Cricket is a game with many unknown variables. Be it in fantasy cricket matches or in real-life matches, it is impossible to foresee what will occur next. Even the smallest error, such as delivering a wide or a no-ball, may cost a team their game. In fact, delivering a no-ball is a strict “no-no” because it not only grants the striking team an additional run but also prevents the batsman from being declared out due to their inability to be declared out on a no-ball. In ODIs and T20Is, free hits have been added, which makes the situation even worse. Now, in some cases, we have observed some bowlers with perfect control amidst these uncertainties.
So, in this article, we will go through some of those bowlers who never delivered a “No-ball” in their entire playing career.
In Test cricket, Sir Ian Botham racked up remarkable stats as an all-rounder. The ability to completely change the course of a game with his bat and ball made Ian Botham the newer equivalent of Ben Stokes. The cricketer-turned-commentator had a distinguished career that included 128 games in Tests and ODIs and more than 27000 deliveries. Botham never bowled a no-ball despite taking 383 Test and 145 ODI wickets.
Pakistan’s Imran Khan has risen from being the captain of the national team to becoming the Prime Minister of the nation. Imran Khan ushered Pakistan to their most significant victory in the sport when the side lifted the 1992 World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground by beating England. The all-rounder took charge, batting at number three and top-scored with 72. The Lahore-born cricketer featured in 88 Tests and 175 ODIs, sending over 13000 deliveries. He took 362 Test and 88 ODI scalps while achieving the distinction of never bowling a no-ball.
Despite the fact that there are probably many fast bowlers who are superior to Fred Trueman, only a few could match the stats that Trueman accumulated. The Yorkshire paceman played a total of 67 matches without throwing a no-ball and became the first bowler to 300 Test wickets. Trueman also participated in a staggering 603 first-class games. In 1965, Fred Trueman contested his last Test match before retiring with 307 wickets at an average of 21.57 and a 49 strike rate.
Graeme Swann is one of the bowlers who has never given up a no-ball, which is astounding to consider. Swann participated in every format of the game during the course of his 13-year international career, delivering more than 19000 balls. The Northamptonshire-born spinner, who has 255 Test dismissals, is Derek Underwood’s closest competitor for the most dismissals for England among spinners. The 41-year-old was crucial to England’s 2012 victory over India as well as three Ashes victories.
Lance Gibbs, a former West Indies spinner, was among the most productive bowler the country ever produced. The West Indies have produced a sea of fast bowlers, but Gibbs stood out on his own thanks to his lethal variations. The off-spinner set a world record with 309 wickets from 79 Test matches, which was later surpassed by Australia’s Dennis Lillee. With a staggering economy rate of 1.98, the 309 strikes included a total of 18 five-wicket hauls. And from 1958 to 1975, a period of Gibbs’ 17-year international cricket career, he never once stepped over the line.
Dennis Lillee, a former Australian fast bowler, terrified batsmen everywhere. He was unquestionably the greatest pacer of all time and the best of the 1970s and 1980s. As the highest-ever Test wicket-taker at the time, his talent for speed propelled him to tremendous heights. In a career spanning more than a decade and marred by injuries, Lillee maintains the distinction of never delivering a no-ball.
Delivering a no-ball is quite risky as it can cause you to lose the game and also make you rank down in an online fantasy game of cricket. So, make sure you choose your bowlers carefully and make a strong team that can handle the game smoothly.