Once upon a time, Harold Pinter said “ I tend to think that cricket is the greatest thing God has ever created on earth, certainly greater than sex, although sex isn’t too bad either” oohh man what a truth! Cricket is love, passion, emotion, and everything. As it has sixes, fours, and catches. Cricket is considered as The Gentleman’s Game but I guess asshole can also play. It has produced many famous cricketers in the world. Robert Mugabe once said,
Cricket civilizes people and creates good gentlemen, I want everyone to play cricket in Zimbabwe; I want ours to be a nation of The gentlemen
If this formula applied many people need to play cricket. So, they can learn some basic ethics. Well, now we are discussing some of the best players of the cricket’ modern era. They played with their heart and soul and made it the world’s most exciting sport. Let’s explore now the list of famous modern cricketers.
1. Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar undoubtedly is the Master Blaster of cricket. One of the greatest batsman cricket could ever have and one of the most famous modern cricketers in the world. As he is the only player who scored one hundred international centuries. He was born on 24 April 1973 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. He started playing cricket at the mere age of eleven. Sachin debuted his international test career on 15 November 1989 v Pakistan. And played his last test match on 14 November 2013 v West Indies. He played his debut One-day International career against Pakistan on 18 December 1989 and ended with the same team on 18 March 2012 v Pakistan.
In this time span, he literally rules the cricketing world. He is so much one of the famous cricketers that people say if cricket is a religion in India then Tendulkar is the God of it. Sachin had played a total of 657 matches and became the first batsman in history to cross the 34,000 run aggregate in all formats of cricket on 5 December 2012. He had managed to grab all the highest National honors awards like Arjuna Award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Padma Shri, Maharashtra Bhushan Award, Padma Vibhushan, Bharat Ratna. The veteran cricketer was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame 2019. He was a member of the teams who participated in 6 world champions title and finally won the World Cup 2011.
2. Ricky Ponting
Ricky Thomas Ponting was born on 19 December 1974 in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. He is a former Australian cricketer and one of the famous modern cricketers. Ponting got cricket in his genes as his father and uncle used to play cricket. Moreover, the cause of his popularity is being the best captain in cricket history. As per record under his captaincy team had won 220 matches out of 324, a winning ratio of 67.91%. Also, he led the team in 77 test matches and won 48 out of it. He debuted his international test career on 8 December 1995 v Sri Lanka and played last on 3 December 2012 v South Africa. Ponting started his ODI career on 15 February 1995 v, South Africa, and ended it on 19 February 2012 v India.
In 1985-86 Ricky was a member of the Mowbray Under-13s team and appeared in a five-day annual Northern Tasmania junior cricket competition. Ponting manages to grab sponsorship from bat manufacturer Kookaburra over the performance of four centuries in a week. And that was just the start as he participated in Under-16 trials and outshine everyone here. Ponting was also fond of playing football and was really good at it. But he faced an injury in the right arm which he had to pin while playing for North Launceston Under-17. The irony of destiny is which injury led him to leave football, making him the most successful right-hand batsman of the cricket world. Ponting is in the top four players who scored the mileage of 13000 Test runs. Moreover, he as a captain has almost won every tournament of the cricket which includes 2 World Cups and champions trophy.
3. Brian Lara
Brian Charles Lara was born on 2 May 1969 in Santa Cruz, Trinidad, and Tobago. It is said that Lara is the ultimate ideal of every batsman. Lara is the most successful West-Indian former batsman as well as one of the most famous modern cricketers. He started playing cricket at the mere age of six when he got admission to Harvard Coaching Clinic. Lara got selected in the national Under-16 team for his brilliant performance in the schoolboys league. Where he scores 745 runs with an average of 126.16 per innings. His consistent form led him to play in national Under-19 when he was only 15 years old. Brian debuted his first-class cricketing career in January 1988 with the team Trinidad and Tobago. He continues to astonish the crowd with his performance.
He led the team for the Bicentennial Youth World Cup. The team reached the semi-finals but unfortunately could not make it to the finals. Lara‘s performance soon caught the attention of selectors and got selected for West-Indian National team but sadly could not achieve the chance because of the death of his father. Finally, in 1990, he made his most awaited test debut and after that, there was no turning back. As per records, Lara is the first batsman to score 375, the highest score in the test match. Lara has set the record for the highest individual test score as captain (400). Brian was the fastest batsman to score 10,000 test runs with less number of innings. Lara has scored 34 test centuries and that’s the highest number for a West-Indian.
4. Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Chokshanda Sangakkara was born on 27 October 1977 In Matale, Sri Lanka. Sanga is the former left-handed top-order batsman; wicket-keeper, and captain for the Sri-Lanka national team as well as one of the famous modern cricketers. Kumar got his initial education at Trinity College, Candy here was very fond of playing the violin. Being a sportsman by nature, Kumar got a very thrilled and exciting childhood as he used to play many games. By the time he goes to college, His principle advises him to rest his focus on cricket. He debuted his international test career on 20 July 2000 v South Africa and played his last on 20 August 2015 v India.
Kumar played his debut ODI on 5 July 2000 v Pakistan and ended his career on 18 march 2015 v South Africa. He played his first T20I on 15 June v England and last on 6 April 2014 v India. Sanga holds the record of the sixth-highest aggregate of runs (12,400) in 134 matches at an average of 57.40. He has scored second most double centuries in a career as he holds the record of scoring 11 double centuries in tests. And the fourth-highest number of centuries and has 38 centuries in 134 matches. Sanga has the highest average (57.40) by any Sri Lankan player and overall fifth. He has 52 half-centuries in 134 matches. Sanga holds the record of scoring fastest 8000, 9000, 10,000, 11,000 as well as 12,000 runs.
5. AB de Villiers
Abraham Benjamin de Villiers was born on 17 February 1984 in Warmbad, Transvaal Province, South Africa. It was a town with some facilities and away from the hustle and bustle of the city. AB really enjoyed living here. His father was a rugby player and doctor by profession. And knows the importance of sports and always encourages him. He made his international Test debut on 17 December 2004 v England and played his last match on 30 March 2018 v Australia. He started his ODI career on 2 February 2005 v England and played his last match against India on 16 February. As per T20I, he played his first match on 24 February 2006 against Australia and last on 29 October 2017 against Bangladesh.
AB is known as Mr 360 for a range of unorthodox shots, especially behind the wicket-keeper. Ab has to lead the South Africa national team in all three formats. He scored 9577 runs in the 228 ODIs with an average of 53.5 with a superb strike-rate of 101.1. As in T20s, he scored 1672 runs in 78 matches, and in the test, he holds 8765 in 114 matches. AB remained very active in playing different franchise leagues all over the world and faced backlash for neglecting the countryside. Despite being one of the most skillful batsmen of the modern era he is a competent guitar player and also released his music album in 2010. In April of this year, he released his autobiography named AB: The Autobiography.
6. Brendon McCullum
Brendon Barrie McCullum was born on 27 September 1981 in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. McCullum is a New Zealand former player, captain, coach, and commentator. He is one of the famous modern cricketers. It looks like cricket runs in the family as his father Stuart McCullum has also played first-class cricket for Otago and Nathan McCullum his brother was also a first-class and international cricketer. His test debut was on 10 March 2004 v South Africa and ended his career on 20 February 2016 v Australia. He debuted his ODI career on 17 January 2002 v Australia and played his match on 8 February 2016 v Australia. He played his first T20I match on 17 February 2005 v Australia and last on 23 June 2015 v England.
McCullum has scored 6453 runs in 101 test matches at an average of 38.64 and a strike rate of 64.6. And amassed 6083 runs in 260 ODIs at an average of 30.41 and a strike rate of 96.37. The New Zealander has a stellar record in T20Is as he amassed 2140 runs in 71 T20I at an average of 35.67 and a strike rate of 136.22. The T20 specialist is the 5th highest run-scorer of it despite being retired. McCullum is the ultimate choice of every domestic team as he has played for Lahore Qalanders, Kolkata knight Riders, Brisbane Heat, Gujrat Lions, Chennai Super Kings, Kochi Tuskers Kerala.
7. Alastair Cook
Sir Alastair Nathan Cook was born on 25 December 1984 in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England. He is a former English cricketer and captain. In his childhood, he wanted to become a musician and had learnt to play piano and saxophone. While living in a town near to Witham in Mid Essex, he actually started playing cricket to spend his summer holidays. Studying in Bedford School XI by chance selected for a match between Marylebone Cricket Club and his school. As the visiting side was lacking one man. Well Bedford School XI team regretted the decision when he scored a century against his school.
Cook debuted his international test career on 1st March 2006 against India and played his last match on 7 September 2018 against India. He played his first ODI match on 28 June 2006 against Sri Lanka and last on 16 December 2014 again against Sri Lanka. Cook debuted his T20I career on 28 June 2007 against West Indies and ended it on 15 November 2009 against South Africa. Cook is the youngest English batsman to score the milestone of 2,000’3,000’4,000’5,000 test runs. He is the 16th English batsman to score a century on his debut who also scored 1,000 runs in a maiden year. Except for Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar, he is the second opener to reach over 11,000 and 12,000 test runs. He is the first batsman for his country who is involved in 50 test wins.
8. Shakib Al Hasan
Shakib Al Hasan is a Heartthrob of Bangladesh cricket and one of the best all-rounders as well as one of the famous modern cricketers. He was born on 24 March 1987 in Magura District, Bangladesh. He started playing cricket for different villages and teams at a very young age. In one match his performance caught the attention of the umpire. He helped him to practice with Islampur Para Club which is the ultimate favorite team of Magura Cricket League. Eventually, he was selected for this team and started playing with the proper cricket ball. His performance led him to get training at a government-run sports institute named Bangladesh Krira Shiksha Pratisthan. It was the open place for chan cess and he avails it completely. He was selected for team Khulna at the age of 17 in the National Domestic League.
Moreover, Shakib has represented Bangladesh’s under-19 national team. However, he played his first international test match on 18 May 2007 against India and last on 5 September 2019 v Afghanistan. Shakib debuted his ODI career on 6 August 2006 against Zimbabwe and ended it on 5 July 2019 v Pakistan. As per his T20 record, he played his first match on 28 November 2006 against Zimbabwe and last on 21 September 2019 against Afghanistan. He has taken most wickets in t20 cricket on a single ground (76 at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur. He is the only all-rounder in cricket history to be ranked #1 allrounder in all three formats.
9. Shahid Afridi
Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi popularly known as Boom Boom Afridi is one of the most famous modern cricketers in the world. He is a former Pakistani all-rounder, a captain is the spirit of cricket. He was born on 1st March 1975 in Tirah Valley, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Afridi belongs to a spiritual family and they are the cream of that area. His father moved to Karachi for business and future and education of his children. He started playing cricket on the encouragement of his brother. Afridi soon found it close to his heart which meets his enthusiasm and passion. His father was also a volleyball player but could not attain the idea of a sports career. He wanted to make him a doctor but his main focus was on playing cricket. Which led him to can many times. But eventually, his father agreed and prayed for his success.
Afridi played his first test match on 22 October 1998 against Australia and last on 13 July 2010 v Australia. He debuted his ODI career on 2 October 1996 v Kenya and played the last match on 20 March 2015 against Australia. He announced his entry in the cricketing world by scoring the fastest ODI century in 37 balls. And his game T20I he debuted on 28 August 2006 against England and played his last on 31 May 2018 against West Indies. Basically he was a bowler but got popularity for his aggressive batting style. He holds the record of most wickets in T20s. Also, he holds the record of most runs (2362) by a bowler in the T20I career. He has hit the highest number of 6s in cricket history.
10. Hashim Amla
Hashim Mohammad Amla is a former South African batsman. He was born on 31 March 1983 in Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Hashim comes to a migrated Muslim family from Gujrat, India. Amla started playing cricket by watching his brother Ahmad Amla. He has led South Africa in the Under-19 cricket World Cup 2002 in New Zealand and they made it to the finals. He debuted his International Test career on 28 November 2004 against India and played his last on 21 February 2019 against Sri Lanka. Hashim started his ODI career on 9 March 2008 v Bangladesh and ended it on 28 June 2019 v Sri Lanka. He played his first T20I on 13 January 2009 v Australia and last on 14 August 2018 v Sri Lanka.
Amla is the fastest player to reach 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, 5,000, 6,000, and 7,000 runs in ODIs. He is the first and only South African batsman to score a triple-century in the Test matches. Amla has scored 1,000 runs in both Tests and ODIs in the same calendar year(2010). He is the first South African batsman to score 25 centuries in ODIs and the fourth cricketer to score 25 centuries in both tests and ODIs cricket. As per records of January 2019, He has scored 28 Test and 227 ODI centuries. Dwayne Bravo and Amla hold the record for the highest fifth-wicket partnership in Twenty20 cricket. Amla is also considered as the most humble cricketer in the game.
11. Shoaib Akhtar
There are some bowlers who equally collaborated in making cricket a passionate game. One of them is the great Shoaib Akhtar and one of the most famous modern cricketers. He is a former Pakistani bowler, commentator, YouTuber. He was born on 13 August 1975 in Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan. Shoaib had a flat foot which meant he could not take part in games but today the world knows him as the fastest bowler of cricket history. His family was not very well off and he traveled on the roof of the bus for his first trial as he could not afford a bus ticket. He is best known for his record top speed of 161.3 km/h (100.23mph) in a pool match against England during the 2003 Cricket World Cup.
Majid Khan was the person who recognized this jewel and selected him for the Pakistan A team. He debuted his International test career on 29 November 1997 v West Indies and ended it on 8 December 2007 v India. He played his first ODI on 28 March 1998 v Zimbabwe and last on 8 march 2011 v New Zealand. While his T20I debut took place on 28 August 2006 v England and last on 28 December 2010 v New Zealand. Being the die-hard fan of him it felt like he could not avail himself goes to a number of controversies and faces banned many times. Shoaib is known as Pindi Express and considered a legend of Pakistan cricket. Akhtar also indulged in various controversies. The speed star revealed so much in his book Controversially Yours.
12. Shane Warne
Shane Keith Warne, The pro Australian bowler was born on 13 September 1969 in Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria, Australia. He is a former Australian bowler, commentator as well as one of the famous modern cricketers. Warne was a sports person by nature and loved playing it. He even played In the Under-19 team of Kilda Football Club but later he focused on cricket. Warne debuted his international test career on 2 January 1992 v India and ended it on 2 January 2007 v England. He played his first ODI on 24 March 1993 v New Zealand and last on 10 January 2005 v Asia XI.
Warne named as a bowler in Australia’s greatest ever ODI team. He was included in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2013. Undoubtedly Warne is the best bowler in cricketing history. Some of his best performances were 8/71 against England in 1994, 5/33 v West Indies in 1996, 8/71 against England in 1994, 6/42 v Hampshire in 2006, and 4/21 v Rajasthan Royals in 2010. IDK why but like many other bowlers, Warne went into a number of controversies and spend a quarter time of his career in a ban. Well, the superb player retired in 2013 from all formats.
13. Muttiah Muralitharan
Muttiah Muralitharan is one of the best bowlers Sri Lanks could ever produce. Moreover, he is one of the famous modern cricketers. He was born on 17 April 1972 in Kandy, Sri Lanka. His family was basically migrated from India. He started playing cricket at his school. After this, Muttiah joined Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club and in 1991 got selected for the Sri Lanka A team’s tour for England. He debuted his International test career on 28 August 1992 v Australia and ended it on 18 July 2010 against India. He played his first ODI match on 12 August 1993 v India and last on 2 April 2011 against India. While his T20I debut took place on 22 December 2006 against New Zealand and finished on 31 October 2010 v Australia.
Muralitharan holds the record of taking most test wickets (800) and also the most ODI wickets (534 wickets). He has the highest number of International wickets in Tests, ODIs, and T20s combined (1347 wickets). And the most 5-wicket hauls in an innings at test level (67). Muttiah is the only player to take 10 wickets against every test playing nation and has taken 50 or more wickets against every test playing nation. He had taken 11 times the Man of the Series Awards in test cricket. Also, he is one of the only six bowlers who have dismissed all the eleven batsmen in a Test match. He had bowled the most balls in international cricket career(63132).
14. Zaheer Khan
Although India is famous for his strong batting line up, they lack world-class bowlers. But God has blessed them with Zaheer Khan. Zaheer is a former Indian successful bowler second to Kapil Dev and one of the most famous modern cricketers. He was born on 7 October 1978 in Amalner, Shrirampur, Maharashtra, India. He started playing cricket under the guidance of Utsav Yadav. To pursue his passion in-game, In 1996 he came to the city of dreams Mumbai, and joined the National Cricket Club. His best performance in first-class cricket leaves the selectors in awe.
Moreover, Zaheer played his first international test match on 10 November 2000 v Bangladesh and last on 14 February 2014 against New Zealand. He debuted his ODI career on 3 October 2000 v Kenya and played his last match on 4 August 2012 v Sri Lanka. He played his first T20I on 1st December 2006 against South Africa and last on 2 October. Zaheer played a big role in spearheading India bowling attack since the scenes back in 2000. He played 92 Testa and 200 ODIs, took 311, and 282 wickets in both formats of the game.
15. Chris Gayle
Christopher Henry Gayle is the best batsman of modern cricket after the great Brian Lara. In the modern era, he is the most entertainer of the limited over game. He was born on 21 September 1979 in Kingston, Jamaica. While he started playing cricket with Lucas Cricket Club in Kingston, Jamaica which is named after him. Gayle started his International test career on 16 March 2000 v Zimbabwe and played his last match on 5 September 2014 against Bangladesh. He debuted his ODI career on 11 September 1999 v India and finished it on 14 August 2019 v India. He played his first T20I on 16 February 2006 against New Zealand and last on 8 March 2019 v England. Gayle is the king of T20 cricket and was the first man to cross 10,000 runs.
Gayle is the highest run-scorer for the West-Indies in ODIs. He scored (56) most sixes in a calendar year(2019). After Brian Lara, he is the second West Indien player to pass 10,000 runs in ODIs. Gayle is the highest six-hitter for the country in all formats. He scored the fastest ever ODI double century, against Zimbabwe in 138 balls in World Cup 2015. He is the third batsman to score a century against eleven different countries in ODIs. By scoring 791 runs he is the leading run-scorer in ICC Champions Trophy history. Gayle is the first player to hit all 6 balls in an over for four in test cricket. He has hit the most number of sixes by an individual at Cricket World Cup history. Therefore, he is one of the famous modern cricketers.
In the end, cricket is one of the famous games in the world after football and basketball. This game has given huge fame, wealth, name, and respect. In the 21st century, cricket has got more glamour as well as money. So, the list of famous modern cricketers may well get you an idea of how this game has become so popular. While the T20 leagues have given its immense popularity and tournaments like the T20 world cup, Big Bash League, IPL, and PSL.