Records / All cricket records (including minor cricket) / Miscellaneous records / Bowling speeds (2)

The following information is provided thanks to the efforts of Eddie Smith, who has been tabulating bowling speeds reported in the media and by his own direct observation over the last few years.

It focuses on reported bowling speeds in past literature, news reports, domestic cricket, women's cricket and historical scientific studies. For a list of fastest deliveries in international cricket matches, click here.

    Notes:
  • If you are able to supply any substantiable information on deliveries not listed below, please contact Eddie so we can endeavour to make it more complete.

Enter a speed in either of the two boxes below and click 'Convert' or press 'enter' to perform an automatic conversion to the other form of measurement. Results are displayed to one decimal place. 1 mph = 1.60934 kph.

Speed Converter:   mph   kph  


1975 Study

The following speeds were measured at the WACA ground in Perth in December 1975, using "very accurate high speed cameras" and reported in the book "The Art of Fast Bowling" by DK Lillee, pp 27-30.

Player Kph Notes
Jeff Thomson 160.45
Jeff Thomson 160.45
Andy Roberts 159.49
Michael Holding 150.67 age 22
Dennis Lillee 148.54 sick at the time


1976 Study

Player Mph Kph
Jeff Thomson 99.8 160.6kph
Andy Roberts 97.8 157.4kph
Dennis Lillee 96.2 154.8kph
Michael Holding 95.2 153.2kph
Wayne Daniel 93.7 150.8kph
Bob Willis 90.7 145.9kph
Alan Ward 86.5 139.2kph
John Snow 86.2 138.7kph


1979 Study

A study was made by Dr Frank Pyke of the University of Western Australia, Perth. The single fastest ball in an eight-ball over bowled is listed (measured in what is believed to be net conditions).

Player Mph Kph
Jeff Thomson 91.86 147.9kph
Michael Holding 87.76 141.3kph
Imran Khan 86.77 139.7kph
Colin Croft 86.45 139.2kph
Andy Roberts 86.08 138.6kph
Dennis Lillee 84.72 136.4kph
Garth Le Roux 84.46 135.9kph
Wayne Daniel 82.91 133.5kph
Len Pascoe 81.73 131.6kph
Richard Hadlee 80.62 129.8kph
Mike Procter 79.87 128.6kph
Sarfraz Nawaz 75.63 121.7kph


1998 Competition

A fastest bowler competition was held at the testimonial match for Courtney Walsh on July 20, 1998.

Player Kph Notes
Devon Malcolm 141.6 winner
Franklyn Rose 141.6
Andy Caddick 140.0
Nixon McLean 138.4
Ed Giddins 138.4
Courtney Walsh 133.5
Ian Bishop 133.5
David Lawrence 125.5


Other Reports

  • Harold Larwood was rated as possibly the fastest bowler of all time in a book "The Fast Men" by David Frith (Corgi Books, 1977, p114). It quotes a recorded speed of 96mph (154.5 kph), although it is not clear how this speed was obtained.

  • The same book says that both Frank Tyson and Brian Statham were timed at just under 90mph (144.8kph). Tyson himself said of this: "We were measured at the NZ Aeronautical College in Wellington in 1955. A metal plate was attached to a ball, which was then bowled through a sonic beam. It produced a whistle, which was measured and then the speed was worked out according to the distance covered and the length of the whistle. I was measured at 89mph and Statham at 87mph. We bowled in two or three sweaters, and I cannot vouch for the length of our run-ups." Read: full article. At Tyson's fastest, he's said to be as fast as any bowler ever.

  • Colin Croft states that himself and Michael Holding were both timed at 97mph (156.1kph), although no further details were provided.

  • Lance Klusener from South Africa was timed at 154kph against India in 1996/97. At that time, early in Klusener's career, he was said to be every bit as quick as team-mate Allan Donald. The ball in question was struck for six and received a mention a book by Mark Waugh. Klusener since adapted his style to become a medium-pace bowler, averaging around 120kph, with a faster ball around the 136kph mark.

  • In Perth, Western Australia on February 2, 2001 Cameron Cuffy from the West Indies was timed at 150.9kph in a fast bowling competition against local bowlers. Early in his career Cuffy was considered a young tearaway pace bowler but due to injuries Cuffy had made a conscious decision to slow down and consistently bowl around the 130kph mark.

  • According to news reports: Historical speeds for Devon Malcolm (156.1kph) and Allan Donald (155.4kph) were cited in The West Australian newspaper in May 2000, although no further information was attached. A report in The Telegraph on January 30, 2001 states Dilhara Fernando from Sri Lanka was timed at 148kph against South Africa in 2000/01.

  • During practice: Shoaib Akhtar was timed at 158.4kph in December 2000. Brett Lee was timed at 148kph at the Australian Institute of Sport, aged 19.

  • During domestic matches: Mfuneko Ngam from Eastern Province was timed at 150kph (approximate) in 2000. Brad Williams from Western Australia was timed at 146kph against New South Wales in 1999/00. Charl Langeveldt from Boland was timed at 145kph against Eastern Province on March 29, 2001.

  • According to unconfirmed sources Ajit Agarkar from India was timed at 147kph against Australia in 1999/00. Reon King from the West Indies was timed at 145kph against England in 2000.

  • A delivery by Brett Lee from Australia was timed at 161.8kph against the West Indies at Brisbane on November 23, 2000. However this has been put down to an erroneous recording due to external interference of the radar's signal. Two back-up radars recorded the correct speed of 142kph for the delivery.


Women's Cricket

  • Catherine Fitzpatrick of Australia has been credited with a speed of 120kmh (reference: CricInfo article, 1996/97).

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