Over the years, many great bowlers have made their mark on the World Cup stage but their are few who have their name in the list of most wickets in ODI World Cup history. Here is a list of the all-time highest wicket-takers in the history of the ODI World Cup.
List of bowlers with most wickets in ODI World Cup History
The list features three bowlers from 1996 World Champions Sri Lanka, two each from Australia and India. Whereas Pakistan, South Africa and New Zealand have one bowler each. Only South Africa and New Zealand are not world cup winners. Lets see if any bowler during ODI World Cup 2023 can make it to this list.
Glenn McGrath (Australia)
The Australian fast bowler is the leading wicket-taker in World Cup history, with 71 wickets in 39 matches. He played in four World Cups and won the Player of the Tournament award in 2007. McGrath was known for his accuracy and ability to swing the ball both ways, making him a formidable opponent for any batsman.
Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka)
Muttiah Muralitharan is widely regarded as the greatest spinner in the history of cricket and proved his worth in the ODI World Cup. The Sri Lankan off-spinner took 68 wickets in 40 matches, with a remarkable average of 19.63 and an economy rate of 3.88. Muralitharan’s ability to spin the ball both ways and deceive the batters with his variations made him a difficult bowler to face in the World Cup.
Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)
Another Sri Lankan, Lasith Malinga, with a unique bowling action, is known for his ability to bowl yorkers at will. He has been a crucial part of Sri Lanka’s World Cup campaigns, taking 56 wickets in 28 matches, with an average of 22 and an economy rate of 5. Malinga’s unorthodox bowling style and ability to bowl at the death made him a valuable asset for Sri Lanka in the World Cup.
Wasim Akram (Pakistan)
Known as the Sultan of Swing, Wasim Akram also showcased his talent in the ODI World Cup. The Pakistani left-arm pacer took 55 wickets in 38 matches, with an average of 23.83 and an economy rate of 4. Akram’s ability to swing the ball both ways and bowl deadly yorkers made him a feared bowler in the World Cup. Wasim Akram was Man of the Match in the final of the 1992 World Cup.
Mitchell Starc (Australia)
Carrying the legacy of Glenn McGrath forward, Mitchell Starc is one of the only 2 active players in the list of the top 10 all-time highest wicket-takers of World Cup matches. Averaging just 14, Mitchell Starc has taken 49 wickets in 18 World Cup matches, with 3 five-wicket hauls to his name which is most by any bowler in ODI World Cup history.
Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka)
Chaminda Vaas, the Sri Lankan left-arm swing bowler, was one of the most consistent performers for Sri Lanka in the ODI World Cup. He took 49 wickets in 31 matches, averaging 21.95 and an economy rate of 3.97. Vaas’s ability to move the ball both ways and bowl accurately made him a tough bowler to face in the World Cup.
Zaheer Khan (India)
Zaheer Khan, the Indian left-arm pacer, was a key bowler for India in the 2011 World Cup (the year in which India won). He took 44 wickets in 23 matches, with an average of 20.22 and an economy rate of 4.4.
Javagal Srinath (India)
Javagal Srinath also took 44 wickets in 34 matches at an average of 27.81 and an economy rate of 4.32, like his country-mate Zaheer Khan. He was a vital member of the Indian team that reached the final of the 2003 World Cup.
Imran Tahir (South Africa)
The Proteas leg-spinner has taken 40 wickets in 22 ODI World Cup matches. He is the leading wicket-taker for South Africa in World Cup history.
Trent Boult (New Zealand)
The Kiwi Pacer has taken 39 wickets in 19 ODI World Cup matches. He played a crucial role in New Zealand’s run to the final in the 2015 World Cup, where he took 22 wickets at an average of 16.86.