Top 5 bowlers with most world cup wickets

Top 5 bowlers with most world cup wickets

The ICC Cricket World Cup, the pinnacle of international one-day cricket, has witnessed remarkable performances by bowlers who have left an indelible mark on the tournament’s history. Bowling in the World Cup demands skill, consistency, and the ability to perform under immense pressure on the global stage. In this article, we will delve into the achievements of the top five bowlers with the most World Cup wickets in ICC Cricket World Cup history.

These bowlers have demonstrated their prowess across different editions of the World Cup, making them legendary figures in the world of cricket. Their remarkable performances and ability to take crucial wickets in key matches have contributed significantly to their teams’ successes and etched their names in the annals of cricket history.

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Let’s explore the extraordinary careers and match-winning spells of these exceptional bowlers who have graced the World Cup stage.

  1. Glenn McGrath – 71
  2. Muttiah Muralitharan – 68
  3. Lasith Malinga – 56
  4. Wasim Akram – 55
  5. Zaheer Khan – 44

1. Glenn McGrath (Australia)

Glenn McGrath - most world cup wickets
  • 1996 ICC Cricket World Cup:
    • Matches: 7
    • Wickets: 18
    • McGrath played a key role in Australia’s campaign, taking 18 wickets in just seven matches. He was the joint leading wicket-taker of the 1996 World Cup.
  • 1999 ICC Cricket World Cup:
    • Matches: 10
    • Wickets: 21
    • McGrath continued his impressive World Cup performances, taking 21 wickets. He was the highest wicket-taker of the 1999 World Cup.
  • 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup:
    • Matches: 11
    • Wickets: 7
    • McGrath was unable to play the full 2003 World Cup due to injury but still managed to take seven wickets.
  • 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup:
    • Matches: 11
    • Wickets: 26
    • McGrath had one of his most remarkable World Cup performances in 2007, taking 26 wickets in 11 matches. This performance made him the highest wicket-taker of the 2007 World Cup.
  • Overall World Cup Record:
    • Matches: 39
    • Total Wickets: 71
    • McGrath’s incredible consistency in World Cup tournaments made him the highest wicket-taker in the history of the tournament at that time.

2. Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka)

Muttiah Muralitharan - most world cup wickets
  • 1996 Cricket World Cup:
    • Matches: 7
    • Wickets: 11
    • Muralitharan was a part of the Sri Lankan team that won the 1996 World Cup. He played a crucial role with his spin bowling, taking 11 wickets in the tournament.
  • 1999 Cricket World Cup:
    • Matches: 7
    • Wickets: 9
    • Although his wicket tally was slightly lower in this edition, Muralitharan’s presence in the Sri Lankan bowling attack was significant.
  • 2003 Cricket World Cup:
    • Matches: 10
    • Wickets: 17
    • Muralitharan was the highest wicket-taker of the 2003 World Cup. His 17 wickets were instrumental in helping Sri Lanka reach the semi-finals.
  • 2007 Cricket World Cup:
    • Matches: 10
    • Wickets: 23
    • Muralitharan was again the highest wicket-taker in the 2007 World Cup. His 23 wickets in just 10 matches were remarkable. Sri Lanka finished as runners-up in this edition.

3. Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)

Lasith Malinga - most world cup wickets
  • 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup:
    • Malinga made a significant impact during the 2007 World Cup. He took 18 wickets in the tournament, becoming the highest wicket-taker in that edition. His unplayable yorkers and deadly pace were instrumental in Sri Lanka’s journey to the final, where they were runners-up.
  • 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup:
    • In the 2011 World Cup, Malinga continued to be a key bowler for Sri Lanka. He took 13 wickets in the tournament and played a pivotal role in Sri Lanka’s run to the final, where they were again runners-up.
  • 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup:
    • In his fifth and final World Cup appearance, Malinga showed his class by taking 16 wickets. He had a memorable spell in the group stage against England, where he claimed 4 wickets in 4 balls. Sri Lanka finished in third place in their group.

4. Wasim Akram (Pakistan)

Wasim Akram - most world cup wickets
  • 1992 ICC Cricket World Cup
    • Akram’s most memorable World Cup performance was during Pakistan’s victorious 1992 World Cup campaign. He played a crucial role, taking 18 wickets in just 10 matches, including a match-winning spell of 3 wickets for 49 runs in the final against England.
  • 1996 ICC Cricket World Cup
    • In the 1996 World Cup, Akram continued to shine, taking 12 wickets in 8 matches.
  • 1999 ICC Cricket World Cup
    • He maintained his consistency, picking up 12 wickets in 10 matches during the 1999 World Cup.

5. Zaheer Khan (India)

Zaheer Khan - most world cup wickets
  • 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup
    • Matches: 11
    • Wickets: 18
    • Zaheer Khan was one of the standout bowlers for India in the 2003 World Cup. He took 18 wickets during the tournament, playing a crucial role in India’s journey to the final.
  • 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup
    • Matches: 9
    • Wickets: 21
    • Zaheer Khan was a vital part of India’s successful 2011 World Cup campaign. He played a key role in India’s victory in the final, taking 2 important wickets. In total, he took 21 wickets in the tournament, making him one of the top wicket-takers.
  • Overall World Cup Record:
    • Matches: 23
    • Total Wickets: 44
    • Zaheer Khan’s ability to swing the ball and take crucial wickets in pressure situations made him a valuable asset for the Indian cricket team in World Cup tournaments.

Other bowlers with most world cup wickets

PlayerWicketsMatch-wise breakdown
Shane Warne434 (1992), 2 (1996), 19 (1999), 18 (2003)
Saqlain Mushtaq4216 (1999), 17 (2003)
Waqar Younis4114 (1992), 14 (1996), 13 (1999)
Mitchell Starc4027 (2015), 13 (2019)
Anil Kumble3910 (1996), 11 (1999), 10 (2003), 8 (2007)
Chaminda Vaas3912 (1996), 10 (1999), 10 (2003), 7 (2007)

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