Top 10 Longest Six In Cricket History

In the exciting modern era of T20 cricket, we regularly see towering sixes being smashed by powerful batters over 90 meters or more. Fans love the thrill of watching balls sail way over the boundary ropes. But even before the emergence of power hitting as a key skill, there have been some extraordinarily huge sixes struck in cricket history.

In this article, we take a look at the Top 10 Longest Sixes ever hit in cricket by some legendary batters across formats and eras. We will cover approximate distance, match situation, the batter, bowler and stadium. By the end, you will have a good understanding of the monster hits which have become part of cricketing folklore due to their mammoth measurements.

So let’s begin our countdown of the 10 mightiest sixes struck in the annals of cricket!

1. Shahid Afridi – 158 Meters

The longest six ever witnessed in professional cricket was smashed by Pakistan’s explosive all-rounder Shahid Afridi during a 2005 ODI against South Africa in Johannesburg.

The astonishing shot off pacer Shaun Pollock flew an estimated 158 meters out of the stadium! Afridi cleanly hammered a length ball over long on with incredible bat speed. An unfortunate car standing outside the venue ended up with a broken windscreen thanks to Afridi’s missile.

This remains the only six officially measured at over 150 meters. Afridi was in full flow that day, hammering 92 runs in just 45 balls comprising of 11 fours and 7 sixes. This hit underlined why ‘Boom Boom’ Afridi was the most dangerous hitter of his era.

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2. Brett Lee – 140 Meters

While batters are expected to hit big sixes, even bowlers have gotten in on the big-hitting act occasionally. No pace bowler could hit a ball harder than the swashbuckling Aussie quick Brett Lee.

During a 2005 ODI against West Indies in WACA, Lee smashed a huge six that was measured at 140 meters off spinner Ramnaresh Sarwan. The ball landed way back in the grassy banks situated far outside the stadium.

Lee absolutely clobbered the ball with incredible hand-eye coordination and muscular power. His explosive cameo of 20 runs from just 9 balls almost helped Australia pull off an unlikely win while chasing a huge target. This six confirmed Lee’s credentials as the most destructive bowler-batter ever.

3. Shahid Afridi – 136 Meters

Shahid Afridi pops up once again in the list unsurprisingly. His monstrous sixes achieved almost legendary status among fans who would often come just to watch Boom Boom pummel bowlers out of the park.

During a 2011 ODI at Eden Park Auckland against New Zealand, Afridi hammered a shorter delivery from Scott Styris for another gargantuan hit. This awe-inspiring six measured around 136 meters as it flew out of the stadium at rocket speed!

Afridi was in a murderous mood scoring 31 runs in just 11 balls comprising of 3 boundaries and 3 sixes. Among those sixes, this shot stood out in proving there was no ground big enough when Afridi was on full throttle.

4. Shahid Afridi – 134 Meters

Yes, its Boom Boom Afridi once again! The fourth longest six in history came during Pakistan’s 2005 tour of India in Kanpur when Afridi was at his blistering best.

Facing Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, Afridi clubbed a flighted delivery across the line over long on. The ball sailed for 134 meters according to estimates before landing way outside the stadium premises.

Afridi’s quickfire 102 off just 46 balls lit up that game and took Pakistan to 393 setting up a historic ODI run chase win. His penchant for massive sixes terrorized bowlers from all countries when Afridi would get going.

5. Marlon Samuels – 133 Meters

West Indian batter Marlon Samuels was well known for his power game and ability to clear any boundary with ease. During a PSL match in Dubai against Peshawar Zalmi, Samuels showcased his explosive hitting.

Facing the bowling of star quick Wahab Riaz, Samuels coolly deposited a back of length delivery several rows back over long off. The ball travelled for around 133 meters to pull off probably the biggest six ever in PSL history.

Samuels was unbeaten on 80 in just 48 balls comprising of 10 fours and 4 sixes as Lahore Qalandars won comfortably. This hit reinforced Samuels’ stature as one of the most devastating strikers of a cricket ball.

6. Adam Gilchrist – 122 Meters

Legendary Aussie wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist regularly featured in the longest sixes list during his prime as he could absolutely tonk balls out of any ground.

During the 2007 Australia-England World Cup group clash, Gilly blasted the bowling hitting 7 sixes in his 149-run blitzkrieg. One of those sixes off Plunkett was estimated at 122 meters as it landed outside the Riverside stadium after sailing several rows back.

Gilchrist in full cry was a frightening sight for any bowler. This monster six exemplified why Gilchrist changed the way keepers would bat going forward thanks to his ultra-aggressive approach.

7. MS Dhoni – 121 Meters

India’s World Cup hero MS Dhoni may have played in the pre-power hitting era but even he occasionally unleashed monster sixes that amazed fans.

During an ODI at Wankhede Stadium against Australia in 2013, Dhoni smashed a back of length delivery from Ben Hilfenhaus for a massive six over long on. The ball sailed a distance of 121 meters with perfect timing and placement.

Dhoni remained unbeaten on 80 off just 51 balls as India chased down 300 with ease. When in full flow, Dhoni could hit sixes as far as the biggest hitters. This shot exemplified his power and strength.

8. Brett Lee – 117 Meters

The second entry for destructive Aussie quick Brett Lee underlines the fact that no bowler could hit a cricket ball as hard as Lee did during his prime.

The venue was Centurion Park in South Africa during Australia’s 2006 ODI tour. In a stunning knock, Lee swatted a Jacques Kallis delivery way over long off for an incredible six. Estimates put the distance covered by the ball at over 117 meters.

Lee clobbered 45 runs in just 18 balls with three fours and four massive sixes almost taking Australia home in a steep chase. For a generation of fans, Lee hitting sixes as far as specialist batters represented Australian cricket’s never-say-die attitude.

9. MS Dhoni – 112 Meters

Captain Cool MS Dhoni makes his second appearance in this elite list with another colossal hit during an ODI against England at Cardiff in 2011. This match is fondly remembered for Dhoni’s devastating 50-ball 69 propelling India to victory.

The highlight was a monstrous six off Stuart Broad that flew an estimated 112 meters before landing way out of the stadium. The ball sailed 106 rows back with unbelievable power generated by Dhoni.

When in full cry, Dhoni could hit the ball as cleanly as the best strikers. These mammoth sixes thrilled fans and deflated opposition bowling attacks game after game.

10. Chris Gayle – 110 Meters

No list of huge six hitters can exclude the ‘Universe Boss’ himself Chris Gayle. The tall West Indian left-hander has peppered stadiums around the world with towering sixes.

One such hit came during an IPL 2020 match in Dubai between Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals. Facing the bowling of Ankit Rajpoot, Gayle smoked a full delivery across the line into the top tier. This massive six was estimated at around 110 meters.

Gayle hammered 99 runs in just 63 balls that day, showcasing his hitting prowess. He has hit over 1000 international sixes, underlining why Chris Gayle is undisputedly the greatest T20 batsman of all time renowned for his big hits.

Bonus Longest Sixes

Besides the top 10 verified monster hits, there have been a few other unofficially measured sixes of over 100 meters:

  • Andrew Flintoff – 125 meters – During 2005 Ashes test at The Oval
  • Shahid Afridi – 120 meters – In a PSL match in Sharjah against Karachi Kings
  • Graeme Smith – 119 meters – During a 2015 CPL T20 match in Barbados
  • Brett Lee – 118 meters – Against West Indies during 2006 ODI World Cup
  • Yuvraj Singh – 117 meters – In an international game against Australia in 2007

So those were some of the biggest sixes struck in cricket history which left spectators, players and commentators awestruck! Next, let’s look at some key factors behind hitting such huge shots:

Factors That Enable Long Sixes

Every time a batsman hits a monstrous six over 100 meters, we are left wondering – how exactly do they do it! There are some key parameters which allow a batter to clear the ropes by massive margins:

  • Immense Power – Generate high bat speed and muscle strength to smash it over long boundaries
  • Clean Timing – Middling the ball with precise footwork and zero mis-hits
  • High Backlift – More backlift allows the bat to swing and make optimal contact
  • Elevated Positions – Stadiums at higher altitudes allow the ball to travel further
  • Heavy Bats – Special quality bats with thicker edges promote power hitting
  • Favorable Weather – Wind and other factors can provide additional momentum to the ball
  • Sweet Spot – When the ball hits the bat’s center adding rebound force
  • Small Grounds – Shorter boundaries mean less distance for sixes to clear ropes

Of course, technique separates the elite strikers who consistently clear 100 meters at will rather than the occasional mishit ending up there. Power, timing, elevation – everything has to be perfect for the biggest hits.

Style of Batters Who Hit Long Sixes

Let’s also look at some typical characteristics of the batters who regularly struck gigantic sixes over 100 meters:

  • Naturally Strong Build – Upper body strength allows them to hit through the line with power.
  • Fast Bat Speed – Ability to whip the bat quickly at point of impact for maximum momentum transfer.
  • High Backlift – Arcing the bat further back in an exaggerated manner creates leverage for power.
  • Full Swing of Arms – Using strong shoulders and wrists to get a full 360-degree swing.
  • Upright Stance – Allows them to get under the ball and extend their arms fully on impact.
  • Minimal Movement – Stationary base and nimble feet avoids loss of balance during the hit.
  • Risk Appetite – Not afraid to go aerial despite risk of being caught.

Batting legends like Afridi, Gayle, Gilchrist were naturally gifted athletes who could effortlessly generate explosive power in their shots. Combine this with smart technique and you get the magic formula!

Longest Sixes In Different Cricket Formats

Let’s see which formats have witnessed the biggest sixes historically:

  • Tests – Nathan Astle’s 153m six off Brett Lee in 2001 at Christchurch
  • ODIs – Shahid Afridi’s 158m hit off Shaun Pollock discussed earlier
  • T20s – Graham Napier’s 117m six off Ravichandran Ashwin during 2008 IPL at Chepauk
  • First Class – Somerset’s Peter Trego hit one around 160m out of the Taunton stadium in 2019
  • List A – Hamilton Masakadza’s reported 148m six during a List A game in the early 2000s
  • Domestic T20 – Hardik Pandya’s 105m hit during Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2016

So while T20 provides more opportunities, every format has witnessed absolute monster hits at some point, especially in modern times as athleticism and training levels have improved. International bowlers have to be wary across formats these days.

Game Situations When Long Sixes Are Hit

Let’s also analyze in which match situations we usually see batters go for really big hits:

  • Death Overs – The need to accelerate with limited balls pushes batters to go aerial.
  • Chasing Huge Targets – Requirement of bringing down the asking rate rapidly.
  • Flat Batting Tracks – Conducive conditions encourage batters to trust their power.
  • Weak Bowling Attacks – Poorer bowling sides are taken apart more easily.
  • Need to Make Statement – Dominant batters flexing their muscles and expressing themselves.
  • Frustration/Impatience – Anger and anxiety induces risky shots.
  • Confidence of Form – Batters in full flow trusting their hitting ability.
  • Unfamiliar Conditions – Being unsure about factors induces risky tactics.
  • Nothing To Lose Situations – Either required run rate is too high or match is lost.

So its often the thrill of the chase, scoreboard pressure or just wanting to entertain spectators by clearing the ropes that results in the biggest hits. Bowlers have to remain disciplined and tempt the batter into false strokes.

Impact of Bat Size and Quality

The evolution of bat sizes and quality of wood/material also influences the distance achieved by modern players:

  • Bigger Bats – Larger sweet spot, thicker edges and light pick up allows generating more power.
  • Better Wood Quality – Kashmir or English Willow provides better rebound and surface for ball striking.
  • Lightweight Bats – Reduced weight means easier swing and maneuvering for players.
  • Powerful Bats – Specialty bats designed for T20 big hitting with higher middle.
  • Thinner Handles – Allows greater wrist control and leverage down the bottom hand.
  • Fat Toes – Increased surface area adds hitting power for shots like slog sweep.
  • Carbon Fiber – Reinforced carbon batts transfer maximum energy to the ball for longer hits.

So while technique is still paramount, modern cricket bats specially crafted for power hitting supply the necessary edge to muscle shots for maximum distance regularly.

Training Regimes For Power Hitting

With the growth of T20 leagues, modern batters specifically train to enhance their six hitting prowess:

  • Improving Bat Speed – Exercises using weighted bats and resistance bands.
  • Core Strength – Focus on shoulder, back, oblique and leg strength.
  • Powerlifting – Compound moves like squats, deadlifts build full body power.
  • Short Sprints – Quick bursts develop explosive speed needed for big shots.
  • High Intensity Intervals – Alternating intensity and rest periods.
  • Yoga/Stretching – Improves flexibility allowing greater bat arc.
  • Rotation Exercises – Enhance ability to torque the core during shots.
  • Mental Visualization – Imagining executing the perfect big hit.
  • Nutrition Optimization – Protein-rich diets provide the fuel for training.

Today’s fittest cricket stars like Gayle, Pollard, Russell truly match up with elite athletes across sports when it comes to physical conditioning tailored to hitting maximums.

Longest Sixes Prize Money

Given fans’ love for towering sixes, some leagues have started instituting prizes for longest sixes as well:

  • Big Bash League – In BBL, biggest six hitter gets AUD $4,000 prize.
  • Caribbean Premier League – CPL awards $500 for each match’s biggest six.
  • Bangladesh Premier League – BPL introduced the ‘Futoon6’ longest six award in 2019.
  • Pakistan Super League – PSL awards PMR 10,000 for longest six since 2018 edition.
  • Indian Premier League – Does not officially have a longest six prize currently.

While good technique is still valued, these awards encourage players to showcase their explosive power to delighted fans. Technology has also enabled accurate capturing of six distances through 3D Doppler radars compared to earlier human estimates.

Longest Sixes in Cricket Video Games

The popularity of cricket video games has also ensured big sixes are well represented in the digital world:

  • Brian Lara Cricket console game had ‘Lara Meter’ sixes.
  • EA Sports Cricket 07 featured ‘Unlimited Sixes’ mode.
  • Latest games use Hawkey
  • The Ashes cricket game allows sixes over 110 meters with power hitters.
  • World Cricket Championship lets players unlock ability to hit helicopter and switch hits.
  • Real Cricket series has a power shot button to try and smash sixes out of the ground.
  • Cricket Captain simulator game generates random big sixes based on player skills.
  • Stick Cricket mobile game has a ‘six machine’ powerup for rapid fire sixes.
  • In Big Bash Boom game, hitting bombs out of the stadium scores sixes.
  • Cricket 19 game has a power meter and special zones in stands for big hits.

Conclusion

Monster sixes over 100 meters are the most spectacular sight in cricket, especially in close contests. While Afridi tops historically, batters like Gayle, Russell, Pollard and others continue showcasing their explosive power today. Stadium design, weather, bowling and batting quality all influence how far maximums can be hit.

Training regimes are focused more on maximizing power and bat speed now. With T20 leagues growing, we may see new records set for farthest sixes very soon. However, proper cricketing technique still separates six hitting masters from the rest!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who hit the longest six in international cricket?

Shahid Afridi holds the record for biggest six in international cricket, a 158 meter hit during an ODI against South Africa in 2005.

Who hit the longest six in IPL?

Chris Gayle has hit several sixes over 105-110 meters in IPL cricket establishing himself as the longest IPL six hitter.

Which female cricketer has hit the longest six?

During the 2018 WT20I tournament, New Zealand’s Sophie Devine hit a 111 meter six against India which is the biggest six in women’s cricket.

How far can a human hit a cricket ball without a bat?

In 2013, boxer Deontay Wilder set the record for longest cricket ball punch hitting it over 72 meters in Las Vegas.

What is the longest six award prize money in IPL?

IPL does not currently award any official prize for longest sixes. However, it may be introduced in the future considering the popularity of towering sixes.

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