On this day in 2002, Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar broke the barrier of 100 mph when he bowled 100.04 mph (161kmph) during an one-day international match against New Zealand. The Rawalpindi Express broke the record while bowling to Craig McMillan at Lahore’s Gaddafi stadium.
The official Twitter handle of Pakistan Cricket Board posted a message for the legendary Shoaib Akhtar, “#OnThisDay in 2002 Shoaib Akhtar became the first bowler to break the 100 mph barrier when he was measured bowling at 100.04mph (161kph) during an ODI against New Zealand at GSL.”
#OnThisDay in 2002, @shoaib100mph became the first bowler to break the 100 mph barrier when he was measured bowling at 100.04mph (161kph) during an ODI against New Zealand at GSL. pic.twitter.com/aejQ9z6NA5— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) April 27, 2019
Australia’s Jeff Thompson held the record of the fastest ball before Akhtar. Thompson bowled at 99.8 mph in 1975.
Akhtar later broke his own record after he clocked 100.23 mph (161.03 kmph) against England in 2003 World Cup in South Africa.
Shoaib Akhtar’s record remain intact till date as no other bowler has broken it. Some other modern-day fast bowlers who came close to matching the speed include Australia’s Shaun Tait (161.1 km/h), Brett Lee (161.1 km/h), and Mitchell Starc (160.4 km/h).
Shoaib played 163 ODI matches for his country and picked up 247 wickets at an average of 24.97. He has also played 46 Test matches and has picked up 47 wickets at an average of 25.69.