The illustrious Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath now holds the record for taking the most wickets in ICC Cricket World Cup history. This important competition has seen many bowlers make their marks over the years with exceptional performances. The top 10 wicket-takers in World Cup history are listed below:
Highest wicket-takers in tournament history
Glenn McGrath (Australia):
With 71 wickets in 39 games, McGrath is unquestionably among the best bowlers in World Cup history. His impressive 18.19 average and 3.96 economy rate serve as evidence of his bowling prowess. His 7/15 bowling performance against Namibia in 2003 was his greatest performance to date. McGrath finished the 2007 World Cup as the top wicket-taker, taking 26 wickets in 11 games for an outstanding average of 13.73. With Australia, he accomplished the incredible achievement of winning three straight World Cups.
Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka):
This illustrious spin wizard, who has taken 68 wickets in 40 World Cup games, is in second place on the list. Muralitharan has a 19.63 average, a 3.88 economy rate, and his best bowling numbers are 4/19. He was essential to Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup win.
Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka):
Malinga, who was well-known for his distinctive slingy bowling motion, was a formidable opponent in World Cups. He took part in two teams that finished second in 2007 and 2011. He was successful in taking 56 wickets in 29 games and 28 innings for an average of 22.87 and a 5.51 economy rate. His bowling average of 5/51 is his best.
Wasim Akram (Pakistan):
In 38 World Cup games, the “Sultan of Swing” claimed 55 wickets with an economy rate of 4.04 and an average of 23.83. The best bowling average for Akram is 5/28. As the leading wicket-taker, he was crucial to Pakistan’s successful World Cup campaign in 1992.
Mitchell Starc (Australia):
In Australia’s World Cup-winning campaign in 2015, Starc, noted for his precision yorkers, shone brilliantly, taking 22 wickets in eight games to finish as the leading wicket-taker. He collected 27 more wickets in ten further matches in the ensuing 2019 competition, bringing his total to 49 wickets in 18 matches at an average of 19.12. His 6/28 bowling average is his best.
Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka):
Vaas was a member of Sri Lanka’s World Cup-winning squad in 1996. In 31 World Cup games, he kept a wicket average of 21.22, taking 49 wickets. His 6/25 bowling average during the competition is his best. He also secured the most wickets during the 2003 World Cup, taking 23 in 10 games.
Zaheer Khan (India):
In World Cups, India’s left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan was an invaluable asset. In 23 World Cup games, he captured 44 wickets at an average of 20.22 and best bowling statistics of 4/42. In 2011, when India won the World Cup, Zaheer, who finished with 21 kills, was a key player in that victory.
Javagal Srinath (India):
India’s pace partner Srinath made a vital contribution to the team’s World Cup campaigns. In 34 games, he got 44 wickets at an average of 27.81. His 4/30 bowling average throughout World Cups is his best. In 11 games, Srinath, a member of India’s World Cup runner-up squad in 2003, claimed 16 victories.
Imran Tahir (South Africa):
Between 2011 and 2019, South African spinner Tahir competed in three World Cups. In 22 World Cup games, he took 40 wickets at an average of 21.17. His 5/45 bowling average during the competition is his best. Nevertheless, despite his personal achievement, he was unable to lead South Africa to a World Cup victory.
Trent Boult (New Zealand):
From 2015 through 2019, the New Zealander speedster Boult had a big influence on the World Cups. He was successful in taking 39 wickets in 19 games, with an average of 21.79 and an economy rate of 4.61. His bowling average of 5/27 is his best. Boult now holds the record for most wickets taken by a New Zealander in a World Cup, and his powerplay bowling will be a key component for the Kiwis in the 2023 World Cup.
With their outstanding performances and ability to take wickets, these bowlers have made a lasting impression on the history of the ICC Cricket World Cup.