Cricket is a famous and world renown bat and ball sport played by opposing teams of 11 players. It is known for its intensity and complex play sometimes resulting in matches that last for up to 5 days. In Cricket the bowler is one of the most important positions and it is up to him to ensure that the other team has as difficult of a time scoring as possible.
Bowling requires a motion similar to pitching in baseball, but instead the bowler bounces the ball off the ground. Even with the friction caused by hitting the ground, bowlers frequently throw in the 90 mph range (150 km/h). One of the fastest bowlers of all time, Shoaib Akhtar, is credited with throwing 100.2 mph, the fastest ever recorded. However, there are a lot of famous fast bowlers who became great from their skill and not necessarily their bowling speed.
1. Sydney Barnes
Sydney Barnes is regarded as one of the greatest cricket bowlers of all time. Barnes began playing cricket at the age of 15 in 1888. By 21 he was growing quickly as a fast bowler and was soon asked to join the professional team at Warwickshire. He soon transferred to Rishton and had his best season making 38 appearances and taking 411 wickets. Barnes continued to dominate cricket bowling for the next 2 decades until he retired in 1935 with a career record of 1,435 wickets.
2. Fred Trueman
Kick starting his professional career at 18, Trueman was off and running to become one of the greatest bowlers in history. Shortly thereafter in 1951 he served his duty in the RAF for 2 years before returning to cricket. Best known for his fast pace, Trueman was the first bowler in cricket history to reach the 300 wicket milestone. His best statistics in Test Cricket were when he bowled a 8-31.
3. Glenn McGrath
McGrath grew up in New South Wales, Australia and began playing cricket professionally for Sutherland at the age of 22. His bowling style was slightly unorthodox and relied far more heavily on pinpoint accuracy than it did speed. Leveraging his height along with his unique arm action he could deliver extra bounce that often surprised most batsmen. In a match against England in 2005, Glenn McGrath became the fourth bowler in history to take 500 Test wickets.
4. Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar is regarded as one of the fasted and most talented bowlers of the 20th century. He has been involved in several controversies throughout his career including being banned from professional cricket for 2 years in 2006. Shoaib Akhtar was always able to bounce back from anything and made his return in style taking 4 wickets for 43 runs in a decisive victory against South Africa.
5. Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram from Pakistan is said to be one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of cricket. He is unique for a special ability he possessed that allowed him to move the ball twice in one pitch. This type of delivery is named the "Double swing of Wasim Akram" after him.