Top 10 All Time Greatest Bowlers in Cricket | Best Bowlers in Cricket History

In the game of cricket, there is always given more credit to a batsman. Bowlers are often missed out despite of giving match-winning performance. The media goes gaga over a batsman's century, the same appreciation is a far-cry when a bowler takes precious wickets. Bowlers get recognition when they take, say more than five wickets, for instance.

Having said that, the game of cricket was to the better part of 80's and 90's ruled by fiery pace bowlers. West Indies produced top class fast bowlers like Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, and many more. Bowlers were a major reason that West Indies won the inaugural World cup and defended successfully the next time in 1979.

More than West Indies, the Pakistanis learned more from the West Indies legends. The ninety's saw the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Imran Khan, and Shoib Akhtar letting their bowling speak for them. Courtesy fantastic bowling the team went on to win the world cup in 1992.

Wasim Akram's dismissed Ian Botham (England) for a duck which set the game in Pakistan's favour, though the wicket caused a controversy back in England. As the overs went Akram dismissed Alec Stewart, Graeme Hick, and Graham Gooch to leave England tattering. Akram came back again to dismiss Allan Lamb which in the meantime build a solid partnership of 71 with fellow batsman Niel Fairbrother.

In between of all this, spin bowlers from India, Sri Lanka, and Australia came to the forefront whenever their respective teams required wickets. Now the leading wicket taker in the world, Muthiah Muralidharan, an off-spinner's guide-book, opposition's worry, leads with an impressive 800 wicket in test cricket and 522 wickets in one day international (as of writing).

Below is the list of greatest bowlers that the game of cricket has ever produced. Watch as a slide show or scroll down to find the greatest bowlers of all time.

The below list was not created to demean the achievements of some other bowlers that they were not good enough, but to highlight the achievements of some of them.

To 10 Greatest Bowlers

10) Curtly Ambrose (West Indies)

Total International Wickets - 630
Total International Wickets - 630

9) Shaun Pollock (South Africa)

Total International Wickets - 814
Total International Wickets - 814

8) Sir Richard Hadlee (New Zealand)

Total International Wickets - 589
Total International Wickets - 589

7) Wasim Akram (Pakistan)

Total International Wickets - 916
Total International Wickets - 916

6) Courtney Walsh (West Indies)

Total International Wickets - 746
Total International Wickets - 746

5) Dennis lillee (Australia)

Total International Wickets - 458
Total International Wickets - 458

4) Anil Kumble (India)

Total International Wickets - 956
Total International Wickets - 956

3) Glenn Mcgrath (Australia)

Total International Wickets - 944
Total International Wickets - 944

2) Shane Warne (Australia)

Total International Wickets - 1001
Total International Wickets - 1001

1) Muthaih Muralidharan (Sri Lanka)

Total International Wickets - 1319
Total International Wickets - 1319

© 2011 Kannan Reddy

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Share Your Top 10 or Your Comments 32 comments

Shoaib 4 years ago

If you don't have Waqar Younis but Pollock, Hadlee and Kumble..... you better learn what actually Cricket is!

vashique ahmed 4 years ago


hem 4 years ago

best bowler is glenn mcgrath.. his line length and accuracy is the best amongst all the bowlers...

saket 4 years ago

nice but boring

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kannanwrites 4 years ago from Mumbai Author

@Luke Might be, I respect your opinion. Thanks for stopping by.

Luke 4 years ago

Yeah I understand but surely Malcolm is better than Courtney Walsh?

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kannanwrites 4 years ago from Mumbai Author

@Luke I did had a second thought on Malcolm when I was compiling the list, but that would have made this list pro-WI. My aim was to represent as many countries as possible.

Hope you understand!!!

@deepesh chaudhary The above statement also applies to your argument. Thanks for expressing your views.

Luke 4 years ago

Malcolm Marshall? Shane Warne is first. Malcolm Marshall second and Dennis Lillee third. Wasim Akram should be pushed up as well!

deepesh chaudhary 5 years ago

really bullshit where is all time india's greatest n cricketer of the century the great kapil dev.kapil holds the highest wicket taker of both forms (test cricket n onedayers) for a long time this list is incomplete without kapil dev

Lachlan 5 years ago

Murali is a chucka and cheat mcgrath is the best then warny

akila 5 years ago

murali is the best..u r correct

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SilkDepartment 5 years ago

GALIB you nearly have it spot on however Lillee should replace Brett Lee and Murali is suspect in my opinion

Kai 5 years ago

Xcuse me did u miss lee nd steyn?

Roshan Sharma 5 years ago

Glenn McGrath is the greatest and also the best bowler of all times...

greg 5 years ago

i'm from australia but i think anil cumble is 5x better than bret lee.

Usman RaO 5 years ago

where is shoab akhter is not in the greatest top 10 bowlers.

shoab akhter is the fastest bowler in the history of cricket,highest bowling speed 100 mph by shoab akhter.

GALIB 5 years ago


Red 5 years ago

Not near the best, but look at the bowling of Mehboob Alam (Nepal) vs Mozambique:


Batsman How Out Runs Balls 4s 6s SR

IIM Ikheriya bowled Alam 0 6 0 0 0

NG Karim bowled Alam 0 4 0 0 0

MZ Sidat lbw b Alam 0 8 0 0 0

Syed Shah c Chhetri b Alam 9 41 0 0 21.95

ZA Gulam lbw b Alam 0 1 0 0 0

+JM Korava lbw b Alam 0 5 0 0 0

Kamran Qadir lbw b Alam 0 6 0 0 0

*Shoaib Younus not out 2 12 0 0 ?

CSC Puspussen bowled Alam 0 1 0 0 0

MAA Koliya bowled Alam 0 2 0 0 0

IS Lili bowled Alam 0 2 0 0 0

Extras b 0, lb 2, nb 0, w 6, p 0 8 ? ? ? ?

Total all out, 14.5 overs 19 (1.28 runs per over)

Bowler O M R W NB Wd Eco

Alam 7.5 1 12 10 4 0 1.53

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kannanwrites 5 years ago from Mumbai Author

@Siddharth Ganguly Kapil Dev can definitely regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders but not at par with the greatest bowlers.

Thanks for your comment.

siddharth ganguly 5 years ago

there wer many oder legends like imran khan or wasim akram or even imran khan i agree wd spiffy d bot shaun pollock!!kapil dev n many legends like brett lee hav been left out shocking!!!!!!!!!

nahin 5 years ago

warne should be no.1

abu sufien 5 years ago

my top ten list is 1.mcgrath[very economical]2.warne[spin legend]3.muralidharan[little magician] burns[great test bowler]5.akram[good bowler]6.kumble[alltime great]7.marchall[great bowler]8.lille[good fast bowler]9.walsh 10.lee[best odi fast bowler] 11.ambrose

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kannanwrites 5 years ago from Mumbai Author

@abid and @prince Dude I can see from the IP address that you are the same person so don't even try to fake it.

But anyway thanks for your opinion. Anil Kumble doesn't needs any defense from my side his career speaks for himself.

abid 5 years ago

east or west brett lee is the best.anil kumble is a black sheep

prince 5 years ago

you are just kidding, brett lee tooks 350 wickets off just 201 matches.amazing

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kannanwrites 5 years ago from Mumbai Author

@prince Brett Lee is definitely a great bowler but he hasn't had any lasting effect throughout the cricketing world.

Thanks for your opinion Mr. Prince.

prince 5 years ago

where is brett lee?

prince 5 years ago

brett lee is a great bowler.he should be in this lit

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kannanwrites 5 years ago from Mumbai Author

@Nizum We agree to disagree.

Thanks for the comment.

nizum 5 years ago

mcgrath should be no.1.where is brett lee?

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breathing 5 years ago from Bangladesh

I like cricket. Love to play, love to watch and like to read cricket related article. Thank you very much.

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SpiffyD 5 years ago from The Caribbean

Good compilation, but Shaun Pollock? Even Pollock's new-ball partner Allan Donald was more effective than him. Some statistics and basic information could have been included though. The criteria for selection should have been outlined though. I thought it may have been Test wickets, but I saw Pollock there; he doesn't even belong to the 400-club.

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