Cricket is traditionally considered a refined sport, prioritizing finesse and technique for batsmen. Skilled and cunning players are highly respected, while powerful displays of six-hitting are sometimes viewed as brute force exhibition.
Although arm strength is necessary to hit a ball into the stands in cricket, a memorable shot is the result of a combination of power, technique, and timing. While scoring singles and keeping the scoreboard ticking are crucial, hitting a six can be the game-changing factor that determines which team wins or loses.
Only a few elite players possess the skill to consistently hit the ball into the stands for a remarkable six. Therefore, this article examines the top 10 players whose hits have traveled the farthest in the history of international cricket.
10. Chris Gayle- West Indies vs India, 2010 T20I – 116 m
“Chris Gayle,” “T20 cricket,” and “sixes” have been interlinked ever since the “Universe Boss” made his debut in this format. While Gayle is renowned for his performances in franchise cricket, he has also contributed significantly to the West Indies team in T20 Internationals during his tenure with them.
In a World T20 match against India, Gayle famously smashed a delivery from Yusuf Pathan for a remarkable distance of 116 meters. Given his history, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him hit the ball even farther during his next international cricket appearance with the bat.
9. Shahid Afridi- Pakistan vs Australia, 2005 ODI- 117 m
Shahid Afridi’s exceptional six-hitting skills have earned him widespread recognition among cricket fans. In his second entry, Afridi’s impressive six against the Australian bowlers in 2005 covered a distance of 117 meters.
In that particular inning for Pakistan, Afridi hit several balls that sailed over the boundary for sixes, but only one delivery traveled such a great distance that it secured Afridi’s second entry in the record books.
Afridi unleashed his wrath on the Australian bowlers during that match, hitting boundaries with seeming ease. His inning and the six he hit became the most memorable aspects of the match, and remained hot topics of discussion in cricketing circles for days to come.
8. MS Dhoni- India vs New Zealand, 2009 ODI- 118 m
MS Dhoni is the most successful captain in cricket history, having won numerous ICC tournaments across different formats. Throughout his career, he was considered the “chase master” for the Indian team and was particularly adept at hitting sixes with ease.
Dhoni’s name appears in the 8th spot on this list due to his impressive 118-meter six. During his prime, his short arm jabs were a pleasure to behold, and this particular six was the result of such a jab on the last ball of the 44th over in an ODI against New Zealand.
After leaving Dhoni’s bat, the ball sailed into the crowd without stopping, resulting in a maximum. Dhoni will always be remembered as one of the best finishers in international cricket.
7. Yuvraj Singh- India vs Australia, 2007 T20I- 119 m
Yuvraj Singh’s exceptional ability to hit sixes in white-ball cricket earned him a prominent place in the history and record books of cricket, just like Afridi. He is ranked 7th in this list, thanks to a shot he played in a World T20 match against Australia in 2007.
During one of his most memorable innings, Yuvraj launched a full-blown assault on the Australian bowlers, with his left-handed batting prowess leaving no one unscathed.
The bowler of the ball that traveled a distance of 119 meters was Brett Lee, who himself hit a longer six two years prior in 2005. However, Lee got a taste of his own medicine when Yuvraj hit him for a record-breaking six.
6. Mark Waugh- Australia vs New Zealand, 1997 Test- 120 m
Mark Waugh, hailing from a lineage of legendary Australian cricketers, secured the fifth position in this list by smashing a ball that travelled 120 metres, a remarkable feat during a time when hitting boundaries itself was challenging. During a Test match against New Zealand, Waugh hit a Daniel Vettori delivery for a six, setting new records and leaving cricket enthusiasts in awe of his talent.
5. Corey Anderson- New Zealand vs India, 2014 ODI- 122 m
Corey Anderson made headlines recently when he announced his retirement from the New Zealand team and joined the United States of America in international cricket. However, back in January 2014, Anderson made headlines for hitting a massive six during a One Day International match against India.
Known for his ability to hit big sixes, it came as no surprise when Anderson hit a delivery by Mohammed Shami, one of India’s top pacers, for a distance of 122 metres.
Anderson’s inning in that match helped New Zealand reach a total of 292 runs, which proved to be too much for India to chase, resulting in a 24-run win for the Kiwis with Anderson being the hero of the match.
4. Liam Livingstone, England (vs Pakistan, T20I, 2021)- 122 mts
During a T20I match between England and Pakistan, Liam Livingstone hit a 122 meter six off Haris Rauf’s delivery. Despite Livingstone’s brilliant performance and a score of 200 runs, Pakistan won the game. Livingstone, who has shown exceptional talent with both the bat and the ball, scored a quick 38 runs, including three sixes and two fours, before being run out. England eventually won the game by 45 runs, thanks to Livingstone’s knock and Jos Buttler’s half-century, and leveled the series after losing the first T20I.
3. Martin Guptill, New Zealand (vs South Africa, T20I, 2012)- 127 m
Martin Guptill, one of the most powerful hitters in recent years to have played for New Zealand cricket team, demonstrated his true batting talent and mastery in white-ball cricket with a 127-meter six in 2012. At that time, he was still establishing himself in the New Zealand squad. Guptill made this towering hit against South African pacer Lonwabo Tsotsobe. Bowling in the 5th over of the New Zealand inning, Tsotsobe was unaware that he would become a part of a record, albeit on the losing end.
Guptill started the over with a six and followed it up with an even more impressive hit. This particular shot traveled a distance of 127 meters, earning its place in the record books.
2. Brett Lee, Australia (vs West Indies, 2005 Test) – 143 m
Brett Lee, the retired Australian ace fast bowler, is one of the more uncommon names on the list of longest sixes. Lee holds the record for hitting a ball past the 140-meter mark for a maximum. What’s even more impressive is that the six came in Test cricket, not a T20 or One Day International match. The recipient of Lee’s incredible shot was West Indies pacer Rowman Powell, who watched as the ball soared beyond the stadium walls.
Over the years, Brett Lee had gained a reputation for his ability to hit the ball into the stands and play pivotal roles for his team. However, it was a complete surprise to everyone when ‘Binga’ smashed the ball this far.
1. Shahid Afridi, Pakistan (vs South Africa, 2013, ODI) – 153 m
Shahid Afridi is a familiar name on lists of top cricket players, and it is no surprise that he holds the record for the longest six hit in international cricket. The six he hit off Ryan McLaren is one of the longest sixes in cricket history due to the impressive distance it covered.
During a game in Johannesburg, Afridi hit a six that many claimed travelled 153 metres. In the 35th over of the run chase, McLaren bowled a length ball, which Afridi smashed out of the Wanderers, resulting in the largest six of the entire game.
Former Pakistani captain Afridi received a length ball from McLaren, which he launched over the stadium’s roof. Afridi, who once held the record for the fastest ODI century, scored 88 runs in just 48 balls while chasing South Africa’s massive total of 344. Unfortunately, Pakistan lost the game by 34 runs.