151 Greatest Cricketers of All Time (Men’s): From WG Grace to Pollard

151 Greatest Cricketers of All Time (Men's): From WG Grace to Pollard

It’s time to discuss the greatest cricketers of all time. This ultimate list will feature 151 top cricketers across formats and eras — from WG Grace to Kieron Pollard.

Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo just retired as players from the IPL and left their imprints on T20 cricket. As T20s evolve and become central to the cricketing universe, why not make a list of the greatest cricketers of all time across formats and eras?

If you’re looking for a quick skim, scroll down to the Top 25: The Undisputed Legends or #26–50: The Absolute Greats. Sir Donald Bradman is chosen as the Greatest Cricketer of All-Time with WG Grace, Sachin Tendulkar, Jack Hobbs, Shane Warne, Frank Worrell, and Sir Garfield Sobers close behind.

Contents

152–175 Greatest Cricketers: Unlucky to Miss Out

Top 151 Greatest Cricketers of All Time: The Ultimate List

The List of 100 Greatest Cricket Players of All Time

Top 50 Greatest Cricketers of All-Time: The Absolute Greats

Top 25 Greatest Cricketers of All Time: The Undisputable Legends

Extended List #175–250 (By Country): The Honorable Mentions

Before we start discussing the greatest cricketers of all time, do subscribe to our email list for more such content.

The Criteria

So how did we pick the greatest cricketers of all time? Well, we considered it all — Impact, captaincy, World Cup contributions, longevity, legacy, and statistics (10,000 runs, player of the match awards, 5-fers, 10-fers, ICC Hall of fame, Wisden cricketer of the century list, etc.)

This was a tougher challenge than I had initially anticipated. So to narrow down our choices, if a player satisfied any of the criteria below, they were automatically added to the list:

- Member of ICC’s Hall of Fame

- 10,000 ODI or Test Runs

- 500 Test Wickets, 400 ODI Wickets

- Selected as the Six Giants of the Wisden Century or Wisden Cricketers of the Century

To understand a player’s true impact from before the 1950s, excerpts from Wisden’s Almanack and ESPNCricinfo were used (and cited).

*Note: Sydney Barnes, Don Bradman, W.G. Grace, Jack Hobbs, Tom Richardson, and Victor Trumper were selected as the Six Giants of the Wisden Century and Donald Bradman, Garfield Sobers, Jack Hobbs, Shane Warne, and Viv Richards were voted as Wisden Cricketer of the Century in 2000.

The Stats

So, over 250 cricketers were considered for this list. We consider Tests, ODIs, T20Is, T20 leagues, and first-class cricket played over 145 years.

The goal of this list is that from these 151 greatest cricketers of all time, you can pick sub-lists of the “Greatest All-Rounders of All-Time,” “Greatest Fast Bowlers of All-Time,” etc.

England (39), Australia (30), West Indies (24) dominated the list due to their rich first class and World Cup histories. The breakdown of the rest of the countries are as follows: India (13), Pakistan (13), South Africa (12), Sri Lanka (10), New Zealand (7), Zimbabwe (1), and Bangladesh (1).

Disclaimer: The ranking is most likely going to not align with your views. Expect the unexpected. Several ‘great’ cricketers did not make the list (see the next section & extended list of honorable mentions) but the ones that did fundamentally helped change the game. Feel free to comment below on players who you think should be in the list.

152–175 Greatest Cricketers: Unlucky to Miss Out

Several players here are currently playing or recently retired. In a few years, they may well make the Top 151 list as their legacy becomes permanent. Those who were unlucky to miss out were:

Charles Bannerman, Nathan Lyon, Ravichandran Ashwin, Johnny Tyldesley, Rashid Khan, Mitchell Johnson, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, David Warner, Jeff Thompson, Shahid Afridi, Mark Waugh, Makhaya Ntini, Mike Brearley, Harbhajan Singh, Glenn Turner, Ben Stokes, Cheteshwar Pujara, Lance Klusener, Yuvraj Singh, Ian Healy, Vijay Hazare, Trent Boult, Ian Chappell, Saeed Ajmal

151 Greatest Cricketers of All Time: The Ultimate List

Picking the Top 151 players was a tough task, but do you know what was even tougher? Ranking them.

Without furthur ado, here is the list. Enjoy the classic photography and check out the videos linked under some players.

151. Learie ‘Lord’ Baron Constantine (West Indies, 1921–1939)

Major Teams: West Indies, Barbados, Freelooters, Trinidad

An allrounder by trade, Constantine was one of West Indies’ early stars. More than his on-field accomplishments, he made an impact as a lawyer, politician, and Trinidad & Tobago’s High Commissioner to the UK.

Embed from Getty Images

150. Alan Davidson (Australia, 1949–1963)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales

An Australian left-arm pacer who “would be the most menacing new-ball bowler of his day” and was a handy batter in the lower order — The original Mitchell Johnson and Mitch Starc.

Embed from Getty Images

149. Mitchell Starc (Australia, 2009-)

Major Teams: Australia, Australia U-19, New South Wales, Sydney Sixers, Yorkshire, Royal Challengers Bangalore

Speaking of Australian left arm pacers, Mitchell Starc. His World Cup exploits are alone to guarantee him a spot in the all-time list. Player of the Tournament when he helped Australia lift the trophy in 2015, he bettered himself in 2019 with the record tally of 27 wickets. Starc’s yorkers, early swing, and ability to clean up tails will be remembered forever.

Embed from Getty Images

148. Stan McCabe (Australia, 1928–1942)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales

Playing alongside Don Bradman, he was often overshadowed but was said to be a beautiful batter to watch. Even Sir Len Hutton remarked, “It would be hard to think of a greater Australian batsman. He had qualities that even Bradman hadn’t got.”He is best known for scoring 385 runs in that infamous Bodyline series.

Embed from Getty Images

147. Sir Conrad Hunte (West Indies, 1950–1967)

Wisden remarks the Hunte “was one of the greatest West Indian batsmen of a great generation.” Even the great Desmond Haynes picked Hunte over himself in the All-Time Barbados XI “because he was simply the better batsman.”

Embed from Getty Images

146. Godfrey Evans (England, 1939–1967)

Major Teams: England, Kent

ESPNCricinfo states that Evans was “arguably the best wicketkeeper the world has ever seen.” Played 91 Tests and even scored a couple of tons. Inflicted 1066 dismissals in his first-class career.

Embed from Getty Images

145. Marvan Atapattu (Sri Lanka, 1988–2007)

Major Teams: Sri Lanka, Delhi Giant, Sinhalese Sports Club

From 0,0.0,1,0,0 to establishing himself as the backbone of Sri Lanka’s Test batting seven years later and ending with six double centuries is a beautiful story. Decent ODI player with 8500 runs as well.

Embed from Getty Images

144. Hugh Tayfield (South Africa, 1945–1963)

Major Teams: South Africa, Rhodesia, Natal, Transvaal

Wisden remarks that Tayfield was “one of the greatest off spinners the game has ever seen.” Once took 9/113 in an innings.

Embed from Getty Images

143. Sunil Narine (West Indies, 2009-)

Major Teams: West Indies, West Indies U-19s, Barisal Burners, Cape Cobras, Comilla Victorians, Dhaka Dynamites, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lahore Qalandars, Melbourne Renegades, Montreal Tigers, Oval Invincibles, Quetta Gladiators, Sydney Sixers, Trinbago Knight Riders, Trinidad & Tobago

Redefined three aspects of the T20 game — economical spin bowling, the mystery spin, and pinch hitting.

Embed from Getty Images

142. Mulvantrai ‘Vinoo’ Mankad (India, 1935–1962)

Major Teams: India, Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Rajasthan, Nawanagar

Although his name is infamously slandered for non-strikers run out, he was actually “one of the greatest allrounders India ever produced.”

Embed from Getty Images

141. Richie Benaud (Australia, 1948–1964)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales

Before he was the voice of cricket, he was remembered as one of Australia’s greatest captains. His aggressive captaincy led to the first tied Test in cricket’s history. As a leg spinning allrounder, he was the first man to complete the double of 200 Test wickets and 2000 runs.

Embed from Getty Images

140. Rohit Sharma (India, 2006-)

Major Teams: India, India U-19, Deccan Chargers, Mumbai Indians, Mumbai

264, 209, 208*, 171*, 162, 159, 152*, 150.

An ODI legend with a penchant for the mammoth hundreds. Easy on the eye, one of the best IPL captains, a T20 World Cup winner, and one of the best pullers the game has ever seen.

Embed from Getty Images

139. Bob Simpson (Australia, 1952–1978)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales, Western Australia

Played the third longest Test innings (743 balls) when he scored 311 against England in 1964. A leg-spinner allrounder who became an opening Test batter is a noteworthy achievement.

Embed from Getty Images

138. Peter May (England, 1950–1963)

Major Teams: England, Cambridge University, Surrey

Although he had a decent Test career, his first-class stats are outrageous — 27592 runs with 85 hundreds.

Embed from Getty Images

137. Saeed Anwar (Pakistan, 1986–2003)

Major Teams: Pakistan, Karachi, Lahore, United Bank Limited, Agriculture Development Bank of Pakistan

A graceful left-hander, his 194 withstood the test of time until Sachin Tendulkar’s 200 broke his record. Anwar was the highest scoring opener in the 1990s in ODI cricket.

Embed from Getty Images

136. Sir Clyde Walcott (West Indies, 1941–1964)

Major Teams: West Indies, Barbados, British Guiana

One of the famous ‘3 Ws’ in West Indies’ middle order, he was a steady cog of West Indies’ middle order. 15 Test hundreds, 40 first class centuries, and Test average of 56.68. Fun fact, Walcott holds the record for the fewest ducks in career.

Also See: Sir Frank Worrell (#6), Sir Clyde Walcott (#134)

Embed from Getty Images

135. Ted Dexter (England, 1956–1968)

Major Teams: England, Sussex, Cambridge University

Dexter scored 21150 first class runs with 51 centuries and had a 62-match Test career. He was known was his counter-attacking style of play.

Embed from Getty Images

134. Sir Everton Weekes (West Indies, 1944–1964)

Major Teams: West Indies, Barbados

Weekes was one of the best in his time. Centuries in five consecutive innings, joint fastest to a 1000 Test runs, and ended with a Test average of 58.61.

Embed from Getty Images

133. Shoaib Akthar (Pakistan, 1994–2011)

Major Teams: Pakistan, Agriculture Development Bank of Pakistan, Chittagong Division, Durham, Islamabad Leopards, Khan Research Labs, Kolkata Knight Riders, Pakistan International Airlines, Rawalpindi, Somerset, Surrey, Worcestershire

An icon for Pakistan cricket and inspiration for fast bowlers around the world. Bowled the fastest recorded delivery at 161.3 kph, it’s a shame that injuries meant he had a start-stop career.

Also See: Brett Lee (#111), his chief competitor in the Pace Race.

Embed from Getty Images

132. Basil D’Oliveira (England, 1964–1980)

Major Teams: England, Worcestershire

There’s a good reason why the England-South Africa trophy is named Basil D’Oliveira Trophy. As a South African-born mixed player, he was picked for England during the Apartheid era (known as the Oliveira affair). With 19,490 first class runs & important social legacy, he was named as South Africa’s Top 10 players of the century despite never representing the Proteas.

Embed from Getty Images

131. Andy Flower (Zimbabwe, 1986–2006)

Major Teams: Zimbabwe, Essex, South Australia

The greatest Zimbabwean batter and scored the highest runs in an innings by any keeper (232*). Over 11,000 international runs across formats, Flower lead the way during Zimbabwe’s golden years.

Embed from Getty Images

130. Wes Hall (West Indies, 1955–1971)

Major Teams: West Indies, Barbados, Queensland, Trinidad

The earliest in West Indies’ great line of pacers. Could bowl “close to 100 mph” and ended with 192 Test & 546 first class wickets.

Embed from Getty Images

129. Rod Marsh (Australia, 1968–1984)

Major Teams: Australia, Western Australia

The most prolific bowler-keeper combination in the history of Test cricket is “c Rod Marsh, b Dennis Lillee” (95). World record holder for most Test dismissals at the time of his retirement, he was the best keeper Australia produced…until Ian Healy & Adam Gilchrist surpassed him.

Embed from Getty Images

128. VVS Laxman (India, 1992–2012)

Major Teams: India, Deccan Chargers, Hyderabad, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Lancashire

If you played the greatest innings of the twenty-first century, THAT 281*, you deserve to be on this list. Had a stellar Test career of performing under pressure with the lower order (and frequent back spasms).

Embed from Getty Images

127. Stephen Fleming (New Zealand, 1991–2008)

Major Teams: New Zealand, Canterbury, Chennai Super Kings, Middlesex, Nottinghamshire, Wellington, Yorkshire

Solid opening batter & more importantly, a captain that stabilized New Zealand cricket.

Embed from Getty Images

126. Andy Roberts (West Indies, 1969–1984)

Major Teams: West Indies, Combined Islands, Leeward Islands, Hampshire, Leicestershire, New South Wales

The face of West Indies’ pace quartet, his bouncers were ruthless. Apart from his 202 Test wickets, also had an effective ODI career — 87 wickets at 20.35.

Embed from Getty Images

125. Martin Crowe (New Zealand, 1979–1996)

Major Teams: New Zealand, Auckland, Central Districts, Wellington, Somerset

The greatest New Zealand batter of his generation and definitely one of the best captains. Hamstring Injury in the 1992 World Cup semi-final was a huge factor in their defeat. Apart from his cricketing talent, was one of the leading thinkers of the game.

Embed from Getty Images

124. Clarrie Grimmett (Australia, 1911–1941)

Major Teams: Australia, South Australia, Victoria, Wellington

Credited for inventing the flipper, he was the second fastest to 200 Test wickets (and fastest before Yasir Shah) and the second oldest to take ten wickets in a Test match (44 years). New Zealand born Australian player.

Embed from Getty Images

123. Tom Graveney (England, 1948–1972)

Major Teams: England, Queensland, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire

Another first-class giant — 732 FC matches, 47.793 runs, 122 hundreds, and 233 fifties. Had a decent 79-Test career as well

Embed from Getty Images

122. Arjuna Ranatunga (Sri Lanka, 1981–2001)

Major Teams: Sri Lanka, Sinhalese Sports Club

World Cup winning captain and helped propel Sri Lanka to the global stage. With over 7000 ODI runs, was a useful left-handed middle order batter.

Embed from Getty Images

121. Greg Chappell (Australia, 1966–1984)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales

Regarded as one of the best batters to ever don the baggy green. 7110 runs with 24 Test tons at 53.86 looks especially great given that batted in the era of the ferocious West Indian attack.

Embed from Getty Images

120. David Gower (England, 1975–1993)

Major Teams: England, Hampshire, Leicestershire

One of the most elegant left-handed batters to play the game. 8,231 Tests, 18 Test centuries, and 117 matches. Solid.

Embed from Getty Images

119. Michael Holding (West Indies, 1972–1989)

Major Teams: West Indies, Canterbury, Derbyshire, Jamaica, Lancashire, Tasmania

Although 249 Test wickets at an average of 23.68 & 50.9 strike rate already puts him in the top echelons of world cricket, it was his impact with sheer pace and that menacing action that took him to the next level. An iconic commentator as well.

Embed from Getty Images

118. Kieron Pollard (West Indies, 2007-)

Major Teams: West Indies, West Indies U-19, Adelaide Strikers, Barbados Tridents, Cape Cobras, Deccan Gladiators, Dhaka Dynamites, Karachi Kings, Kerala Kings, London Spirit, Melbourne Renegades, Multan Sultans, Mumbai Indians, Peshawar Zalmi, Somerset, South Australia, St. Lucia Stars, Stanford Superstars, Toronoto Nationals, Trinbago Knight Riders, Trinidad, Welsh Fire

With almost 12,000 T20 Runs at 150.25 SR, batting predominantly at the lower order, Kieron Pollard was arguably the first bona fide T20 globetrotter. A pioneer in T20 power-hitting and mainstay for the Mumbai Indians in their 5-peat, he was a crucial member of West Indies’ 2012 T20 World Cup victory.

Embed from Getty Images

117. Michael Clarke (Australia, 2000–2015)

Major Teams: Australia, New South Wales, Hampshire, Pune Warriors

Had one of the greatest peaks of a Test batter. 1595 runs at 106.33 with 5 hundreds, including a 329* and a couple of double hundreds. Captain of Australia’s 2015 World Cup victory.

Embed from Getty Images

116. Mark Boucher (South Africa, 1995–2012)

Major Teams: South Africa, Border, Cape Cobras, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore

The wicketkeeper during South Africa’s golden generation and the most prolific keeper of all-time. Unfortunately, a bail hitting his eye ended his career. Played 147 Tests and inflicted an iconic 999 international dismissals (555 Tests, 425 ODIs, 19 T20Is).

I will remember him for hitting the winning runs in that famous 434–438 match.

Embed from Getty Images

115. Aravinda de Silva (Sri Lanka, 1983–2002)

Major Teams: Sri Lanka, Nondescripts Cricket Club, Kent, Auckland

107*(124), 3/42, & 2 catches — One of the best performances in a World Cup final. With over 15,000 international runs, Aravinda played his part in bringing Sri Lanka to the top tiers of world cricket.

Embed from Getty Images

114. Joel Garner (West Indies, 1975–1992)

At 6 ft 8 inches, Garner towered above all and provided West Indies with that extra edge. With 259 Test wickets at 20.97 and 146 ODI wickets, he was one of the best. Holds the record for the best ODI economy (3.09) and won the 1979 WC final with a 5/38 show.

Embed from Getty Images

113. Abdul Qadir (Pakistan, 1975–1994)

Major Teams: Pakistan, Punjab, Lahore, Habib Bank Limited

One of the best leg spinners of all time. What a classic action.

Embed from Getty Images

112. Allan Donald (South Africa, 1985–2004)

Major Teams: South Africa, Free State, Warwickshire, Worcesterershire

Before there was Steyn, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, and Kagiso Rabada, there was Allan Donald. Bowled with menace and one of South Africa’s premier icons after they were reinstated in international cricket. Will also be remembered to be at the receiving end in the most infamous run-out of them all.”

Also Read: 16 South Africa World Cup Chokes and Heartbreaks: The Complete List

Embed from Getty Images

Major Teams: West Indies, Barbados, Somerset, South Australia

111. Brett Lee (Australia, 1999–2012)

Major Teams: Australia, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, New South Wales, Otago, Sydney Sixers, Wellington

Probably the smoothest fast bowling action of all time. Over 700 international wickets, never compromised on pace despite injuries, THAT chainsaw celebration, and ended cricket career with a magnificent final over in the Big Bash.

Also See: Shoaib Akthar.

Embed from Getty Images

110. Hashim Amla (South Africa, 2004-)

Major Teams: South Africa, Barbados Tridents, Cape Cobras, Derbyshire, Dolphins, Essex, Khulna Tigers, Kings XI Punjab KwaZulu-Natal, Surrey, Trinbago Knight Riders

Elegant, high-class opener, and a massively underrated ODI batter. 55 International centuries, fastest to 7000 ODI runs, a triple centurion, partnership maker. From blockathons to two hundreds in T20 cricket, versatility was Amla’s strength.

Embed from Getty Images

109. Kevin Pietersen (England, 1997–2018)

Major Teams: England, Deccan Chargers, Delhi Daredevils, Dolphins, Hampshire, KwaZulu-Natal, Melbourne Stars, Nottinghamshire, Quetta Gladiators, Rising Pune Supergiants, Royal Challengers Bangalore, St. Lucia Zouks, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Surrey

The ODI series against home country, South Africa, would sum up his career. Had his doubters early on with the rebel style, but his gameplay was too good to ignore. The 2005 Ashes, 2010 T20 World Cup, and 2012 Test series victory in India. England legend, just left with self-inflicted unfortunate circumstances.

--

Top World Cricket Blog out of USA | Inspirational Stories, Features, Analysis, Memes, Updates | For All Passionate Cricket Fans| Writer ✍️/Founder of BCD

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Broken Cricket Dreams

Top World Cricket Blog out of USA | Inspirational Stories, Features, Analysis, Memes, Updates | For All Passionate Cricket Fans| Writer ✍️/Founder of BCD