Top 10 Cricketers in the World (of all time) – 2021 Edition!

Today we decided to end the much-heated debate in the cricketing world and create a list of top 10 cricketers in the world of all time! Read on…

 

I, Jojo, from WeKnowCricket believe that it is not fair to compare players from different eras. 

They all had to endure different kinds of conditions, rules, and expectations, but there is an ever-lingering thought on every cricket fan’s mind that their favorite cricketer is the best-ever to grace this beautiful game. 

Today, we are going to share our thoughts on this subject and will be ranking the top 10 cricketers in the world based on their ability, records, cultural impact, and legacy. 

We are not going to pretend we have seen some of the players in this list in their prime and hence, will try our best to remember their legacy and contribution while making this list.

Criteria:

  • The player must be retired so do not expect Virat Kohli’s name here as we believe he still has a lot to add to his legacy, and we are sure he will end up on this list by the time he decides to retire. The same goes for ABD.
  • Both individual, as well as Team success, will be considered
  • No more than three players from One Nation
  • They have to be the best in the game 😀

 

Honorable Mentions: 

We are restricting ourselves to 5 entries otherwise this list will never end,

1. Jacques Kallis

In my humble opinion, he the best all-rounder ever to play cricket. 

Jacques has a lot of things going for him, records at both ends, longevity, a very-strong following, and a tough-man look. 

2. Rahul Dravid

He is simply the most under-rated cricketer, part of this is due to him playing with Sachin, Sehwag, Ganguly, and VVS for most of his career. 

Dravid defending every single bowl with the same level of calmness is the most satisfying thing ever.

3. Allan Border

Allan Border was the highest run-scorer in cricket when he retired. To understand his legacy, we need to see his impact today. 

He has a trophy, test-series(Shared with Gavaskar), and numerous records playing away from home (Seriously guys, he has an average of 57 away from home)

4. Shane Warne

Being the best leg spinner in the history of this game was not enough for Warne to enter the top 10 cricketers’ list. Shane Warne was the most dominant bowler of the most dominant cricket team of all time. 

The only reason he did not make it into the top 10 cricketers in the world list is that most of his achievements were surpassed by another spin bowler from the same generation. 

5. Imran Khan

He was and still is the biggest global superstar Pakistan has produced. Imran khan popularized Cricket as more than just a sport in Pakistan and paved a way for their Golden Generation in the early 2000s. 

He is the most successful captain in Pakistan’s history and one of the two all-rounder Captains (a very rare breed I must say) on this list. 

Now that we have the honorable mentions out of the way, it’s time to kickstart our list of top 10 cricketers in the world. 

 

Top 10 Cricketers in the Word of all Time! 

 

Here’s our list of the top 10 cricketers in the world of all time. Read on…

#10. Kumar Sangakkara

The first entry in our list of best cricketers is the best Sri Lankan Export. A true legend of the game, Sangakkara has over 28K Runs in international Cricket, second only to the Master Blaster.

Kumar Sangakkara top 10 cricketers in the world

He has no shortage of records under his name, as he holds pretty much every batting record there is in Sri Lankan cricket. 

If you ever wish to soothe your eyes with pure brilliance, just watch his knock against South Africa in which he scored 287 and created a record partnership of 624 runs with Jayawardene which is unlikely to be ever broken.

Career Highlights:

  • 28016 International Runs.
  • Test Cricketer of the year 2012.
  • ODI Cricketer of the year 2011 and 2013.

 

#9. Kapil Dev

Kapil Dev did the same for Indian Cricket as to what Imran Khan did for Pakistan. He made cricket the most popular sport in the nation and inspired so many all-time greats. 

Kapil Dev

Kapil’s biggest contribution to cricket is the cultural impact, though he has no shortage of other accolades as well. 

Kapil Dev led India to the unlikeliest of Victories in the 1983 World Cup. Known more for his bowling prowess, he played one of the all-time great ODI innings against Zimbabwe scoring 175 (the Highest ODI score at that time) of 138 Balls in the 1983 World Cup.

He was well ahead of his time and would have jelled in well with the current formats considering he played with a strike rate of 95 in the 80s when a strike rate of 70 was considered to be above average.

Career Highlights:

  • 687 International Wickets.
  • Captain of the 1983 World Cup Winning Team.

 

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#8. Wasim Akram

The most feared pace bowler in Cricket history and most definitely one of the best cricketers of all time is Mr. Wasim Akram.

Wasim Akram

He, along with Waqar Yunus, terrorized every batsman on the planer during the 90s and early 2000s. His records of most wickets in ODI cricket stood for a long time. 

Wasim was part of the best pace bowling lineup assembled in one team along with Imran Khan and Waqar Yunus. 

This phase of Pakistan cricket made them renowned for their pedigree in developing pace bowlers. 

If you are still not convinced about his involvement in this list, do a quick google search, and check out his videos and tell us if you have seen any other cricket manipulate the bowl in the air as Wasim does.

Career Highlights:

  • The first cricketer to take 500 Wickets in ODI.
  • Scored 257* coming in at 7th against Zimbabwe.
  • 916 International Wicket (5th in the all-time list).

 

#7. Brian Lara 

The first of the three West Indies legends in our top cricketers’ list is Brian Lara. Let’s start with the fact that this guy has a stadium named after him.

Brian Lara

Lara was not part of a dominant team but, he was a dominant batsman in an average team throughout his career. 

He was best known for two things 1. His elegance and 2. Scoring 400 runs in a single inning on the international level- the record which is yet to be broken.

Lack of team success never stopped Lara from playing his part. He was responsible for over 20% of his team’s runs throughout his career. 

Ever since Lara retired, no one has been able to replace his presence in West Indies cricket. 

Career Highlights:

  • Highest Score in an international Test Match: 400
  • Fastest batsmen to reach 10,000 and 11,000 runs in test matches
  • Got inducted into ICC Hall of Fame in January 2012

 

#6. Muttiah Muralitharan

Next up on our list of top 10 cricketers in the world is none other than Muttiah Muralitharan.

Muttiah Muralitharan

Apart from being the nicest bloke in Cricket, he is the deadliest bowler in international cricket. No matter what the format was, wickets were always guaranteed for Murli. 

Murli, along with Shane Warne, defined a whole generation of spin bowling on the highest level. 

He was part of a golden generation for Sri Lanka that reached multiple world cup finals.

In a team containing Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, etc, he was the star performer- now that is something to boast about. 

He went toe and toe against the greatest leg spinner in history (Shane Warne) and came up on top (at least stats-wise).

Career Highlights:

  • Highest wicket-taker in ODI cricket: 534
  • Highest wicket-taker in Test cricket: 800
  • Highest wicket-taker in International cricket: 1347

 

#5. Ricky Ponting

Ricky is the most successful captain in international cricket and is one of the only three players to have won the world cup thrice (two times as a captain).

Ricky Ponting

In terms of team success, it is very hard to argue with the fact that he is the greatest captain in ODI cricket. 

Now when we factor in his accolades, Ponting picks himself in any list discussing the top 10 cricketers in the world.

Watching Ricky Ponting play hook and pull shots with the same level of aggression every time is one of my most cherished memories of watching cricket as a Kid. 

He is the only captain ever to claim over 100 test match victories. Add to this his 260 ODI wins and he’s easily one of the greatest captains the sport has ever seen. 

Career Highlights:

  • 3 Time world cup winner.
  • Most successful captain in ODI cricket.
  • Most successful captain in Test Cricket.
  • Over 27,000 international runs.

 

#4. Sir Viv Richards

A man ahead of his time, Sir Viv Richards is next up on our list. 

We all loved watching Virendra Sehwag smashing bowlers in test cricket like it was an ODI, well Viv Richards invented it. He was not the first person to instill fear in a bowler’s eye, but rather the first one to do it with brute force.

Sir Viv Richards

When Viv was on the crease, your mistakes were not let go with a well-middle defense but with a well-placed boundary.

West Indies Cricket team was the most successful cricket team during the early days of the “Modernized Cricket” Era and Viv Richards was at the center of it. 

He took the torch from Garfield Sobers and ran with it to two World Cup wins.

Career Highlights:

  • Held a record for the fastest Century(54 balls) for almost 40 years.
  • Over 15,000 international runs.
  • Two times world cup winner.

 

#3. Garfield Sobers

The final West Indian on this list as well as the first accomplished all-rounder in test cricket is Sir Garfield Sobers.

Garry Sobers

Being a good all-rounder might sound normal to us now but back in the ’60s having such kinds of abilities with both bat and ball was a luxury no one else could offer. 

He scored over 8000 runs in his career which spanned over 20 years but ended just before the first world cup.

During the end of his tenure, Sobers was part of the first golden generation in International cricket. After his retirement in 1974, West Indies won the first two world cups. 

Career highlights:

  • Wisden Cricketer of the Century.
  • Over 8000 runs and 235 international wickets.
  • First batsmen to score 6 sixes in an over in first-class cricket.

 

#2. Sir Donald Bradman

Sir Don was the first superstar in International cricket and is still considered to be the most technically gifted player of all-time.

Don Bradman

Even today if we see a cricketer with good technique, people are quick to point to the similarities with Don Bradman. 

The cricketing world is always in search of the “Next Big Thing“, it all started with Donald Bradman, he was the “First Big Thing” in cricket.

Even though he played in an era long gone and most of us did not have the privilege to watch him play, his impact and records still stand.

We all have heard stories of Bradman getting out on a duck in his final inning which meant his average ended up being just shy of the perfect 100!. 

We need to put this into some perspective- we are talking about scoring a hundred runs every time you get out in INTERNATIONAL CRICKET! Out of all the records in the world of cricket, this one cannot be bested.

Career highlights:

  • Career average of 99.94.
  • 29 centuries in 80 test innings.
  • Over 28,000 runs in First-class cricket.

 

#1. Sachin Tendulkar

Leading the list of our top 10 cricketers in the world is Sachin Tendulkar. The master-blaster as we know him is the biggest global superstar this sport has to offer. Say one bad word about him and you will have over a billion people tweeting against you.

Sachin Tendulkar 

The impact Sachin Tendulkar has had on this sport cannot be matched culturally or statistically. 

Making an international debut at 16 is a very daunting task and something only a person of his caliber could handle. His records tally cannot be kept within the scope of this article. 

His combination of longevity and consistency is what in my opinion, makes him the best cricketer in the world.

Career Highlights:

  • Highest run-scorer in ODI cricket.
  • Highest run-scorer in Test Cricket.
  • 100 international centuries.
  • Over 33,000 runs in international cricket.

 

Final Words

So, there you have it, folks! This was our list of top 10 cricketers in the world of all time. We know some of you will love this list while others will absolutely hate it. It’s okay though- do let us know what you think of the list in the comments section below! 

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