Who are Australia’s Most Famous Cricketers?
Australia has some incredibly talented and well-respected cricketers, partly responsible for the popularity of cricket across the world. It’s hard to pick out some of the country’s best players from past and present, but there are a few that stand out.
Many will find it hard to disagree that “Punter” is the best captain that Australian cricket has ever had. With a career spanning 17 years from 1995 to 2012, he finished with 27,483 international runs across all forms of the game. As of October 2019, this puts him 3rd on the list of most runs scored by a batsman in the world, only behind Tendulkar and Sangakkara. No current Aussie batsman even comes close in terms of longevity.
Ponting led the Aussies to incredible success during the country’s twilight years in the early 21st century. He won the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2009. The awards kept coming too. During this period, he also won ICC Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007, ICC Test Player of the Year in 2003, 2004 and 2006 and the Allan Border Medal in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2009. He finished his career with an impressive average of 45.95 and a highest score of 257.
Shane Warne is likely one of the leading influencers in turning cricket into something fashionable. With an insane ability to turn the ball on the smoothest of pitches, he oozed charisma wherever he went, and still does. Finishing his 15-year career on an incredible 1,001 wickets, he’s second on the leading wicket-takers of all time to Muralitharan. Even so, Warne can still be classed in a league of his own due to being a leg-spinner with a mean googly; perhaps his most admirable ability being the creation of the “flipper.”
Warne managed to dominate on the pitch, even though he was always in the public eye for controversy. The most notable incidents included a year on the sidelines after failing a drugs test in 2003. Warne an outspoken and well-liked superstar of the cricketing world. He was crowned the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1994 and chosen as one of only five Wisden “cricketers of the century” in 2000.
Warne is still involved in cricket, having recently agreed to be the coach of a Lord’s-based men’s team for The Hundred’s inaugural season.
Currently ranked as the world’s top batsman in Test cricket, Steve Smith has bounced back from the ball-tampering hell with an incredible display in the 2019 Ashes series with 774 runs.
Smith actually started his career as a leg spinner and began batting down the order at 8. However, he was soon recognised as a top-order batsman and took over Australia’s Test captaincy responsibility from Michael Clarke at the end of 2015. His run-up to the South Africa scandal was bright, with three centuries against India in 2017 and leading the 4-0 victory over England in the 2017/18 Ashes.
You have to admire Smith for how he’s sprung back from what could’ve ended his playing career. His ability to lead the team with his batting display makes it hard to argue against his string of awards in 2015, which includes ICC Player of the Year and ICC Test Player of the Year.