor of the University of Bradford. He established the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and the Namal College, Mianwali. In the late 20th century, he dedicated himself to the sport for two decades before entering the politics.

During the 1992 Cricket World Cup, he successfully led his team to victory making him Pakistani’s most successful cricket captain. After retiring in the 1980s, he was again convinced by the president Zia ul Haq to represent the country once again leading to the One Day World Cup victory in 1992. He was among the list of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame and one of the eight world cricketers to have achieved an all-rounder’s’ Triple in Test matches.


5. Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev

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A former Indian cricketer, Dev was the captain of the Indian cricket team which led them to victory during the 1983 Cricket World Cup. In 2002, he was acknowledged by Wisden as the “Indian Cricketer of the Century.” He was dubbed as one of the greatest all-rounders of all time.

For most of his career, he has been India’s leading strike bowler although he was also known for his right-arm pace bowler and a great outswinger. In the 1980s, he also enhanced an excellent inswinging Yorker and a natural striker.


4. Vivian Richards
Vivian Richards

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A former West Indian cricketer, Richards is called one of the greatest batsmen of all time. In 2000, he was lined and elected as one of the five cricketers of the century by 100-panel member experts. According to the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, Richard played the best ODI innings of all time in one-day cricket.

Richards was the captain of his team winning 27 out of 50 wins with eight losses. Today, he serves as a cricket commentator and a team mentor. He was known for his amusing and lethal batting skills with an average of 47+ in ODI with an SR of more than 90.


3. Gary Sobers
Gary Sobers

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Sobers played for the West Indies and was regarded as the cricket’s greatest all-rounder. Playing mainly as a bowler, he was promoted up to the batting order. He started his career at the age of 16 when he joined the Barbados cricket team. Sobers started making a name when he became the record holder for the highest individual score in an innings before 1994. He was the captain of the West Indies from 1965 to 1972 and the captain of the Rest of the World during their England tour in 1970.

Scoring 8032 runs averaging to 57.78, he played 93 Tests and took 235 wickets averaging to 34.03. In the list of cricketers, he has been the fourth highest batting average in Test cricket with more than 5,000 runs. In 1975, he was labeled by the Queen Elizabeth II. He was knighted as one of the ten National Heroes of Barbados through the Parliament in 1998.


2. Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar

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A former Indian cricketer, Tendulkar has also been the captain who was regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. He is the only player who scored one hundred international centuries and the first batsman to score a double century in a One Day International. Additionally, he is the record holder for the most number of runs in ODI and Test cricket. He is also the lone cricketer to total to 30,000 runs in international cricket.

In 2002, Wisden Crickets’ Almanack ranked him as the second greatest Test batsman of all time and the second greatest ODI batsman of all time. In 2011, he was the pride of India when they brag their first World Cup win out of six cricket appearances of the country. Furthermore, he has been the “Player of the Tournament” at the 2003 edition of the tournament.


1. Sir Don Bradman

Sir Don Bradman

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An Australian cricketer, he was known as “The Don” and the greatest Test batsman of all time. With a Test batting average of 99.94, this has been the biggest achievement by any sportsman in any major sport. The Bodyline tactic was made specifically to check his scoring. He dedicated himself as a captain and administrator to attacking, entertaining cricket attracting spectators in record numbers.

After the World War II, he made a dramatic comeback as he captained the Australian team “The Invincibles” on a record-breaking undefeated tour of England. In 2001, he was labeled as “the greatest living Australian” by the Australian Prime Minister John Howard. In 2009, he was enlisted in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.