While cricket is a game of skill, grit, determination, and focus, there can be no denying that one’s physical attributes can help players perform better.
One’s physical attributes can make a big difference in how a player performs on the field. For example, excess weight can hinder a player’s ability to complete a run quickly or dive on the field to save a boundary or take a catch.
Conversely, being lean can aid a player move in a more nimble fashion across the field besides also being more agile.
Similarly, height can play a major role in the performance of players and in particular bowlers, who can use their height to their advantage to generate more pace and bounce off the crease.
So, it’s hardly a surprise that historically some of the tallest cricket players have been bowlers. The great fast bowlers from West Indies were some of the tallest players to ever grace the sport.
However, none of them hold the tag of being the tallest cricket player in the world. That distinction belongs to Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Irfan, who is recognised as the tallest cricket player.
Here, we have a look at Mohammad Irfan and some of the other tallest cricket players to play the game.
Tallest cricket players
|Mohammad Irfan||Pakistan||7 ft 1 in|
|Boyd Rankin||England/Ireland||6 ft 8.5 in|
|Joel Garner||West Indies||6 ft 8 in|
|Bruce Reid||Australia||6 ft 8 in|
|Kyle Jamieson||New Zealand||6 ft 8 in|
Hailing from Gaggu Mandi, Punjab in Pakistan at a height of 7’1” or 2.16 m, Mohammad Irfan is comfortably the tallest cricket player of all-time. A pretty good bowler as well, Irfan represented Pakistan in all three formats of the game. He played four Tests, 60 ODIs, and 22 T20Is for Pakistan, taking a total of 109 international wickets in those matches. During his time with the national team, his extra height enabled him to extract extra bounce off the pitch as he regularly clocked in with deliveries in excess of 140 kmph.
Boyd Rankin, who represented both Ireland and England during his international career, is the second-tallest player to grace the sport. His height of 6’8.5” or 2.04 m ensured he was a pacey and lively customer for opposition players to deal with. He played three Tests for England as well as 75 ODIs and 50 T20Is for both the English and Irish during his playing days. Across all formats for both the international teams he represented, Rankin accounted for 169 wickets with most of them coming in the two limited-overs formats.
One of the great West Indies bowlers from the 1980s, Joel Garner measured in at 6’8” or 2.03 m. Batters feared his height and ability to generate pace off the pitch thanks to his huge frame. Whether it was the bouncer from the clouds as batters confessed or toe-crunching yorkers, there was simply nothing that he couldn’t do. He also holds the record for best-ever figures in a World Cup final after finishing with 5-28 against England in the 1979 final. Big Bird as he was fondly known took 259 wickets from 58 Tests at an average of 20.97 and an economy of 2.47. Garner’s ODI was just as impressive as he accounted for 146 scalps in 98 games at an average of 18.84 and an economy of 3.09.
Photo credit: Alamy