It is not an easy feat when it comes to identifying the best cricketers of all time because each player was unique in his own way. Most of the cricketers mentioned in this article came and disrupted the gentleman’s game by changing it in more ways than one. Many took the game to the next level and etched their names in the sands of time forever by setting records and benchmarks that remain unbroken even today.
Therefore, here are the top five cricket players of all time in no particular order:
- Sachin Tendulkar
Lovers of Cricket consider Sachin one of the greatest batsmen of all time. This Indian batsman, who remains the highest scorer in International cricket made his debut when he was 16 years old. Sachin, who is a right-handed batsman referred to as the “god of Cricket” is the only Cricket player who scored 100 international centuries. The “Master Blaster” has set records that thus far remain unbroken in the game of Cricket.
- Donald Bradman
“The Don” as he was fondly called by Cricket enthusiasts is arguably the greatest batsman ever to walk the planet. Sir Donald Bradman’s batting average in Test Cricket was an unbelievable 99.94 which is an achievement that has not been matched in any other competitive physical activity. His dexterity in the game of Cricket led to the coinage of a word “Bradmanesque” which is synonymous to remarkable excellence.
The Don has a Wisden rating of 1,349 and the top Test batsman, outranking Sachin by an astonishing 349 points. He has 117 First Class Cricket centuries and 29 Test Cricket to his name.
- Brian Lara
The former West Indies batsman is believed to be one of the greatest batsmen to wield a bat in the game of Cricket. The left-handed Cricket player holds the world record for the highest runs in a First Class Cricket match.
Brian holds the highest score in one Test inning and scored 501 not out in 1994 and 400 not out in 2004.
He played in 131 Test, 299 ODI, 261 First Class, and 429 List A Cricket matches, batting an impressive average of 40.48 in ODI and 52.88 in Test Cricket respectively. Lara also scored 19 and 34 centuries correspondingly in the two formats. He received the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World for two successive years.
- Vivian Richards
Sir Vivian Richards is another former West Indies batsman who has made his mark in the game of Cricket and is arguably among the greatest batsmen in the world. Vivian is believed to have played the best ODI innings ever, and this feat is recognized and acknowledged by the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.
Vivian is the first cricketer in ODI format to have achieved 20 Man of the Match awards and is ranked among the 5 Wisden Cricketers of the Century. The right-handed batsman has also played 121 Test Cricket and 187 ODI matches with averages of 50.23 and 47 respectively.
Richards is also known as one of the most prolific bowlers ever as he took 118 wickets in ODI with just two 5 wicket hauls.
- Shahid Afridi
He is considered the best captain Pakistan ever had as he holds a world record of 100 runs of 37 balls. Popularly nicknamed “Boom Boom,” Afridi holds the world record of the fastest century ever with more than 6,000 runs in ODIs and more than 300 wickets. In the Cricket World Cup of 2011, Afridi displayed an extraordinary bowling performance that has continued to mark him as one of the greatest cricketers in the world.