The 20 Greatest Pakistani Cricketers of all time

Greatest Pakistani Cricketers of all time: In the rich history of cricket in Pakistan, there are many legendary players who have left their mark with skill, determination, and a deep love for the game. From the exciting play of early heroes to the current stars reshaping cricket, finding the best Pakistani cricketers ever is an interesting quest.

Think about the dynamic leadership of Imran Khan, guiding his team to World Cup victory with natural talent and strong belief. Or consider Younis Khan, who made a name for himself by scoring lots of runs with an unmatched hunger for success. Then there’s the mysterious brilliance of Wasim Akram, whose left-arm skills troubled batsmen and changed fast bowling.

We can’t forget the stylish batting of Zaheer Abbas, the unyielding determination of Javed Miandad, and the all-around greatness of Shahid Afridi. This journey isn’t about declaring one player the ultimate king. Instead, it’s about appreciating the different styles and the mix of successes and challenges that have made Pakistani cricket so captivating.


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Who is the Greatest Pakistani Cricketers of all time?
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Greatest Pakistani Cricketers of all time

So, get ready as we explore the lives and legacies of these cricketing giants, highlighting their achievements, uncovering their imperfections, and ultimately, celebrating what makes Pakistani cricket so uniquely captivating.

20. Sarfaraz Ahmed

  • Born (Age): 22 May 1987 (36)
  • Height: 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
  • Batting: Right-handed
  • Role: Wicket-keeper-batter

Sarfaraz Ahmed, our 20th pick for the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers,” served as the former captain across all formats and currently leads the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League.

Under his captaincy, Pakistan secured a historic win against India in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final. Sarfaraz’s leadership extends to his under-19 days, where he also led Pakistan to victory in the 2006 Under-19 Cricket World Cup against India.

In addition to his captaincy roles, Sarfaraz achieved recognition by becoming the youngest cricketer to receive the Sitara-i-Imtiaz on Pakistan Day in March 2018. However, his career faced a setback in 2019 when he was banned for four matches during a series against South Africa after admitting to making a racist remark to Andile Phehlukwayo.

19. Shoaib Malik

  • Born (Age): 1 February 1982 (41)
  • Height: 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
  • Batting: Right-handed
  • Bowling: Right-arm off-break
  • Role: All-rounder

Ranked 19th among the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers” is Shoaib Malik, who served as the captain of the national cricket team from 2007 to 2009.

Who is the Most Handsome Cricketer From Pakistan

Malik has been a versatile player, taking over 150 ODI wickets and maintaining a mid-30s batting average in both Test and ODI formats. Despite scrutiny of his bowling action, especially the doosra, he underwent elbow surgery for correction. He achieved the second rank in ICC ODI all-rounder rankings in June 2008, just behind teammate Shahid Afridi. He captained the successful Sialkot Stallions, winning eight domestic T20 titles.

Over the years, Malik achieved numerous milestones, including being the first Asian batsman to score 2,000 runs in T20Is and the first Pakistani to reach 10,000 runs in Twenty20 cricket. In February 2023, playing for the Rangpur Riders, he became the first Pakistani cricketer to participate in 500 T20 matches.

18. Mohammad Hafeez

  • Born (Age): 17 October 1980 (43)
  • Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
  • Batting: Right-handed
  • Bowling: Right-arm off-break
  • Role: All-rounder

Taking the 18th spot among the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers” is Mohammad Hafeez. A crucial member of the Pakistan team that clinched the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, he played a significant role in the final, scoring an unbeaten 57.

Who is the Most Handsome Cricketer From Pakistan

Known as “The Professor,” Hafeez became the fourth international player in the Caribbean Premier League and the first Pakistani chosen for the Twenty20 tournament. Throughout his career, he represented major teams like Pakistan, Lahore, Lahore Lions, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Kolkata Knight Riders, Sargodha, and Sui Gas Corporation of Pakistan.

In 2022, he announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket. Despite a less impressive ICC 2019 World Cup, he reinvented himself as a T20 specialist, finishing as the leading run-scorer in T20I cricket worldwide in 2020.

17. Mohammad Amir

  • Born (Age): 13 April 1992 (31)
  • Height: 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
  • Batting: Left-handed
  • Bowling: Left-arm fast
  • Role: Bowler

At 17th position among the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers” is Mohammad Amir, a left-arm fast bowler and left-handed batsman who retired from international cricket in 2020 at the age of 28. Amir played a crucial role in Pakistan’s victories in the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 and the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.

Amir showcased his talent at the age of 17 in One-Day Internationals and Tests during the 2009 tour of Sri Lanka. He gained prominence during the 2009 ICC World Twenty20, contributing to Pakistan’s triumph. However, in 2010, he faced controversy and was arrested for spot-fixing, receiving a five-year ban for deliberately bowling no-balls. Amir’s public apology and admission of guilt led to a more lenient ban compared to his co-conspirators.

He returned to the national team for the New Zealand tour in 2016. Despite facing setbacks, including a temporary retirement from Test cricket in 2019 to focus on limited-overs formats, Amir continued to be a prominent figure in Pakistani cricket. His ultimate retirement from international cricket was announced on December 17, 2020.

16. Muhammad Asif

  • Born (Age): 20 December 1982 (41)
  • Height: 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
  • Batting: Left-handed
  • Bowling: Right-armed medium-fast
  • Role: Bowler

Ranked 16th among the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers” is Muhammad Asif, a highly skilled right-hand medium-fast bowler renowned for his seamless action and the ability to swing the ball both ways.

Asif’s unique technique, including sharp seam movement achieved through finger alternation, perplexed batsmen, earning him praise from cricket greats like AB de Villiers and Kevin Pietersen. Despite his on-field prowess, Asif faced numerous controversies, including a ban for testing positive for Nandrolone in 2006 and involvement in a spot-fixing scandal in 2010, leading to a seven-year ban imposed by the ICC in 2011.

After overcoming legal challenges and serving his suspension, the ICC allowed Asif to play all formats of the game in 2015. Making a comeback in October 2016, he represented the Water and Power Development Authority, marking the end of a tumultuous but impactful cricketing career.

15. Misbah-ul-Haq

  • Born (Age): 28 May 1974 (49)
  • Height: 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
  • Batting: Right-handed
  • Bowling: Right-arm leg break
  • Role: Batsman

At the 15th position among the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers” is Misbah-ul-Haq, a former captain who led Pakistan across all formats and later served as the head coach and chief selector of the national team.

He guided Pakistan to victory in the 2012 Asia Cup during his captaincy. As a player, Misbah was part of the team that won the 2009 ICC World Twenty20, bouncing back from a previous tournament defeat in the final.

Considered a late bloomer, Misbah was a middle-order batsman known for his composed style, with the ability to switch to an aggressive big-hitting mode when needed. He holds the record for the fastest fifty in Test cricket, set a new mark for the quickest Test hundred, and holds the record for the most career ODI runs without scoring a century. He bid farewell to all international cricket formats on May 14, 2017, marking the end of an illustrious career.

14. Babar Azam

  • Born (Age): 15 October 1994 (29)
  • Height: 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
  • Batting: Right-handed
  • Bowling: Right-arm off-break
  • Role: Batter

Ranked 14th among the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers” is Babar Azam, widely considered as one of the best contemporary batters in world cricket. Currently holding the unique distinction of being in the top 10 rankings across all formats, Azam stands as the number one batter in ODIs, 5th in T20Is, and 8th in Tests. As a right-handed top-order batter, he also captains Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Who is the Most Handsome Cricketer From Pakistan
Source: Instagram

Azam’s status as the joint-most successful T20I captain with 42 wins, makes him a crucial figure in the shortest format of the game. He is Pakistan’s most prolific T20I batter, and his century against South Africa stands as the highest individual score by a Pakistani in the format.

Additionally, Azam holds the unique achievement of being the only captain to lead Pakistan to the number 1 ODI team ranking. Despite his success, he resigned from captaincy in all formats after the 2023 Cricket World Cup in India.

13. Saeed Anwar

  • Born (Age): 6 September 1968 (55)
  • Height: 5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
  • Batting: Left-handed
  • Bowling: Slow left-arm orthodox

Ranked 13th among the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers” is Saeed Anwar, an iconic opening batsman and occasional left-arm orthodox bowler who graced international cricket from 1989 to 2003. Revered as one of Pakistan’s greatest openers and a standout batsman of his era, Anwar’s elegant and precise shot-making set him apart.

With 4052 runs in 55 Test matches and 8824 runs in 247 ODIs, he etched his name in cricket history as a stylish player with an average of 45.52 in Tests and 39.21 in ODIs. Anwar’s record-breaking twenty centuries in ODIs, including a remarkable 194 against India in Chennai in 1997, underscore his impact. Known for his impeccable timing and shot placement, Anwar retired in August 2003 after captaining Pakistan in seven Tests and 11 ODIs and representing his country in three Cricket World Cups, leaving an enduring legacy as a cricketing luminary.

Anwar’s cricket journey was punctuated by significant milestones, including becoming the third Pakistani to carry his bat through a Test innings in 1998–99 and reaching his highest Test score of 188 not out during the same period. His retirement marked the end of an era, with Anwar standing as the highest run-scorer for Pakistan in the 1996, 1999, and 2003 World Cups, sealing his status as one of Pakistan’s cricketing legends.

12. Shoaib Akhtar

  • Born (Age): 13 August 1975 (48)
  • Height: 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
  • Batting: Right-handed
  • Bowling: Right-arm fast
  • Role: Bowler

Shoaib Akhtar, nicknamed the “Rawalpindi Express,” is renowned as the fastest bowler in cricket, clocking an unbeaten 161.3 kmph delivery. Despite his incredible talent, Akhtar’s career was marked by controversies, including being sent home in 2005 during a Test series in Australia due to alleged poor attitude.

He also faced a ban in 2006 for testing positive for nandrolone, but successfully appealed. In 2008, another ban followed for criticizing the Pakistan Cricket Board, later suspended.

Akhtar retired from international cricket after the 2011 World Cup and transitioned to a YouTube career, providing match reviews and insights.

11. Mohammad Yousuf

  • Born (Age): 27 August 1974 (49)
  • Height: 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
  • Batting: Right-handed
  • Bowling: Right-arm medium
  • Role: Batsman

Ranked 11th among the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers” is Mohammad Yousuf, known for his aggressive and attack-oriented batting style. Yousuf, initially one of the few Christians in the Pakistan national cricket team, converted to Islam.

In 2006, he set a world record by scoring 1,788 runs in Tests at an average of almost 100.

However, Yousuf faced a setback in 2010 when the Pakistan Cricket Board banned him from international cricket, citing disciplinary issues and infighting within the team. In response, he announced his retirement in March 2010. Nevertheless, following Pakistan’s poor performance against England in July/August 2010, the PCB requested Yousuf to come out of retirement.

10. Shahid Afridi

  • Born (Age): 1 March 1977 (46)
  • Height: 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
  • Batting: Right-handed
  • Bowling: Right-arm leg spin
  • Role: All-rounder

Ranked 10th among the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers” is Shahid Afridi. He made his ODI debut in 1996, gaining attention in his second match by setting a record for the fastest century in ODI cricket, achieving it in just 37 deliveries. Afridi’s Test debut came in 1998 against Australia, and he entered the T20I arena in 2006 against England. Known for his explosive batting, Afridi was named the player of the tournament in the 2007 T20 World Cup and played a crucial role in Pakistan’s victory in the 2009 T20 World Cup.

Who is the Most Handsome Cricketer From Pakistan
Source: ICC

After Pakistan’s 2009 World Cup win, Afridi became the T20I captain, succeeding Younis Khan. He also captained the team in the 2011 Cricket World Cup, reaching the semi-finals. Afridi retired from ODI cricket in 2015 and stepped down as T20 captain in 2016 after Pakistan’s early exit from the T20 World Cup.

He officially retired from international cricket in 2017 but made a brief return in 2018 for a charity match. Afridi, known for hitting long sixes, holds the record for the most sixes in ODI cricket. Despite his aggressive style, his inconsistency is reflected in an ODI average of under 30.

9. Abdul Qadir

  • Born (Age): 15 September 1955
  • Batting: Right-handed
  • Bowling: Right-arm leg break
  • Role: Bowler

Ranked 9th among the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers” is Abdul Qadir, a legendary leg spinner from the 1970s and 1980s. Considered a role model for aspiring leg spinners, Qadir appeared in 67 Tests and 104 ODIs between 1977 and 1993. He captained the Pakistan cricket team in five ODIs. In Test cricket, his standout series performance was taking 30 wickets for 437 runs against England in 1987, including the best-ever bowling figures for Pakistan in a Test innings with nine wickets for 56.

In ODIs, Qadir’s best bowling figures were five wickets for 44 runs against Sri Lanka in the 1983 Cricket World Cup. He was part of the Pakistani teams in the 1983 and 1987 Cricket World Cups. Known as a master of leg spin, Qadir was praised for mastering various spin techniques.

Described by former English captain Graham Gooch as even finer than Shane Warne, Qadir’s contribution to cricket earned him admiration, with Prime Minister Imran Khan acknowledging him as “a genius” and “one of the greatest leg spinners of all time.”

8. Younis Khan

  • Born (Age): 29 November 1975 (48)
  • Height: 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
  • Batting: Right-handed
  • Bowling: Right-arm medium
  • Role: Middle-order batsman

Younis Khan placed 8th among the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers,” and was renowned for his exceptional skill against spin bowling and a signature flick shot. His flamboyant batting style, marked by powerful drives, also saw him as a crucial part of Pakistan’s formidable middle-order lineup alongside Mohammad Yousuf and Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Younis holds the distinction of being the only Test cricketer to score centuries in all 11 countries hosting Test matches, and he captained Pakistan to victory in the 2009 World Twenty20.

With records for the most Test runs and centuries by a Pakistani, Younis achieved the remarkable feat of scoring 10,000 Test runs in 2017, becoming the first Pakistani and the 13th batsman overall to reach this milestone. Known for his exceptional fielding, Younis retired from ODI cricket in 2015 and bid farewell to all international formats in 2017 after a successful and impactful career.

7. Inzamam-ul-Haq

  • Born (Age): 3 March 1970 (53)
  • Height: 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
  • Batting: Right-handed
  • Bowling: Slow left-arm orthodox
  • Role: Batsman

Ranked 7th among the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers” is Inzamam-ul-Haq, widely recognized as one of the best middle-order batsmen in cricket history. He served as the captain of the Pakistan national cricket team from 2003 to 2007 and was the leading run-scorer for Pakistan in ODIs, as well as the third-highest in Test cricket. Inzamam is the only Pakistani batsman to amass 20,000 runs in international cricket.

Inzamam gained fame during the 1992 Cricket World Cup, notably in the semi-final. Throughout the 2000s, he remained a key batsman in both Test and ODI formats. Appointed as the team’s captain in 2003, his leadership concluded after Pakistan’s early exit from the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Inzamam retired from international cricket in 2007, falling just three runs short of Javed Miandad as Pakistan’s leading Test run-scorer at the time.

In addition to his cricketing achievements, Inzamam is an influential member of the Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic missionary organization, and has remained actively involved in Pakistan cricket. He served as the chief selector of the Pakistan national cricket team, resigning in 2023.

6. Zaheer Abbas

  • Born (Age): 24 July 1947 (76)
  • Batting: Right-handed
  • Bowling: Right-arm off-break

Ranked 6th among the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers” is Zaheer Abbas, a former cricketer renowned for his remarkable achievements. Popularly known as ‘the Asian Bradman,’ he is considered one of the finest batsmen in cricket history.

Zaheer Abbas stands out as one of the few professional cricketers who wore spectacles while playing. In the 1982/1983 season, he achieved a notable feat by becoming the first batsman to score three consecutive centuries in one-day internationals.

Recognizing his contributions to the sport, Zaheer Abbas was honored with induction into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in August 2020.

5. Hanif Mohammad

  • Born (Age): 21 December 1934
  • Height: 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
  • Batting: Right-handed
  • Bowling: Right-arm off-break
  • Role: Batsman

Ranked 5th among the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers” is Hanif Mohammad, a legendary figure who represented the Pakistani cricket team in 55 Test matches from the 1952–53 season to the 1969–70 season.

Despite the limited number of Test matches played during his career, Hanif Mohammad earned a reputation as one of the best batsmen globally, boasting an impressive average of 43.98 with twelve centuries. Recognized as the original Little Master, a title later associated with Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, Hanif was a cricketing icon.

He achieved a historic milestone as the first Pakistani to score a triple hundred in a Test match, solidifying his legacy as one of Pakistan’s cricketing greats.

4. Waqar Younis

  • Born (Age): 16 November 1971 (52)
  • Height: 6 ft (183 cm)
  • Batting: Right-handed
  • Bowling: Right-arm fast
  • Role: Bowler

Ranked 4th among the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers” is Waqar Younis, a legendary right-arm fast bowler who left an indelible mark on the cricketing world. His cricket journey began in 1987/88, overcoming a setback where he lost the little finger on his left hand. Discovered by former Pakistan captain Imran Khan, Waqar swiftly rose to prominence, making his mark with his exceptional ability to reverse swing the ball at high speed.

Known as one of the greatest bowlers in cricket history, Waqar played 87 Tests and 262 ODIs for Pakistan from 1989 to 2003. His partnership with Wasim Akram formed one of the world’s most formidable bowling attacks. Waqar’s trademark was his mastery of reverse swing, and he took 373 Test wickets and 416 ODI wickets during his illustrious career. Holding the record as the youngest Pakistani Test captain and the fourth youngest Test captain globally, Waqar is also the youngest bowler to reach 400 wickets in ODI cricket.

He remains in the top ten of all-time ICC rankings. After retiring, he contributed as a bowling coach for the national side and later served as the head coach of the Pakistani cricket team. Waqar continues to make significant contributions as Pakistan’s bowling coach, appointed in 2019 on a 3-year contract.

3. Javed Miandad

  • Born (Age): 12 June 1957 (66)
  • Height: 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
  • Batting: Right-handed
  • Bowling: Right-arm leg break
  • Role: Batsman

Ranked 3rd among the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers” is Javed Miandad, described by ESPNcricinfo as “the greatest batsman Pakistan has ever produced” and hailed by Ian Chappell as one of the finest in cricket history. Miandad’s illustrious career spanned from 1975 to 1996, during which he showcased a unique technique and remarkable control, earning accolades from historians and contemporaries alike. ESPN Legends of Cricket ranked him 44th among the best cricketers of all time.

Miandad’s iconic moments include a historic last-ball six against India in 1986 at Sharjah, a memorable contribution to Pakistan’s victory in the 1992 ICC World Cup, and being the first to end an international game with a last-ball six in 1986.

Beyond his playing career, Miandad held key positions in the Pakistan Cricket Board and had three coaching stints with the national team. Recognizing his significant contributions, he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009.

2. Wasim Akram

  • Born (Age): 3 June 1966 (57)
  • Height: 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
  • Batting: Left-handed
  • Bowling: Left-arm fast
  • Role: Fast Bowler Bowling All-Rounder

Ranked 2nd among the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers” is Wasim Akram, an iconic left-arm fast bowler renowned for his genuine speed, hostility, and mastery of swing bowling. Known as one of the “Sultans of Swing” alongside Waqar Younis, Akram’s quick bowling action allowed him to deliver both inswingers and outswingers with precision, making him one of the greatest fast bowlers in cricket history.

Wasim Akram’s cricket legacy includes being considered the greatest left-arm fast bowler, often hailed as The Sultan of Swing. In October 2013, he was the sole Pakistani cricketer named in an all-time Test World XI by Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. As captain, he led Pakistan to the 1999 Cricket World Cup finals. Holding the world record for most wickets in List A cricket (881) and ranking second in ODI wickets (502), Akram is credited as a founder and master of reverse swing bowling.

Akram’s skill and impact are echoed by cricket legends like Viv Richards, who rates him as the best fast bowler he ever faced, and Ricky Ponting, who acknowledged him as a formidable force on the field.

1. Imran Khan

  • Height (Age): 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
  • Batting: Right-handed
  • Bowling: Right-arm fast
  • Role: All-rounder

Ranked 1st among the “Greatest Pakistani Cricketers” is the legendary Imran Khan. Born into a Niazi Pashtun family in Lahore, Khan’s cricket journey began in a 1971 Test series against England. His international cricket career spanned from 1971 to 1992, during which he served as Pakistan’s captain intermittently between 1982 and 1992. Imran Khan achieved a monumental feat by leading Pakistan to victory in the 1992 Cricket World Cup, marking the country’s only triumph in the competition.

Imran Khan is hailed as one of cricket’s greatest all-rounders and was honored with induction into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Beyond cricket, Khan made significant contributions to Pakistani politics. In 1996, he founded the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

His political career saw success when he won a seat in the National Assembly in the 2002 general election, representing Mianwali. Although PTI boycotted the 2008 general election, it emerged as the second-largest party by popular vote in 2013. In the 2018 general election, Khan, running on a populist platform, led PTI to become the largest party in the National Assembly, forming a coalition government with independents and securing his position as the prime minister of Pakistan.

Imran Khan’s impact on both cricket and politics solidifies his position as a truly iconic figure in Pakistani history.

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