Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi unofficially holds the record for the longest six in cricket history when he cleared 158 metres against South Africa in the 3rd ODI at Johannesburg on March 17, 2013.

Pakistan lost that match by 34 runs despite Afridi scoring 88 off just 48 balls, chasing a mammoth 344 set by the South Africa cricket team. 

The biggest six in cricket came in the fourth ball of the 35th over. Shahid Afridi had already hit Ryan McLaren for 12 runs in four deliveries. With the pressure mounting, McLaren gave away two extra runs before conceding the six. 

McLaren gifted Afridi a length ball, and the former Pakistan captain smashed it over the roof and out of the stadium.

Years later, however, the six was recorded in the ICC books at 120 metres.

The official record for the longest six in cricket history belongs to Australia’s Brett Lee, who crossed the rope by some 130-135 meters. This came against the West Indies in 2005 in a Test match at the Gabba. The shot went so long that it landed in the parking area and it is said that the ball travelled nearly 135 meters.

Before Brett Lee, countryman Mark Waugh had cleared the rope by 120 metres in a Test match against New Zealand at Perth in 1999. Mark Waugh hit Daniel Vettori straight down the ground for a monstrous six.

That same year, Pakistan’s Ijaz Ahmed was taking on India in a tense chase at Mohali. Two sixes were hit in the entire game and both came through Ijaz Ahmed’s bat. One six came off a young Virender Sehwag’s ball and it crossed the boundary by 115 metres.

In 2012, New Zealand’s Martin Guptill smashed South Africa’s Lonwabo Tsotsobe for a six that travelled 127 metres over the midwicket boundary. The ball hit the roof of the stand but rolled back onto the ground.

After almost a decade, in July 2021, England's Liam Livingstone came close as he smashed Pakistan's Haris Rauf straight over his head for a massive 122 metres six at Headingley.  

Longest six in international cricket: Know the leaders

No. Player Team Distance (metres) Year
1 Shahid Afridi Pakistan 158m (unofficial) 2013
2 Brett Lee Australia 130-135m 2005
3 Martin Guptill New Zealand 127m 2012
4 Liam Livingstone England 122m 2021
5 Mark Waugh Australia 120m 1999
6 Ijaz Ahmed Pakistan 115m 1999

Other notable longest sixes in international cricket

Chris Gayle vs Australia (120-125m)

Corey Anderson vs India (120m)

Yuvraj Singh vs Australia (119m)

Longest six in domestic cricket

Playing for Victorian Bushrangers at the WACA in a T20 final in 2008, Aiden Blizzard hit the ball with such power that the ball glided over the square leg boundary and travelled 130 meters. This is the biggest six hit in the domestic cricket circuit.

Also that year, Albie Morkel, playing for Chennai in the Indian T20 League, hit spinner Pragyan Ojha over the mid-wicket region for a huge six that travelled 124 metres and outside the Chepauk stadium.

In the 2011 edition of the Indian T20 League, Australian opener Adam Gilchrist, playing for Punjab hit former South African seamer Charl Langeveldt for a six that crossed the rope by 122 metres in Dharamshala.

Victor Trumper, an Australian cricketer who played for his national team in 48 Tests, was batting for Paddington in a club match in 1903 and hit the ball with such a brute that it not only crossed the distance of around 120–125 meters, but it also broke a second-storey window across the street.

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Feature image courtesy: AFP / Asif Hassan