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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > News > Report

Did Shoaib bowl the fastest ball?

Faisal Shariff in Cape Town | February 22, 2003 21:52 IST

Did he? Didn't he?

The Speed Gun at the Newlands recorded Shoaib Akhtar as having bowled the fastest ball ever hurled across 22 yards of a cricket pitch in the Pakistan-England match Saturday afternoon. 161.3 kilometres per hour of blistering pace. Or just over 100 mph.

Faster than Jeff Thomson, who is here doing commentary. Faster than his closest competitor Brett Lee. Faster than any human being in the history of the game. 

The moment the Speed Gun showed the reading during Akhtar's second over, ‘The Rawalpindi Express", one of contemporary cricket's most charismatic characters, lost no time in making all the appropriate signs to the spectators and the dressing room.

Akhtar recorded the speed in his second over.

The Pakistan party's media minders -- official and unofficial -- too were quick to spread the word about how an Asian had achieved the 100-mile mark that had eluded the whites.  And that he had chosen the biggest cricket stage in the world to do so.

But the issue is still far from settled. The International Cricket Council has not yet released a formal statement on Akhtar's feat, and the ICC chief Malcolm Gray told rediff.com that it was far from clear if the milestone had been reached.

Reason: A delivery of Wasim Akram's next over, too, showed a 161.3 kmph reading.

In the end, the honour may still go to Akhtar, but the dispute over the veracity of the Speed Gun readings will continue to rage.

Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist has said that he has often been surprised at some of the speeds recorded by the machine as he received Brett Lee's deliveries in his gloves.

Share your comments

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Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 10

Sub: Shoaib

He may have bowled the fastest ball, but at the same time he has to realise that it is not all about speed.

Posted by Karun Dudani

Sub: shoaibs ball

It seems that only the Indians believe that he throws the ball instead of bowling it, it's nothing but pure jealousy, with a population of ...

Posted by Mensy

Sub: is shoaib the fastest

I believe it's about time, the ICC recognised a man for his ability. He may not be the best bowler in the world but he ...

Posted by nadeem khan

Sub: Fastest

Even though there is a stiff competion between Shoaib and Brett Lee regarding the bowling speed I strongly believe that Shoaib can only THROUGH the ...

Posted by Willy

Sub: He is the fastest

I Hope someday shoaib will receive the credit that is due to him.No doubt..he is the fastest ever.

Posted by Krishnaraj Mahadevan


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