Throughout its history in cricket, Pakistan has been moderately consistent in producing exceptional cricketers in the world, especially fast bowlers. However, the country has also produced some of the finest batters. Players like Imran Khan, Miandad and Wasim Akram and many others have helped propel Pakistan’s cricket reputation especially since the 1970s. Pakistani cricketers are known for their skill, talent and suave across all over the world.
Here are the 10 Greatest and most successful Pakistani cricketers (in no specific order).
Born on 13 August 1975, Shoaib Akhtar is a right-handed fast bowler and one of the most popular cricket players in the history of Pakistani cricket. Shoaib is the fastest bowler of the world. He was given the nickname of “Rawalpindi Express” because of his exceptionally fast bowling. He is the first bowler in the history to bowl a 100 miles per hour ball.
Moreover, he remains the only player to have breach the 100 miles barrier twice in the career. He has taken 247 wickets in his international career. Although he has been through some controversies. He remains one of the most impressive fast bowlers of the world and a popular cultural phenomenon.
Born on 5th October 1952, Imran Khan is by far the most talked about cricketer and all-rounder in the history of Pakistan. Since making his debut in test cricket in 1971 against England, he performed exceptionally demonstrating his fast bowling skills.
In 1982, he became the captain for the Pakistani cricket team. He has bowled almost 20000 balls in Test cricket and taken 362 wickets, and in his ODI career, he has bowled 7500 balls and taken 182 wickets.
It was under his exceptional captaincy that Pakistan won the 1992 Cricket World Cup against England. He remains the only Pakistani cricketer who retired on a high note.
In 1983, he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year and in 2010 he was inducted into the International Cricket Council’s Hall of Fame. He also received numerous 11 POM awards throughout his career, out of which 5 were against the mighty Windies. Khan later on became a politician and was also elected as the Prime Minister of the country.
Born on 3rd June, 1966. Wasim Akram is one of the greatest left arm fast bowlers of all time. Often referred to as the “Sultan of Swing” because of his significant bowling pace. He holds the world record for most wickets in List A cricket, with a tally of 881. Wasim was the finest exponent of reverse swing bowling and used to terrorize batsmen with his quick action.
He was the first cricketer to reach 500 wickets in ODI cricket. When Wisden released it’s list of the best players in Cricket, Wasim Akram was ranked as the best fast bowler of all time in ODI cricket, his rating being 1223.5. He was the Wisden Cricketer of the Year In 1993.
Born on 16th November 1971, Waqar Younis is a right-handed bowler who is also considered as one of the greatest bowlers to have played cricket. He has bowled over 16000 balls in test matches and has taken 373 wickets. Moreover, in his ODI career he has bowled almost 13000 balls and taken 416 wickets. Waqar also coached Pakistan cricket team for a few years. He was the Wisden’s Cricketer of the Year in 1992.
Born in 29th December 1976, he is considered as one of the best spin bowlers in the history of cricket. He was also the fastest to reach the milestones of 200 and 250 wickets in international cricket. He has 208 test wickets, and 288 ODI wickets. Saqlain was Wisden’s Cricketer of the Year in 2000.
Inzamam Ul Haq
Inzamam was born on 3rd March 1970, he also known as Inzi in the cricketing world. Once being the leading run scorer for Pakistan in ODIs, he is the only Pakistani batsman to score over 20000 runs in international cricket arena. He has scored almost 8000 runs in test cricket, playing 120 matches and in ODIs he has scored almost 12000 runs, while playing 378 matches.
Born on 29th November 1977, Younis Khan is considered as one of the greatest middle-order batsman in the history of Test Cricket. One of his impressive test cricket feats is that he is the only test cricketer in the game to score centuries in all 11 countries that have hosted test matches. He is a right-handed batsman.
Younis was the first Pakistani, as well as the 13th cricketer in the world to reach over 10000 runs in test cricket. He has also completed 50 centuries and 15000 runs in first class cricket. He was awarded Pride of Performance award in 2015.
Born on 27th August 1974, Yousuf is one of the most stylish batsman of his era. He has scored over 9000 runs in ODIs and over 7000 runs in test matches. 2006 is said to be his Golden Year as he scored 1788 runs throughout the year, at an astounding average of 99.33. Yousuf hit 9 centuries in the same year. For his performances in 2006 and 2007 he was named in the ICC’s Test Cricket Team of the Year. He also won the ICC’s Test Player of the Year in 2007.
Miandad was born on 12th June, 1957. He has been described as the “Greatest batsman Pakistan has ever produced” by ESPNcricinfo. He is known for his unconverted batting style. Miandad has scored almost 9000 runs in test cricket and over 7000 in international cricket.
He has also served as a captain in the Pakistani cricket team. Miandad was a street smart cricketer who wore his heart on his sleeve. His performances against the arch rivals Indians are unforgettable. Especially the last ball six in Sharjah of Sharma is etched in the memory of the nation. He was inducted to the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009.
He was born on 1st March 1977. He has scored over 1700 runs in test cricket and over 8000 in ODIs. An impressive feat of his in bowling is that he has over 17000 balls in ODIs with taking almost 400 wickets, having 395. He is also the recipient of Pride of Performance.
He is arguably regarded as the greatest showman of Pakistan, and the most celebrated cricketer of the country. Afridi was a maverick of sorts. He used to change the complexion of the game in few overs. Although his overall record does not reflect it but he was huge impactful player.
Is the list complete or did we miss someone, please let us know in the comments.