Cricket is one of those fascinating sports of the world that managed to keep nations connected and entertaining grandly. Similar to the batsmen, and bowlers, the role of all-rounder is also critical for this sport. They can change the mode of a game sometimes in a completely unpredictable manner.
Who, as per you, is the greatest versatile player of all time? To get the right answer, all that is important to know is who is an “all-rounder” in cricket. In short, an all-rounder is the one who proved his credentials in multiple disciplines. All-rounders are the players with both excellent batting and bowling or wicket-keeping abilities. There are three parameters to decide the versatile player:
- Excellent cricketing ability
- Match-winner ability
- Uniformity in both disciplines
Some genuine players managed to create an outstanding impact on their team’s performance, and that too for a longer duration. Here is our list of top 10 cricket all-rounders of all time?
Sanath Jayasuriya – Sri Lanka
Sanath Jayasuriya remained one of the pioneers of Sri Lankan cricket and an explosive left-handed opening batsman. Slowly he showed his potential as a brilliant handy spinner turning him into a dependable all-rounder for the team.
Jayasuriya debuted in 1989 and turned into a feared batsman in 1996 with Srilanka’s win in World Cup. Besides, scoring big runs in World Cup, he emerged as a monster with some crucial wickets to become a match-turner.
He recorded 400 + wickets with 20000 international runs in his career. It’s enough to prove that Sanath Jayasuriya wasn’t just an ordinary player but an absolute brilliant all-rounder.
Andrew Flintoff – England‘s All-rounder
Andrew “Freddy” Flintoff is a brilliant versatile cricketer with a handful of matches played for England in all formats. He remained the Man of the Series in the legendary 2005 Ashes series. Due to some controversies and injuries, he remained missing in his last career phase. He announced his retirement in 2010. “Freddy” Flintoff enlisted his name as one of the successful all-rounders from England.
Shakib Al Hasan- Bangladesh‘s All-rounder
One of the best players of the Bangladesh Cricket team is Shakib Al Hasan. There was NIL competition for him in his nation in regards to legacy.
Hasan proved his excellence as a consistent all-rounder for world cricket. He grabbed the top position in ICC All-rounders ranking in ODIs and that for a long period.
Shakib remained the No.1 Test and T20 all-rounder numerous times. He debuted in 2006 and scored more than 11000 international runs and 500+ wickets for Bangladesh. Shakib played a significant role in modifying Bangladesh cricket and led the team in all three formats.
Kapil Dev – India‘s All-rounder
Kapil Dev- The name is enough to narrate the story of a famous all-rounder in the world of Cricket. He led India in the 1983 World Cup and contributed both with bat and ball to ensure the win for India for the first time in World Cup. He scored a massive 5000 Test runs and 400 test wickets to establish himself as a bankable all-rounder for the nation. Kapil’s rocking score of 175 runs against 138 balls is his finest ODI innings. Do you remember that backward running catch that dismissed dangerous Viv Richards to bring the match in India’s favor? In his career, he missed not a single match, because of fitness issues.
Imran Khan – Pakistan‘s All-rounder
The former Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan, is another great all-rounder of world cricket. He contributed to the Pakistan Cricket Team in the golden period and retired after winning the World Cup in 1992. Imran’s partnership with Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram is still considered the deadliest one in Cricket history. Khan bagged 500 international wickets with 7000 runs from bat. He remained a respectable idol even outside the cricket community and was a very successful captain for Pakistan.
Jacques Kallis – South Africa
Jacques Kallis scored 10000 runs and took 250 wickets in both Test and ODI formats. It is not the end as this South African player took 338 catches along with the highest record of 23 Man of the Match awards as a Test Cricketer.
The benchmark was set by him, in this segment. Do you know that he retired with a batting average of 55 and a bowling average of 32.65? He played from 1995 to 2014.
Many veteran world cricketers mentioned Kallis, as the greatest all-rounder in history. Jacques showed his skills in T20 and a few IPL seasons. Kallis is a good example of pure sportsmanship in cricket history.
Ian Botham – England
Ian Botham is the finest England Cricketer in history. He remained a genuine match-winner with his expertise in both batting and bowling. Botham was the fastest player to touch the milestone of 1000 runs and took 100 wickets in Test cricket.
He bagged 383 wickets from 102 matches and scored 5200 runs with an average of 33.54. The skill to take control of the match from the opposition with power-packed batting remained the key element behind his success as an elite-class all-rounder.
Sir Richard Hadlee – New Zealand
Richard Hadlee was considered a nightmare for many batsmen, during his era. We can call him one of the finest New Zealand cricketers to give world cricket a new dimension.
Hadlee remained the first bowler to bag 400 wickets in test cricket. He played 78 matches for 400 wickets.
He became the 3rd bowler with a record of 5 wicket-hauls in International Test cricket. Richard’s batting strike rate was 50.8. Hadlee got crowned with a knighthood title in 1990.
Shaun Pollock – South Africa
Shaun Pollock was a right-arm fast-bowling all-rounder who remained highly dangerous with his balling skills than with his bat. Pollock’s batting statistics show 7,386 runs and that he scored playing either at the 7th or 8th wicket down position. The figure of 829 international wickets gave him a solid lead in the list of leading wicket-takers of world cricket.
Sir Garry Sobers – West Indies
Garry Sobers is widely accepted as the greatest all-rounder of cricketing history. You can check out his statistics, overall performance, or level of impact he created to agree with our view. Garry was a batsman with rare talent and performance, besides being an outstanding left-arm fast-medium bowler. Sir Donald Bradman even considered him among the top 5 all-rounders of cricket history.
Thus, here our list ends with the top 10 all-rounders in World Cricket History.