Most Wickets in ICC Cricket World Cup: Players Who Have Taken The Most Wickets In ICC Cricket World Cup History

The much-awaited mega event of cricket, the ODI World Cup is set to begin from 5th October in India.

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The ODI World Cup is held every four years under the reigns of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and is regarded as one of the grandest and most prestigious competitions in cricket. After competing in the group stage, teams reach the knockouts, where one team outshines the other to get their hands on the shining trophy of the World Cup.

Most spectators follow cricket for enjoyment, and nothing rouses the audience more than a bowler rooting the stumps of a batter. Here we will look at the highest wicket-takers of all time in the ICC World Cup.

RankNameCountryMatchesWicketsOvers BowledBest Figures5 wicket hauls
1Glenn McGrathAustralia3971325.57/152
2Muttiah MuralithanSri Lanka4068343.34/190
3Lasith MalingaSri Lanka2956232.26/381
4Wasim AkramPakistan3855324.35/281
5Mitchell StarcAustralia1849156.16/283
6Chaminda VaasSri Lanka3149261.46/251
7Zaheer KhanIndia2344198.54/420
8Javagal SrinathIndia3444283.24/300
9Imran TahirSouth Africa2240191.55/451
10Trent BoultNew Zealand1939184.05/271

Glenn McGrath

With 71 wickets in just 39 matches, the pace bowling master, Glenn McGrath stands at the helm of the record list for highest number of wicket-takers in World Cup History. The Aussie pacer  is considered one of the best fast bowlers who have graced the history of cricket

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He debuted at the age of 23, against New Zealand at Perth in 1993. 

He was a master of consistency and precision when it came to line and length. This was one of the reasons why seasoned batters like Sachin Tendulkar, Mike Atherton, and Rahul Dravid, just a few to name, also struggled against the lethal pacer. He holds the highest number of wickets in the ODI World Cup, where stakes are high and pressure is probably on the highest level. McGrath was his captain’s go-to bowling option and used to deliver breakthroughs just when his team needed them.

Muthiah Muralitharan

Second on the record list is Sri Lankan right arm off break bowler, Muthiah Muralitharam with 60 wickets in 48 matches.

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Many regard Muralitharan ahead of Shane Warne in the debate of the best spinner that cricket has ever seen.

He played his first match for Sri Lanka on 2nd September 1992 against Australia in a test match at Colombo.

It would not be wrong to say that the second-highest wicket-taker of the World Cup and the highest wicket-taker of all time in cricket, with 1347 wickets, was truly a wizard with a ball in his hands. He is still well-known for his unique spin action and smooth bowling.

Lasith Malinga

Another Sri Lankan bowler stands in third place with 56 wickets in 29 matches, in the list of the highest number of wicket-takers in the World Cup. No cricket fan can ever forget the lethal yorkers that Malinga used to bowl. His unusual bowling action made him distinctive apart from his much popular hairstyle. 

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Like Muralitharan, he debuted against Australia, in a test match, in 2004.

Malinga was well-known for his unconventional sling technique and in-swinging yorkers. Malinga also owns the record for most hat-tricks in the World Cup.

Wasim Akram

The Sultan of Swing, Wasim Akram mastered the art of seam bowling like none. The left-arm quickie played his debut match against New Zealand in Auckland on 25 January 1984.

His ability to seam the bowl, both in and out, without making much difference in his release action made him very difficult to face. His high arm release, with super fast action, left the batter questioning about how to play the shot. The reaction time left for the batters was very little to make any kind of decision. With 55 wickets in 38 matches, he is the fourth-highest wicket-taker of all time in the World Cup.

Mitchell Starc

The modern-day fast bowling legend, Mitchell Starc stands at the 5th position with 49 wickets in merely 18 games. The left-arm quickie debuted against India in an ODI in Vishakhapatnam in 2010.

Apart from his smooth run-up and bowling action, Starc’s wrist position while releasing the ball is what leaves the batters confused. His ability to swing the ball briskly through the air has made him one of the most spectacular players in recent history.

The skill set of Starc can be understood by the fact, that he is the only current player in the list of top 5 wicket-takers in the history of the World Cup. Not to forget that Starc will play in the 2023 ODI World Cup, which will only improve his records.

Owing to his utmost dedication to his country, Starc abstains from playing any kind of franchise cricket, which increases his longevity as a fast bowler.

Chaminda Vaas

Chaminda Vaas, Sri Lanka’s left-arm fast bowler, is 6th on the list with 49 wickets in 31 matches. He debuted against India in an ODI in Rajkot in 1994.

Vaas consistently troubled batters with his exceptional accuracy, ability to swing the ball both ways and deceptive variations, demonstrating his skill and knowledge of the game. Because of his exceptional performances, Vaas established himself as one of Sri Lanka’s most productive and significant bowlers in the history of the Cricket World Cup.

Zaheer Khan

Zaheer Khan is probably one of the most lethal bowlers produced by India and is the 7th highest wicket-taker in the list with 44 wickets in just 23 innings.

The lefty pacer made his debut in an ODI match on  3 October 2000 vs. Kenya.

The 2011 World Cup star is well noted for his ability to swing the ball and create pace, which had a significant impact on India’s victories in many competitions.

His firey spells helped solidify his place as one of India’s top fast bowlers in World Cup history.  Zaheer Khan’s exhilarating bowling displays remain in the thoughts of cricket fans around the world.

Javagal Srinath

Javagal Srinath, a former Indian cricketer, was a fast bowler known for his speed, accuracy, and ability to induce bounce. From 1991 through 2003, he had an illustrious career.

His ability to generate velocity, accuracy, and bounce alarmed batters from other teams. Srinath had a significant impact on India’s World Cup success, eking out 44 wickets in 34 games. He is still recognised as one of India’s best and most illustrious fast bowlers.

Throughout his World Cup career, Javagal Srinath displayed his rapid bowling ability, establishing himself as an important member of the Indian cricket team.

Imran Tahir

The Pakistan-born South African legend is the 8th-highest wicket-taker in the history of the World Cup with 40 wickets in 22 matches. Despite the side failing to accomplish their ultimate goal of winning the title, Tahir always stepped up whenever his team needed him. Tahir’s ability to consistently take wickets helped him become an important part of South Africa’s bowling assault. 

Imran Tahir is well-known for his exceptional leg-spinner ability. Tahir, who was born in Pakistan’s Lahore, later became a South African citizen and has represented the Proteas ever since. As a result of his cricket career and World Cup achievements, he is one of the most well-known spinners of the modern era.

Trent Boult

The left-arm Kiwi bowler has become a force to reckon with in the past few years. His ability to swing in the ball and take early wickets has become a tradition for him now.

Boult is well-known for his left-arm swing bowling and ability to generate significant pace. Boult has established himself as an important component of the New Zealand national squad as a result of his ability and consistent performances.

Overall, Trent Boult’s World Cup performance solidified his place as one of the top fast bowlers of the modern era. He has 39 wickets in the Cricket World Cup.  Like Starc, he will also play 2023 World Cup, which further boost his records.

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The much-awaited mega event of cricket, the ODI World Cup is set to begin from 5th October in India.

The ODI World Cup is held every four years under the reigns of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and is regarded as one of the grandest and most prestigious competitions in cricket. After competing in the group stage, teams reach the knockouts, where one team outshines the other to get their hands on the shining trophy of the World Cup.

Most spectators follow cricket for enjoyment, and nothing rouses the audience more than a bowler rooting the stumps of a batter. Here we will look at the highest wicket-takers of all time in the ICC World Cup.

RankNameCountryMatchesWicketsOvers BowledBest Figures5 wicket hauls
1Glenn McGrathAustralia3971325.57/152
2Muttiah MuralithanSri Lanka4068343.34/190
3Lasith MalingaSri Lanka2956232.26/381
4Wasim AkramPakistan3855324.35/281
5Mitchell StarcAustralia1849156.16/283
6Chaminda VaasSri Lanka3149261.46/251
7Zaheer KhanIndia2344198.54/420
8Javagal SrinathIndia3444283.24/300
9Imran TahirSouth Africa2240191.55/451
10Trent BoultNew Zealand1939184.05/271

Glenn McGrath

With 71 wickets in just 39 matches, the pace bowling master, Glenn McGrath stands at the helm of the record list for highest number of wicket-takers in World Cup History. The Aussie pacer  is considered one of the best fast bowlers who have graced the history of cricket

He debuted at the age of 23, against New Zealand at Perth in 1993. 

He was a master of consistency and precision when it came to line and length. This was one of the reasons why seasoned batters like Sachin Tendulkar, Mike Atherton, and Rahul Dravid, just a few to name, also struggled against the lethal pacer. He holds the highest number of wickets in the ODI World Cup, where stakes are high and pressure is probably on the highest level. McGrath was his captain’s go-to bowling option and used to deliver breakthroughs just when his team needed them.

Muthiah Muralitharan

Second on the record list is Sri Lankan right arm off break bowler, Muthiah Muralitharam with 60 wickets in 48 matches.

Many regard Muralitharan ahead of Shane Warne in the debate of the best spinner that cricket has ever seen.

He played his first match for Sri Lanka on 2nd September 1992 against Australia in a test match at Colombo.

It would not be wrong to say that the second-highest wicket-taker of the World Cup and the highest wicket-taker of all time in cricket, with 1347 wickets, was truly a wizard with a ball in his hands. He is still well-known for his unique spin action and smooth bowling.

Lasith Malinga

Another Sri Lankan bowler stands in third place with 56 wickets in 29 matches, in the list of the highest number of wicket-takers in the World Cup. No cricket fan can ever forget the lethal yorkers that Malinga used to bowl. His unusual bowling action made him distinctive apart from his much popular hairstyle. 

Like Muralitharan, he debuted against Australia, in a test match, in 2004.

Malinga was well-known for his unconventional sling technique and in-swinging yorkers. Malinga also owns the record for most hat-tricks in the World Cup.

Wasim Akram

The Sultan of Swing, Wasim Akram mastered the art of seam bowling like none. The left-arm quickie played his debut match against New Zealand in Auckland on 25 January 1984.

His ability to seam the bowl, both in and out, without making much difference in his release action made him very difficult to face. His high arm release, with super fast action, left the batter questioning about how to play the shot. The reaction time left for the batters was very little to make any kind of decision. With 55 wickets in 38 matches, he is the fourth-highest wicket-taker of all time in the World Cup.

Mitchell Starc

The modern-day fast bowling legend, Mitchell Starc stands at the 5th position with 49 wickets in merely 18 games. The left-arm quickie debuted against India in an ODI in Vishakhapatnam in 2010.

Apart from his smooth run-up and bowling action, Starc’s wrist position while releasing the ball is what leaves the batters confused. His ability to swing the ball briskly through the air has made him one of the most spectacular players in recent history.

The skill set of Starc can be understood by the fact, that he is the only current player in the list of top 5 wicket-takers in the history of the World Cup. Not to forget that Starc will play in the 2023 ODI World Cup, which will only improve his records.

Owing to his utmost dedication to his country, Starc abstains from playing any kind of franchise cricket, which increases his longevity as a fast bowler.

Chaminda Vaas

Chaminda Vaas, Sri Lanka's left-arm fast bowler, is 6th on the list with 49 wickets in 31 matches. He debuted against India in an ODI in Rajkot in 1994.

Vaas consistently troubled batters with his exceptional accuracy, ability to swing the ball both ways and deceptive variations, demonstrating his skill and knowledge of the game. Because of his exceptional performances, Vaas established himself as one of Sri Lanka's most productive and significant bowlers in the history of the Cricket World Cup.

Zaheer Khan

Zaheer Khan is probably one of the most lethal bowlers produced by India and is the 7th highest wicket-taker in the list with 44 wickets in just 23 innings.

The lefty pacer made his debut in an ODI match on  3 October 2000 vs. Kenya.

The 2011 World Cup star is well noted for his ability to swing the ball and create pace, which had a significant impact on India's victories in many competitions.

His firey spells helped solidify his place as one of India's top fast bowlers in World Cup history.  Zaheer Khan’s exhilarating bowling displays remain in the thoughts of cricket fans around the world.

Javagal Srinath

Javagal Srinath, a former Indian cricketer, was a fast bowler known for his speed, accuracy, and ability to induce bounce. From 1991 through 2003, he had an illustrious career.

His ability to generate velocity, accuracy, and bounce alarmed batters from other teams. Srinath had a significant impact on India's World Cup success, eking out 44 wickets in 34 games. He is still recognised as one of India's best and most illustrious fast bowlers.

Throughout his World Cup career, Javagal Srinath displayed his rapid bowling ability, establishing himself as an important member of the Indian cricket team.

Imran Tahir

The Pakistan-born South African legend is the 8th-highest wicket-taker in the history of the World Cup with 40 wickets in 22 matches. Despite the side failing to accomplish their ultimate goal of winning the title, Tahir always stepped up whenever his team needed him. Tahir's ability to consistently take wickets helped him become an important part of South Africa's bowling assault. 

Imran Tahir is well-known for his exceptional leg-spinner ability. Tahir, who was born in Pakistan's Lahore, later became a South African citizen and has represented the Proteas ever since. As a result of his cricket career and World Cup achievements, he is one of the most well-known spinners of the modern era.

Trent Boult

The left-arm Kiwi bowler has become a force to reckon with in the past few years. His ability to swing in the ball and take early wickets has become a tradition for him now.

Boult is well-known for his left-arm swing bowling and ability to generate significant pace. Boult has established himself as an important component of the New Zealand national squad as a result of his ability and consistent performances.

Overall, Trent Boult's World Cup performance solidified his place as one of the top fast bowlers of the modern era. He has 39 wickets in the Cricket World Cup.  Like Starc, he will also play 2023 World Cup, which further boost his records.

Stay updated with all the cricketing action, follow Cricadium on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram