Bowling fast is an integral part of cricket. The ability to send down screaming thunderbolts at 150+ kph thrills fans around the world. But who bowled the fastest delivery in cricket history? Let’s find out!

In this blog, we rank the 10 quickest bowls ever bowled in international cricket. We’ll explore the bowlers, matches, speeds, and context behind each sizzling record-breaking delivery. Strap in for a wild ride through the fastest moments in cricketing history!

Why Raw Pace Matters in Cricket

Fast bowlers are important members of any cricket team. Their searing pace and accuracy can destroy opposing batting lineups. The sheer intimidation factor of bowlers consistently bowling over 145-150 kph unsettles even the best batsmen.

While swing, seam, and manage also matter besides raw speed, nothing gets fans more excited than seeing bowlers push the limits and generate extreme pace. The ability to bowl the fastest delivery demonstrates a bowler’s athletic prowess and mastery over their craft.

10. Mitchell Starc – 160.4 kph (Fastest Bowler)

Australian left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc lives up to his surname by regularly bowling vicious lightning bolts. During a T20 International against New Zealand in 2018, Starc bowled a thunderous 160.4 kph screamer – the fastest recorded T20I delivery ever!

The delivery on the last ball of the fourth over left Kane Williamson clueless. Starc’s feat demonstrates how he remains one of cricket’s premier fast bowlers today across formats.

9. Fidel Edwards – 161.1 kph (One of the Top 10 Fastest Bowler in Cricket History)

West Indian tearaway Fidel Edwards clocked 161.1 kph during a Test match against South Africa in 2003. His fastest ball ever left batsman Hashim Amla in a tangle of limbs and sticks.

Edwards was capable of cranking up extreme pace with his slingy action. However, he sometimes sprayed the ball around. When everything aligned, Edwards hit eye-popping speeds consistently.

8. Shane Bond – 161.1 kph (Fastest Bowl in the T20 World Cup)

Former Kiwi quick Shane Bond terrified batters with his pace, swing, andcommand. Bond’s fastest recorded delivery came during the 2003 World Cup against India at 161.1 kph.

Few matched Bond’s thunderbolts when fully fit. Injuries halted his progress, but at his peak, Bond delivered unplayable heat. His speed legacy inspired the next generation of Kiwi quicks.

7. Shaun Tait – 161.1 kph (Fastest Ball in the Cricket History)

Mercurial Australian Shaun Tait clocked 161.1 kph against England in the 2010 Lord’s Test. This marked the 2nd fastest ball ever bowled by an Aussie behind Brett Lee.

When not hampered by injuries, Tait launched missiles regularly in the high 150s. He combined a frightening pace with decent supremacy. At his best, Tait was an irresistible force few batsmen survived.

6. Jeff Thomson – 161.6 kph (Fastest Delivery in Cricket History)

Fiery Australian fast bowler Jeff Thomson terrorized opposition batsmen alongside Dennis Lillee in the 1970s. His fastest delivery was clocked at 161.6 kph against West Indies during a 1975 Test.

Thommo generated extreme pace from an unusual slinging action. He battered teams with a barrage of beamers, bouncers, and yorkers. Thomson’s sheer speed and aggression made him one of the most feared bowlers of his era.

5. Andy Roberts – 161.7 kph (Fastest Bowler in the World)

Legendary West Indian paceman Andy Roberts was an integral part of the ominously talented 1970s Windies pace battery. Roberts’ fastest recorded delivery was clocked at 161.7 kph during a 1975 Test against Australia.

With his whippy action, Roberts produced blistering outswingers and brutal bouncers regularly over 160 kph. He could also cut the ball back into right-handers viciously. Roberts ranks among the finest seam bowlers in cricket history.

4. Mark Wood – 161.8 kph (Fastest Delivery in Cricket)

England’s Mark Wood currently leads the pace race among active quicks and broke the 160 kph mark at the 2022 T20 World Cup. His fastest delivery on record is 161.8 kph against West Indies in 2022.

Despite nagging injuries, Wood has cranked up incredible speeds by generating momentum in his action. When fully fit, he gives England a strike weapon few can match. Wood looks primed to keep pushing the speed limits.

3. Mitchell Johnson – 161.8 kph (One of the Top 10 Fastest Ball in Cricket)

Former destructive Aussie quick Mitchell Johnson made opposition batsmen quake in their boots with his steep, slingy left-arm action. He delivered his fastest ball ever at 161.8 kph against England during the 2013 Ashes.

At his best, Johnson decimated teams with a deadly cocktail of sheer pace, awkward bounce, and controlled aggression. He was the wrecker-in-chief during Australia’s 5-0 Ashes whitewash at home in 2013-14.

2. Shoaib Akhtar – 161.3 kph (Fastest Ball in Cricket History)

Controversial Pakistani speed demon Shoaib Akhtar bowled his fastest delivery and holds the record for officially bowling the fastest delivery in cricket history. He clocked 161.3 kph against England during the 2003 World Cup.

Akhtar generated extreme speeds from an explosive run-up and hyper-extended bowling action. His fastest ball left England’s Nick Knight completely stunned. While injuries plagued him, Akhtar bowled more bowls over 160 kph than any bowler.

Shoaib Akhtar is the Fastest!

1. Brett Lee – 161.8 kph (History of Cricket)

Brett Lee registered the fastest unofficial speed in cricket history at 161.8 kph against New Zealand in 2005. However, there were issues with the speed gun calibrations.

At his peak, Lee rattled batters relentlessly with his slingshot action, skiddy pace, and pinpoint yorkers. He combined breakneck quick bowling with aggression and rare injury-free longevity. Lee remains Australia’s most prolific pacer with 310 Test wickets.

So those are the 10 fastest deliveries ever officially recorded in cricket history, topped by Shoaib Akhtar’s 161.3 kph screamer. While speed radars have inconsistencies, these bowlers undeniably pushed the limits of extreme pace. They achieved bowling speeds comparable to Olympic sprinters!

Of course, bowling fast alone doesn’t guarantee success. Accuracy, swing, variations, line, and length matter too. But nothing brings fans to their feet like watching bowlers shatter the 160-kph mark consistently.

These speed merchants left indelible marks on cricket through their record-breaking delivery velocities. Their fastest bowls redefined what’s humanly possible with a rock-hard cricket ball. And they inspired the next crop of speed prodigies chasing the 160 kph dream.

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