Top 10 Most Popular Cricketers of All Time

India is a country where cricketers and cricket gets more coverage than any politician and matter of national security. Sometimes, cricket stars are even more revered and loved than some of the famous celebrities in Bollywood. Obviously, cricketers are internationally recognized.

There is a small family of cricket playing countries. India is one of the major countries where cricket gets utmost importance and it is the most popular sport in Indian culture. It goes without saying that all the Indian stars in this list are cricketers who have great popularity in all forms like ODI, Test, T20 and IPL in all categories like fielding, batting, and bowling.

10. Brett Lee

Nicknamed as “Binga”, Brett Lee is a former cricketer in team Australia. He was known as the second fastest bowlers in the cricket world, followed by Shoaib Akhtar. He is a lower-order batsman and an athletic fielder. In Test cricket, his batting average exceeds 20. He has recorded the highest 7th wicket partnership with Mike Hussey in ODIs for Australia with 123 runs since 2005-06.

9. Muttiah Muralitharan

He is a cricketer in team Sri Lanka and he was ranked among the greatest bowlers ever in Test series. He is also the first off-spinner who spins the wrist in the cricket history. Muralitharan holds a lot of world recordes. He is also the highest wicket taker in ODI and Test cricket. He took 534 wickets in ODI and 800 in Test cricket. He is the only player who took above 50 wickets against all the Test playing teams and 10 wickets in four back-to-back matches in a Test series.

8. Malinga

Lasith Malinga is yet another Sri Lankan cricket player who specializes in fast bowling, but with rear round-arm action, also known as sling action. Due to this action, he is nicknamed as “Slinga Malinga”. He specializes in swinging the Yorker. He is also popular for his ability to take consistent wickets. He is probably the first bowler in the world who holds the record for two hattricks in World Cup and he is the only bowler for taking three ODI hattricks. He is also the only and first player who took 4 wickets in four consistent balls in an international cricket. He is well known to trouble the batsman with his well-paced bouncer and lively speed. He constantly bowls from 140 to 150 km/hr and sometimes even faster.

7. Brian Lara

Nicknamed as “The Prince” or “The Prince of Port of Spain”, Brian Lara is an international cricket player from West Indies. Generally, he is considered among the greatest batsman ever. He ranked at the top of Test batting ranks on various events and he holds various cricketing rounds. He is also the holder of several records for highest score in test innings when he scored 400 not out at Antigua against England in 2004.

6. Chris Gayle

He is a cool cricketer from West Indies. He is a popular cricket star known for his maximum and huge sixes. He has been ranked to fuel the total of 205 in West Indies against Australia in ICC Twenty20 World Cup Semifinal-1. It was the highest score in the tournament. He is among the four players with 2 triple centuries with 317 runs at Test level in 2005 against South Africa, and 333 runs in 2010 against Sri Lanka.

5. M.S. Dhoni

The “Captain Cool” Mahendra Singh Dhoni is an Indian cricketer and the most successful and popular former captain of Indian cricket team. He played in all the three forms and played for Chennai Super Kings in IPL. In ICC rankings, he led the team to No. 1 spot in Test cricket for the first time. Indian team won ICC World T20 2007 under his captaincy. He is the first cricket player in team India who achieved ICC ODI Player of the Year for two times in 2008 and 2009.

He also received the honors several times like the “Padma Shri” (Fourth highest civilian honor) and “Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna” award in 2009. He is also added in “Time 100” list by Time Magazine in 100 most influential people 2011. MS Dhoni is also rated 16th among the most remarkable athletes by SportsPro.

4. Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram, the “King of Swing” is the most popular cricketer in Pakistan. He is known as the greatest fast bowler in the cricket history.  With 881 runs, he created world record for most wickets. He was also the first bowler who reached 500 wickets in One Day cricket. He was also ranked in ODI as the fast bowler of all time in the year 2002. He is known to be the Best Captain who won Man of the Match for 17 times in 104 tests and 22 Man of the Match awards for 22 times in ODIs. In international cricket, he holds 4 hattricks. He also hit 12 sizes in test innings which is the most by anyone.

3. Shoaib Akhtar

Shoaib Akhtar, the legend in Pakistan cricket, is known widely as one of the most feared and fastest bowlers in international cricket history. He was also known as Tiger, “Pindi Express” and “Terror of Cricket”. He captured around 8 wickets in 1999 in Asian Test match in Kolkata. He has clean-bolded Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid at the deliveries. Unfortunately, he bowled the first bowl to Sachin. He is also regarded as one of those three bowlers who have broken the record of 100mph in the history of cricket, with the pace of 101.3 mph against England in the World Cup 2003. This delivery is ranked as the fastest one till date.

2. Shahid Afridi

Also known as the “Boom Boom Afridi”, Shahid Khan Afridi is a well known Pakistani cricketer. He is regarded as one of the most aggressive batsmen and he holds the record for fastest century in ODI on 37 balls and he scored 32 runs in one over.  In addition, Afridi has generated three of seven fastest centuries in ODI of all time. He is also the holder of maximum sixes record and largest ODI six. He is also behind the longest six ever in the ODI history against Australia. He has recorded the maximum number of Man of the Match awards and second highest wickets in T20.

1. Sachin Tendulkar

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar is a cricketer in India who is regarded widely as one of the greatest batsmen in the world. He is also the top run scorer and century creator in ODI and Test cricket. He scored double century and he is the first player of its kind in ODIs.