One of two main approaches to bowling in the sport of cricket, other than spin bowling is fast bowling (also referred to as pace bowling). From the 70s to the present, when we talk about actual fast bowling names like Sarfraz Nawaz and Shoaib Akhtar come to our mind automatically. Having said that, in this article, we take an elaborate walk down memory lane and cherish the all-time greatest Pakistan fast bowlers.
Premium or old-fashioned fast bowling requires the bowlers to be known for their ability to deliver the ball at high speeds, often exceeding 90 miles per hour (145 kilometers per hour), and their primary aim is to dismiss the batsmen by either hitting the stumps or inducing them to make mistakes.
For a long time, Pakistani fast bowlers have been known for their ability to bowl at high speeds, generate movement in the air and off the pitch, and their contributions to the rich history of cricket in Pakistan. They are an integral part of the country’s cricketing legacy and continue to be celebrated on the international stage.
Without further ado, read about the top Pakistan fast bowlers in the next section.
Fastest Pakistan Bowlers of all Time
Shoaib Akhtar 161.3 km/h (100.23 mph)
Shoaib Akhtar, also known as the “Rawalpindi Express,” is widely regarded as one of the most iconic and legendary fast bowlers in the history of Pakistani cricket. His impact on the game and his reputation among cricket fans around the world is significant.
Known for his extraordinary pace, regularly bowling at speeds exceeding 150 kilometers per hour (93 miles per hour)., his sheer speed and raw talent made him a fearsome bowler and a match-winner for Pakistan.
Shoaib Akhtar achieved several record-breaking moments in his career, including the fastest delivery ever recorded in cricket (161.3 km/h or 100.23 mph) during the 2003 Cricket World Cup. Akhtar’s legacy as one of the greatest fast bowlers from Pakistan and in the history of cricket remains intact. He continues to be a respected figure in the cricketing world and is often sought after as a cricket analyst and commentator.
Mohammad Sami 156.4 km/hr
Mohammad Sami, the lightning-fast bowler from Gujrat, Pakistan, left an indelible mark on the world of cricket with his raw pace and unrelenting dedication. Bursting onto the international scene in 2001, Sami quickly became synonymous with blistering deliveries that consistently breached the 150 kph mark.
Sami recorded his fastest delivery of 156.4 km/hr against Zimbabwe in the ODI series of 2003. It is the 9th fastest ball recorded in the history of the game.
In his illustrious career, Sami graced 36 Test matches and 134 ODIs, leaving batsmen awestruck with his sheer speed. His journey commenced in Punjab, where he made his first-class debut in 1998, announcing his arrival with a resounding five-wicket haul.
Sami’s crowning moments include being a pivotal figure in Pakistan’s historic Test series win against Australia in 2002, a remarkable appearance in the 2003 Cricket World Cup final, and a stellar performance in Pakistan’s T20 World Cup triumph in 2006.
Retiring in 2010, Sami left behind a legacy of 101 Test wickets and 145 ODI scalps. He remains an embodiment of Pakistan’s pace bowling tradition, forever etched in the annals of cricketing history.
His fiery pace, unwavering commitment, and unforgettable contributions ensure that Mohammad Sami will forever be celebrated as one of Pakistan’s fastest and finest fast bowlers.
Wahab Riaz 154.5 kmph
Wahab Riaz, the fiery speedster from Sialkot, Pakistan, has etched his name into cricketing history with his thunderous deliveries and fearless approach. Born in 1985, Riaz burst onto the international scene in 2008 and has since been a mainstay in Pakistan’s bowling attack for over a decade.
His fastest ball of 154.5 kmph pace came during the 2015 World Cup in a game against India
Known for his blistering pace, lethal swing, and unrelenting aggression, Riaz is a nightmare for batsmen, especially on batting-friendly pitches. His memorable performances in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, where he took 5 crucial wickets in the final against Sri Lanka, and the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, where he scalped 7 wickets, including 3 in the final against arch-rivals India, will forever be etched in cricketing lore.
Notably, Riaz has claimed several prestigious titles, including the PCB Bowler of the Year (2010-11), and holds the record for the fastest delivery by a Pakistani bowler in T20I cricket at a scorching 150.4 kph.
Wahab Riaz is more than a cricketing legend; he’s a role model who has inspired generations of bowlers in Pakistan. With his passion and aggression, he’s left an indelible mark on the sport and will be remembered as one of Pakistan’s greatest fast bowlers.
Shaheen Shah Afridi 154.2 kmph
Shaheen Shah Afridi, the firebrand left-arm pacer from Pakistan, has taken the cricketing world by storm. At just 22 years old, he’s already a force to be reckoned with. Afridi’s ability to consistently bowl at blistering speeds exceeding 150 kph has made him a fan favorite worldwide.
Shaheen Shah Afridi’s fastest ball for Pakistan was 154.2 kmph, which he bowled to Kane Williamson in the first Test of the New Zealand tour of Pakistan in 2023. Afridi’s fastest ball was also the fastest ball bowled by a Pakistani bowler in a Test match since Shoaib Akhtar bowled a 161.3 kmph delivery to Nick Knight in 2003.
What sets Afridi apart is his remarkable bowling repertoire, featuring a lethal inswinger and a menacing bouncer that keep batsmen guessing. Since his international debut in 2019, he’s been a linchpin for Pakistan across all formats.
In Test cricket, Afridi’s tally of 95 wickets in just 25 matches is a testament to his prowess. He’s equally effective in ODIs, with 49 wickets in 37 games, and in T20Is, where he boasts 58 wickets in 47 appearances.
Afridi’s accolades include the ICC Emerging Player of the Year in 2021 and the ICC Player of the Month in February 2022. His standout performance in the 2021 T20 World Cup, where he emerged as the tournament’s leading wicket-taker with 11 scalps, showcased his mettle. Notably, his pivotal role in Pakistan’s victory over arch-rivals India in the group stage remains etched in memory.
As Afridi’s star continues to ascend, cricket enthusiasts can only anticipate greater feats from this young prodigy in the years ahead. Buckle up, cricket fans, because Shaheen Shah Afridi is set to redefine the future of fast bowling.
He played a significant role in Pakistan’s triumph in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, where he delivered match-winning performances.
Haris Rauf 154kph (95.6mph)
Haris Rauf, the fiery speedster from Rawalpindi, has set the cricketing world ablaze with his electrifying pace and unerring ability to swing and seam the ball. Born in 1993, Rauf’s cricketing journey has been nothing short of remarkable. He burst onto the scene in 2017, making his mark in the first-class arena, and in 2019, he announced his arrival on the international stage.
According to the sources, Rauf bowled his fastest delivery of 154 kph in the latest edition of PSL.
While Rauf has showcased his skills across all three formats for Pakistan, it’s in the thrilling world of T20 cricket where he truly shines. With a staggering 73 wickets in just 48 T20I matches, he’s not only the fastest Pakistani bowler to claim 50 wickets but also the standout performer for his team in the 2021 T20 World Cup, where he scalped 10 crucial wickets in just six matches.
Rauf’s remarkable talent was further highlighted when he unleashed a thunderbolt at 153.3 kph in Test cricket, setting a record for Pakistani bowlers. Additionally, he played a pivotal role in Pakistan’s triumph at the 2022 Asia Cup.
Still in the early stages of his career, Haris Rauf’s potential knows no bounds, and he’s well on his way to etching his name among Pakistan’s cricketing legends. With his express pace and penchant for wickets, the future looks incredibly bright for this fast bowling sensation.
Waqar Younis 153 km/h (95.1 mph)
Waqar Younis is highly respected and celebrated not only in Pakistan but also among cricket enthusiasts worldwide. He played a crucial role in the success of Pakistan’s cricket team during his career, and his contributions to the sport are still remembered and appreciated by fans and experts alike.
Waqar Younis is considered to be one of the fastest bowlers of all time. His fastest recorded delivery was 153 km/h (95.1 mph), which he bowled against South Africa in a Test match at Faisalabad in 1993.
Younis was known for his exceptional pace, reverse swing, and deadly yorkers. He formed a formidable bowling partnership with Wasim Akram, and together they terrorized batsmen around the world. His ability to swing the ball both ways and consistently take wickets made him a match-winner for Pakistan.
One of the highlights of Waqar Younis’s career was when he became the youngest fast bowler to take 400 wickets in One Day Internationals (ODIs). His lethal bowling made him a nightmare for batsmen and earned him a reputation as one of the best exponents of reverse swing.
Mohammad Amir 152 KPH (94.4 MPH)
Although his career was marred by controversies, Mohammad Amir was a talented left-arm fast bowler who showed immense promise during his early years. Amir was widely regarded as one of the most talented fast bowlers to come out of Pakistan in recent years. He gained international recognition for his ability to swing the ball both ways at a young age.
He bowled the fastest delivery by a Pakistani bowler on 21 June 2009, in the final of the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 against Sri Lanka. The delivery was clocked at 152 kilometers per hour (94.4 miles per hour).
Many cricket experts and fans recognized Amir’s skill and talent as a left-arm fast bowler. His ability to generate pace and swing made him a valuable asset to the Pakistani cricket team. Amir was known for his ability to bowl various types of deliveries, including deadly inswinging yorkers and well-disguised slower balls, which made him a formidable bowler in limited-overs formats.
Naseem Shah 148.7 kph
Naseem Shah, the fiery pace sensation from Pakistan, has set the cricketing world ablaze with his exceptional talent and remarkable achievements. Bursting onto the international scene at just 16, Shah left an indelible mark by becoming the youngest Pakistani to claim a five-wicket haul in Test cricket. His bowling arsenal combines raw pace, lethal swing, and pinpoint seam movement, making him a genuine wicket-taker in all formats.
In 2022, during a Test match against England, Shah clocked a blistering 148.7 kph, setting a record for the fastest delivery bowled by a Pakistani in Test cricket. This feat underscored his immense potential and electrifying presence on the pitch.
But Shah isn’t just a Test match marvel; he’s equally adept in white-ball cricket. His stellar performance in the 2022 T20 World Cup, where he took 11 crucial wickets, played a pivotal role in Pakistan’s journey to the final.
Off the field, Shah’s humility and eagerness to learn make him a captivating character. As a sports journalist, I am thrilled to chronicle his remarkable journey, from his rigorous training routines to his aspirations for the future. Naseem Shah isn’t just a rising star; he’s a beacon of hope for aspiring cricketers worldwide, showcasing that dreams can be achieved through dedication and self-belief. Keep an eye on this young sensation; he’s destined for greatness.
Although he is more famous as an all-rounder and a captain, Imran Khan was a formidable fast bowler in his prime, capable of taking crucial wickets.
Imran Khan’s fastest recorded delivery was clocked at 139.7 kilometers per hour (86.6 miles per hour), which he bowled to Mohinder Amarnath during the sixth Test match of the 1983-84 series against India in Delhi.
Imran Khan is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of cricket, and he is certainly a legendary figure in Pakistani cricket. He made his mark during the 1970s and 1980s and played a pivotal role in shaping Pakistan’s cricketing identity.
Imran Khan was known for his exceptional pace, swing, and seam movement. His ability to extract movement from the pitch and his skill in using reverse swing were particularly noteworthy. Imran Khan was not only a prolific wicket-taker but also a shrewd captain, leading Pakistan to their first-ever Cricket World Cup victory in 1992.
His contributions to Pakistani cricket go beyond his on-field performances. Imran Khan’s leadership, charisma, and vision for the game have left a lasting impact on Pakistan cricket. After retiring as a player, he ventured into politics and became the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2018. His influence on and off the cricket field has made him an iconic figure in the history of the sport.
Wasim Akram is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of cricket and is considered an icon in Pakistan and around the world. He had an illustrious career that spanned nearly two decades, during which he achieved remarkable success and set numerous records.
Akram’s fastest recorded delivery was 160.4 kph (100 mph), which he bowled to Mike Gatting of England in a Test match at Old Trafford in 1992. Although there is no official record of Akram breaching the 160 kph mark, he has claimed to have bowled two deliveries at speeds of 162 kph and 164 kph in a match against Sri Lanka in 1990. However, these deliveries were not recorded by the speed gun, so they cannot be officially verified.
Akram took over 1,000 wickets in international cricket, making him one of the most successful bowlers in the history of the sport. He consistently troubled top-class batsmen with his pace, swing, and seam movement. Akram’s success as a left-arm fast bowler inspired many young talents to take up fast bowling in Pakistan and worldwide. His impact on the development of fast bowling cannot be overstated.
In conclusion, Wasim Akram is celebrated not only for his skills but also for his contributions to the game of cricket. He remains a revered figure in Pakistani cricket history and is respected globally for his extraordinary talent and achievements as a fast bowler.
A quick takeaway!
This list is by no means exhaustive, and Pakistan has produced many other talented fast bowlers over the years. Selecting the top 10 fast bowlers of all time from Pakistan is a subjective task, as opinions may vary depending on individual preferences and criteria. However, the above-mentioned list of 10 fast bowlers from Pakistan have made significant contributions to the game and are often regarded as some of the best in the country’s cricket history.
What is the fastest ball by a Pakistani Bowler?
Shoaib Akhtar has bowled the fastest ball for Pakistan. Akhtar bowled a delivery to left-handed batter Nick Knight at a speed of 161.3 km/h.
Why is Pakistan bowlers so fast?
A. The reason is that almost every boy in Pakistan has been played with a tape ball in every street or grounds. During Ramadan, tape ball tournament is a big tournament as this has helped Pakistan to produce great fast bowlers.
Also read: Top 10 Fastest Bowlers of England
Thank you for reading.