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Who Bowled the Slowest Ball in Cricket History?


slowest ball in cricket history

In the exciting world of cricket, where players hit the ball hard and bowlers throw fast, there's something special about tricking your opponent. Let's take a break from all the fast action and talk about slow bowling. It's a style where players take their time and try to surprise the other team. But there's one question everyone wants to know: “Who holds the record for the slowest ball in cricket history?”


Finding the answer isn't easy. We have to look at a mix of numbers, stories, and maybe even some arguing. While machines can measure how fast a ball goes, figuring out the slowest one isn't always simple. Come with us as we explore the history of slow bowling, look at different players, and try to find out who really threw the slowest ball.



Slowest Ball in Cricket History


Rana Majid Haq Khan, better known as Majid Haq, holds the record for the slowest ball in cricket history. 


The 40-year-old Scotland off-spinner has played in big tournaments like the World Cup for his country. He holds the record for playing the most games for Scotland in international cricket.


Besides being the second-highest wicket-taker for his team, Majid Haq also has a special record. He bowled the slowest ball ever recorded in international cricket, clocking at only 41.6 mph, which is around 65 km/h. And that record still belongs to him.



Top Slowest Ball in Cricket History


1. Majid Haq, 41.6 MPH, Scotland


With the wind aiding him, Majid Haq bowled at a speed of 41.6 mph. It is roughly equivalent to 65 km/h. Haq, now aged 40, serves as Scotland's off-spinner and has proudly represented his nation in the World Cup. He holds the titles of being Scotland's second-highest wicket-taker and the player with the most appearances for the team.


2. Jasprit Bumrah, India


The second name on the list is none other than the Indian pace sensation, Jasprit Bumrah. He played a crucial role for the Indian team until he had to take a break due to a back injury. Bumrah holds the second position for bowling one of the slowest balls in cricket history.


During the third day of the Melbourne Test match between India and Australia, Bumrah bowled a remarkable yorker at just 113 kph. The delivery left the Australian batsman with no room to maneuver. It resulted in his dismissal and a walk back to the pavilion. Hailing from Ahmedabad, Bumrah went on to take 6 wickets while conceding only 33 runs by the end of the day's play.


3. Shoaib Akhtar, Pakistan


One of the most surprising revelations would undoubtedly involve the former Pakistani pace sensation, Shoaib Akhtar. He is known as the "Rawalpindi Express." Akhtar famously holds the record for the fastest delivery in cricket history. He delivered to England opener Nick Knight during the 2003 ODI World Cup.


However, it may come as a shock to many that the same bowler ranks third on the list for bowling one of the slowest deliveries in cricket history. This occurred during a Test match between Pakistan and England nearly 18 years ago, back in 2005. The English batsman fell victim to Shoaib's deceptive slower delivery. And it led to a dismissal via LBW.


4. Chris Cairns, New Zealand


Chris Cairns from New Zealand is famous for his deceptive slower balls. In 1999, during a match against England, Cairns delivered an incredibly slow ball that caught the batter off guard. Though the batter attempted to defend, the ball went straight to the stumps. And it resulted in his dismissal. This delivery was exceptionally cunning and difficult to play, especially when expecting a faster one.


5. Aaqib Javed, Pakistan


Pakistan clinched the 1992 World Cup in Australia. A memorable moment from their journey was Aaqib Javed's outstanding slower ball that played a crucial role in defeating New Zealand in the semifinals. The batsman facing him was Mark Greatbatch, who was in fine form leading up to the match.


Greatbatch had been performing impressively. He even managed to hit Aaqib and Wasim Akram for maximums earlier in the game. However, Javed decided to test him with a slower ball. Although the first attempt hit Greatbatch on the pad, he was deemed to be outside the line of the stumps. Undeterred, Javed persisted with the slower ball strategy. This time, Greatbatch advanced down the track, only to be deceived by a brilliant slow leg cutter that bowled him out as he misjudged the delivery's flight.


6. Dwayne Bravo, West Indies


This slower ball by Dwayne Bravo wasn't just impressive. It was crucial for the outcome of the match. During an ODI between the West Indies and India in 2006, Yuvraj Singh's outstanding batting had almost secured victory for his team.


Facing Dwayne Bravo, Yuvraj needed only two runs to win from three balls with just one wicket remaining. Bravo decided to decrease his pace to 117 kph. As a result, Yuvraj, misreading the delivery, failed to anticipate the slow yorker as it drifted towards leg stump.


7. Naved-ul-Hasan, Pakistan


When facing Virender Sehwag, bowlers had to pull out all the stops to get him out. In one match, Sehwag started strong, scoring 82 runs quickly from just 56 balls.


Naved-ul-Hasan, the bowler, struggled against Sehwa. He was having trouble staying within the bowling crease. It was the first game of a five-match series between India and Pakistan, and something needed to change.


Naved tried a special slow ball called a yorker, which tricked Sehwag and hit the leg stump. But even though Sehwag got out, Naved had already given away a lot of runs in a short time, showing that Sehwag had the upper hand in the overall battle.



The Art of Slow Ball Deception


In cricket, the significance of the "slowest ball" goes far beyond just its speed. It embodies the essence of slow bowling. This involves cleverly outsmarting the batsman by varying the pace, flight, and spin of the ball to create doubt and discomfort. A well-disguised slower ball, even if not the absolute slowest, can be the undoing of the most accomplished batsman. This proves that deception reigns supreme in this aspect of the sport. 


Beyond the numbers, the impact of these deliveries lies in their ability to disrupt the batsman's rhythm and exploit mental vulnerabilities. A perfectly disguised slower ball can induce false strokes. It can lead to mistimed shots and potential dismissals. The surprise factor adds an extra layer of excitement. This sure leaves both fans and commentators in awe of the bowler's skill and audacity.



Slowest Ball in Cricket History: Final Verdict


So, who actually holds the title of bowling the slowest ball in cricket history? While Haq's officially recorded delivery holds the spotlight, the real essence lies in the strategic use of slowness to outsmart the batsman. These deliveries, from Haq's crafty variation, highlight the many dimensions of bowling and the ongoing dance between trickery and anticipation in cricket. As the game progresses, the art of the slower ball will keep captivating audiences. It will serve as a reminder that sometimes, the smallest moves can make the biggest waves.


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