Throughout the history of cricket, there have been those that were special, who was slightly different from their fellow cricketers and made the crowd sit up whenever they arrived on the pitch. Of course, every game has its heroes and cricket is no exception. And every nation has its cricketing legends that they believe were better than those of other teams.
Imran Kahn was a great Pakistani cricketer who played at the highest level for over twenty years from his debut in 1971. He was a great all-rounder who led the Pakistan team to their first world cup just before he retired. Always elegant in both action and speech he was one of the best all-rounders that the game has ever had. He is now a politician in Pakistan and the leader of a major political party. He played in 88 tests with a batting average of 37.69. He took 362 wickets with an excellent bowling average of 22.81.
Shane Warne is an Australian spin bowler who is one of, if not the, greatest spin bowler the game has ever seen. He was born in 1969 in Victoria and has played test cricket since 1990, retiring in 2007. He has taken more test wickets than any other player in history. He was also the first player to take more than 600 test wickets. He played in 140 tests and had taken 685 wickets with a bowling average of 25.25.
Gary Sobers was a highly talented cricketer who was born in Barbados in 1936. He played 93 tests for the West Indies and scored an impressive 8032 runs. He had a batting average of 57.78. He was also an excellent slow left-arm bowler, taking 235 test wickets, with an average of 34.03. He is best known for being the first batsman ever to score six sixes in one over in 1968 in a first-class cricket match while playing for Notts against Glamorgan.
Ian Botham was a great English all-rounder. He was the scourge of bowlers with his prodigious batting ability, and he was just as adept as a fast medium paced bowler. He was born in Cheshire in 1955 and played mainly for Somerset. He was very much a true all-rounder as he was as good at bowling as batting. He played in 102 test matches and scored 5200 runs, with an average of 33.34, and he took 383 wickets with an average of 28.40.
WG Grace is thought by many to be the most influential cricketer the game has ever seen. He was born in 1848 at a time when cricket was not the massive sport that it is today. He is one of the reasons, with his great batting ability, that cricket became so popular. When he was out the first ball at a match once, he refused to go telling the umpire that, “the crowd is here to watch me bat and not to watch you umpire!”. There were not many test matches then so he played only 22 and scored 1098 runs with an average of 32.29. He took nine wickets with an average of 26.22. This average is low even though he was playing into his late fifties!
Allan Border was born in 1955 in Sydney and was Australian captain. He still has the world record for the greatest number of uninterrupted test matches. He also had the record, at the time, for the most runs in test matches at 11174 in 156 tests. He was also one of the most prolific hitters of centuries with 27 in test matches. He also took 39 wickets with an average of 39.10.
Shaun Pollock is a South African medium fast bowler who is well known for his accuracy and reliability. He is also an outstanding batsman who has scored over 3406 runs in 100 test matches with an average of 31.24. He has taken 395 wickets at an average of 23.25. He is South Africa’s most prodigious wicket-taker in both one-day internationals and test matches.
Viv Richards is one of the all-time greats of West Indian cricket. He was a very successful captain to one of the best West Indian sides ever. He was a powerful batsman and scored an average of 50.23, scoring 8450 runs in 121 matches. He only lost eight matches in the 50 that he captained.
Don Bradman was born in 1908 in New South Wales and was not only the best Australian but is thought, by many, to be the best batsman of all time. His batting skill was so good that the England cricket team in the 1928-1929 tests resorted to bowling at the batsmen rather than the wickets to try to win. This was known as the Bodyline series. The dispute from this was so bad that it nearly caused a diplomatic dispute between England and Australia. He played in 52 tests and scored 6996 runs, so he had an incredible average of 99.94. These statistics make him the best batsman ever.