South Africa is one of the first countries to ever start playing cricket. Their cricketing history is dated back to 1880’s. Although the team sloppy start in international circuit, it has still managed to raise its reputation by staying consistent in cricket. Even after temporarily being banned in the 1960s from international cricket, the team has still sustained their competitiveness in cricket. Today, South Africa is known to have one of the best cricket teams in the world. Here are the 10 Greatest South African cricket legends.
1. Mark Boucher
Mark Boucher was born on 3rd December 1976. He is one of the greatest wicket keepers in the history of cricket. Boucher is the first wicket keeper in history to reach the tally of 400 dismissals. He has played over a 100 matches in ODIs for his country which makes him one of only 11 players to do so. Boucher has scored over 5500 runs in test cricket and over 4500 runs in one day internationals. He is the recipient of South African Cricketer of the year and Wisden Cricketer of the Year. Mark Boucher is one of the greatest South African cricket legends.
2. Allan Donald
Allan Anthony Donald was born in 20th October 1986, he is the current bowling coach of the South African cricket team. He was one of the quickest bowlers of South Africa. Owing to his fast pace he earned the nickname of “White Lightning”. He is the first South African to take 400 wickets in test cricket. Donald also has 272 wickets in ODIs. He is also part of ICC Hall of Fame.
3. Hugh Tayfield
He was born on 30th January, 1939. Hugh Tayfield was one of the best off-spinners the game of cricket has ever seen. Tayfield is the first South African cricketer to take 100 Wickets in test matches. He has over 13500 balls in test cricket with 170 wickets, and over 54000 balls in first class cricket with 864 wickets.
4. Graeme Pollock
Born on 27th February 1944, he is regarded as one of South Africa’s greatest cricketers, as well as one of the greatest batsman ever. He is a member of a famous cricketing family. Being a left-handed batsman, he has over 2000 runs in test cricket with his batting average being 60.97. Pollock was named as the. Wisden Leading Cricketer of the Year in 1967 and 1969. He is considered one of the legends of the game.
5. Shaun Pollock
He was born on 16th June, 1973. He was a right handed and a right armed fast-medium paced bowler. Shaun also holds the record for taking the most wickets in ODI cricket while playing on home soil in South Africa. He has over 3700 runs in test, and 3500 runs in one days. Moreover, he has over 24000 balls in test cricket with having taken 421 wickets, and over 15000 balls in one-day internationals, having taken 393 wickets. Shaun also captained the South Africa team. He is one of the most successful captain of the country. He was also a great tactician and showcased great game awareness on the field.
6. Hashim Amla
He was born on 31st March 1983, and is considered as one of the most competitive cricket players in South Africa. Amla is the fastest cricketer ever to score 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 runs in ODIs, as well as the fastest to reach 10 ODI centuries. He is a right handed batsman and a right off-break bowler. His most impressive feat is breaking Virat Kohli’s record for being the fastest cricketer to reach 27 centuries in International cricket. He was one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 2013.
7. AB De Villiers
Born on 17th February 1984, he is regarded as one of the greatest cricketers from South Africa. He has batted at various positions for the team. AB de villiers has over 8000 runs in both Test and ODIs. He holds the record for the fastest ODI century in just 31 balls. He was one of the few players who improved a lot during their career. AB used to change the complexion of the game single handedly. De Villiers was also one of the most watchable players of all time. He was named ICC player of the year three times during his career.
8. Dudley Nourse
Born on 12th November 1910, Arthur Dudley Nourse was a South African test cricketer. He was also the captain of the team from 1948 to 1951. Nurse has scored almost 3000 runs in test cricket and over 12000 runs in first class cricket. He was one of the two Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1948.
9. Dale Steyn
Born on 27th June, 1983. Dale Steyn is considered as one of the fastest bowlers in history of cricket itself and the greatest Test bowler of his generation. He was a right arm fast bowler, he has bowled over 18500 balls in test cricket with 439 wickets, and in his white ball career he has over 6000 balls with 196 wickets. Steyn was the ICC’s Cricketer of the Year in 2008, Wisden Leading Cricketer of 2013 and Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2014.
10. Jacques Kallis
According to cricket pundits there have only been three great all-rounders in the game. Sir Garry Sobers, Imran Khan and Jacques Kallis. Kallis is arguably one of the greatest South African player of all time. He was born in 1975. Kallis was a genuine all-rounder who batted and bowled with right hand. He remains the only cricketer to date who has 10000 runs and 250 wickets in both ODI and Test format. Kallis also has 331 international catches and is one of the modern greats of the game.