13 Most ODI Wickets Takers in Cricket

Which player do you think to have the most ODI wickets in cricket?

ODI is short for a One Day International, a form of limited overs cricket played between two international teams. Each team faces a fixed number of overs during the game.

It has a one-day game format and 50 overs on each side. The ODI game can last up to 9 hours. It is a tough job for the bowlers to take wickets. Therefore, taking more than 300 wickets is a significant achievement in ODI.

Muralitharan_bowling_to_Adam_Gilchrist
Muralitharan bowling to Adam Gilchrist (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Only thirteen cricketers have taken over 300 wickets in the game’s history. The first cricketer was Wasim Akram from Pakistan, who achieved this feat in 1996.

Therefore, today we bring you a list of cricketers who are the most ODI wickets takers in cricket history.

Without further delay, let us together take a look at the details of this list.

13 Most ODI Wickets Takers in Cricket

This list has been prepared with the help of trusted sources from the internet like ESPN.

Before going through the details, let us take a quick preview of the list below.

Player NameODI wickets
13. Daniel Vettori305
12. Javagal Srinath315
11. Sanath Jayasuriya323
10. Anil Kumble337
9. Lasith Malinga338
8. Brett Lee380
7. Glenn McGrath381
6. Shaun Pollock393
5. Shahid Afridi395
4. Chaminda Vaas400
3. Waqar Younis416
2. Wasim Akram502
1. Muttiah Muralitharan534

13. Daniel Vettori

The first cricketer on our list is 43 year-old Daniel Vettori. Daniel is a former cricketer who played for the New Zealand cricket team and is a cricket coach.

Vettori made his first debut in the cricket world around 1996-97. He was just 18 years old, and he became the youngest male player to have represented New Zealand in Test cricket. He was a left-handed bowler who bowled slow left-arm orthodox sin.

Vettori is the only cricketer to have taken more than 300 ODI wickets from New Zealand. At the same time, he is the eighth player in Test history to take 300 wickets and score 3,000 runs.

Daniel_Vettori
Daniel Vettori (Source: Wikimedia.org)

From 2007 to 2011, he held the helm of the New Zealand cricket team as a captain. Daniel is New Zealand’s 200th Test cap.

Famous for his accuracy, flight, guile, and speed variation, Vettori is the country’s most-capped test cricketer. He holds the record with 112 caps. Similarly, he holds the country’s most-capped One-Day cricketer record with 284 caps.

Following the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Vettori announced his retirement. He then transitioned into a coaching career. He has been appointed as a head coach for the CPL franchise Barbados Royals as of August 2021.

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12. Javagal Srinath

Javagal Srinath is a former Indian cricketer born on August 31, 1969. Considered as one of India’s finest fastest bowlers, Srinath was the first Indian bowler to take more than 300 wickets in ODI.

Srinath played the position of a frontline fast bowler for India. He was attracted to cricket at an early age. During a club match, he caught the state team selector, Gundappa Viswanath eyes who is also a former Indian Test batsman.

In 1989-90, Srinath got his chance to make his first-class debut. He played 11 ODI matches and two test matches during his debut year. He was also able to take 14 ODI wickets.

Javagal-Srinath-on-a-match
Javagal Srinath playing (Source: Instagram)

Srinath is the second pace bowler in India to take 200 Test wickets, and his legacy precedes him. He is the joint highest wicket-taker for India in the World Cup competition. Similarly, he is also the leading wicket-taker in Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Likewise, Srinath is one of the only Indian fast bowlers to take 300 wickets. After the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, he announced his retirement from international cricket. He is currently active as an ICC match referee.

Srinath has served as a match referee in the 2007 World Cup and refereed in 35 test matches, 194 ODIs, and 60 T20Is.

11. Sanath Jayasuriya

Next on our list is the cricketer, who is credited as one of the revolutionaries of ODI, a former Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya. Sanath is also the former captain of the Sri Lankan national team.

Jayasuriya is considered one of the greatest attacking batsmen of his era. He is famous for his powerful striking and match-sinning all-round performances in the ODI matches. Jayasuriya’s explosive batting was credited for the ODI revolution.

In 1988, Jayasuriya represented Sri Lanka in the inaugural ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup held in Australia. He made his ODI debut against Australia in 1989, and in 1991, he made his Test debut against New Zealand.

Sanath-Jayasuriya-playing
Sanath Jayasuriya playing (Source: Instagram)

During his career, Sanath made many records. On top of being regarded as one of the best all-rounders in the history of limited-overs cricket, he is the only player to score over 10,000 runs and take more than 300 wickets in ODI.

Similarly, from 1999 to 2003, Jayasuriya was the captain of the Sri Lanka cricket team. His international cricket career spanned over two decades.

In the 1996 Cricket World Cup, he was won the title of the Most Valuable Player, and the following year, he was named one of Five Cricketers’ of the Year by Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.

Sanath Jayasuriya retired from Test cricket in 2007. Then in 2013, he was appointed as the chairman of the cricket selection committee by Sri Lanka Cricket.

10. Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble is a former Indian cricketer, coach, and commentator. 51 year old Kumble is regarded as one of the best spin-leg bowlers in Test Cricket history.

Kumble relied on pace, bounce, and accuracy as a bowler. With this skill in his hands, he was able to take 619 wickets in Test cricket.

While playing against Pakistan in 1999, Anil dismissed all ten batsmen in a Test match inning. He was the second player to perform this achievement.

At 19, Kumble first made his First-class debut, where he represented his birthplace, Karnataka. Then in 1990, he got the chance to make his Test debut against England.

Anil-Kumble-playing
Anil Kumble on the ground (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Since his first debut, Kumble has played more than 132 Test matches, and during the early 1990s, he was a part of the regular ODI team.

In 1993, Anil was selected as the Cricketer of the Year by Indian Cricket. Three years after that, he was named one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year. As of 2022, he is the fourth-highest wicket-taker of all time.

In 2005, Kumble was also awarded India’s fourth-highest civilian honor, the Padma Shri. He retired from international cricket in 2008. Kumble had a global career span of over 18 years, during which he represented his country in Test and ODI cricket matches. 

Anil is currently the head coach and the Director of Cricket Operations of Punjab Kings, a franchise team based in Punjab.

9. Lasith Malinga

The former Sri Lankan cricketer Lasith Malinga ranks ninth with 338 ODI wickets. More famously known as “Slinga Malinga,” he is one of the greatest limited-overs bowlers of all time.

Born on August 28, 1983, Malinga did not pick up hard-ball cricket until he was a teenager. Then, the fast bowling coaches Champaka Ramanayake and Anusha Samaranayake discovered his cricket talent.

They brought him into the domestic system, and Malinga started playing professionally. Then, in 2001, he made his first Test match debut against Australia. Soon he was recognized for his right-arm fast bowling and distinctive round-arm action.

Lasith_Malinga_tossing_a_cricket_ball_at_practice
Lasith Malinga tossing a cricket ball at practice (Source: Wikimedia.org)

His round-arm action is also referred to as a sling action. Malinga’s success is credited to his unorthodox move and dipping slower ball yorkers.

He is also credited for changing the dynamics and landscape of death bowling in limited over cricket by bowling his toe-crushing yorkers. Moreover, he had an astounding ability to take consecutive wickets with an in-swinging yorker.

During his career, Malinga held numerous records in his name. Some of the notable ones are the only bowler in the world to have two World Cup hat-tricks, the only bowler to have taken three hat-tricks in ODIs.

Similarly, he also holds the record for most hat-tricks in international cricket.

Slinga Malinga holds the record of the highest wicket-taker in IPL with 170 wickets in 122 matches. However, he retired from all forms of cricket as of September 2021.

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8. Brett Lee

45 year-old Brett Lee is a former Australian cricketer who is eighth on our list with 380 ODI wickets. He is one of the fastest bowlers in the world who played all three formats of cricket.

Lee is considered one of the best bowlers of his generation. Similarly, he was an athletic fielder and a useful lower-order batsman.

Lee started playing cricket from the junior teams, Oak Flats Rats. However, it was only in 1997-98; he made his first-class debut. After one month of making his first-class debut, Lee represented the Australian A-Team on a tour of South Africa.

Australia_bowler_Brett_Lee
Australian bowler Brett Lee (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Apart from representing his Australian national team on the international platform, Lee played for his home state New South Wales and most notably, in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Big Bash League.

In 2000 soon after his debut, Brett won the inaugural Donald Bradman Young Player of the Year Award at Allan Border Medal. In 2003, Brett was also part of the Australian team that won the World Cup.

Likewise, he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2006 and Australia’s Greatest ODI XI. Then in 2012, Lee announced his retirement from international cricket.

In 2015, Lee took his retirement from all forms of the game. Then, he worked as a bowling coach for Ireland and Sri Lanka. Since then, Lee has worked as a film actor and a Fox Sports commentator.

7. Glenn McGrath

Considered one of the greatest Australian international bowlers, we have Glenn McGrath next. He is a former Australian international cricketer who was a fast-medium pace bowler.

McGrath is famous for maintaining consistency throughout his 14-year professional career. In addition, he was one of the most economical and successful bowlers of his time.

In 1992-93, McGrath made his first-class debut for the New South Wales, his home state team. Then he made his Test debut against New Zealand in 1993-94.

Since his debut, McGrath became a leading contributor to Australia’s domination in world cricket to the late-2000s. He managed to create several records and won numerous awards throughout his career.

Glenn_McGrath_in_Circular_Quay,_Sydney,_Australia,_2018
Glenn McGrath in Circular Quay, Sydney, Australia, 2018

McGrath holds the record for the most wickets in the Cricket World Cup and is the second most successful fast bowler. Then in 2007, he announced his retirement from Test cricket.

After he retired from Test cricket, he went on to play for the Indian Premier League (IPL) team, the Delhi DareDevils. In 2010, McGrath took retirement from all forms of the game.

Currently, McGrath is a president for the McGrath Foundation that supports breast cancer and education charity he founded with his later first wife, Jane Louise McGrath.

6. Shaun Pollock

Next on our list with 393 ODI wickets is Shaun Pollock. Born in Cape Province of South Africa, Pollock is a former cricketer and captain in all game formats. He comes from a family of Scottish ancestry.

49 year-old Pollock is regarded as a genuine bowling all-rounder and one of the greatest fast bowlers. He held the helm of the South African cricket team from 2000 to 2003.

Pollock made his first Test debut in 1995-96 against England. Although his father was the convener of selectors on the South African Test side, his sheer skills took him higher in his career.

Shaun Pollock (Source: Facebook)
Shaun Pollock (Source: Facebook)

There are many records that Pollock holds in his name. Some notable ones are the record for playing the most ODI innings before scoring a century, the first test captain to remain unbeaten on 99 in test innings.

Similarly, he also holds a record for bowling most Maiden overs in ODI history. In 2003, he was chosen as the Wisden Cricketer of the Year.

Aside from representing the South African cricket and domestic teams, he also played for Durham Dynamos, Warwickshire, and Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier Leagues. He announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket in 2008.

Pollock is currently working as a commentator on SuperSport’s coverage of South African cricket.

5. Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi is the next cricketer on our list, a Pakistani cricketer with 395 ODI wickets records. He is one of the most popular and destructive crickets.

Afridi started his cricket career playing for the under-19 championship circuit. Then in 1994-95, he was drafted to the Pakistan senior national team after satisfactory performance. In 1996 he made his ODI debut.

Afridi is an all-rounder and bowled leg-spin known for his aggressive batting style. He held the world record for the fastest ODI century in 37 centuries which stood unbroken for 17 years.

Shahid_Afridi_2010
Shahid Afridi 2010 (Source; Wikimedia.org)

Similarly, Afridi also holds the record for having hit the most sixes in the history of ODI cricket. Aside from holding many records, he also has won numerous awards. For example, he was named the player of the match in the 2009 T20 World Cup Final.

From 2009 to 2011, Afridi held the helm of the Pakistan cricket team as a captain. However, after the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Afridi announced his retirement from ODI cricket.

Currently, he is the captain of Galle Gladiators in the Lanka Premier League. 

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4. Chaminda Vaas

We have another player from Sri Lanka on the fourth rank with 400 ODI wickets. He is Chaminda Vaas, a former international cricketer who played all forms of the game.

Vaas is one of the greatest fast bowlers from Sri Lanka. He is famous for his highly accurate lines, length, and capability of swinging the ball.

After leaving school, Vaas joined the Colts Cricket Club. And in 1990, at age 16, he made his first-class debut against the Galle Cricket Club. Finally, after nearly 4 years of making his first-class debut, Vaas made his Test debut for the Sri Lankan cricket team.

Chaminda-Vaas
Chaminda Vaas (Source: Instagram)

It was in 2004, Vaas gained international recognition. He was selected for the World Test and one-day XI at the inaugural ICC awards. Often during his career, he played a supporting role to Muttiah Muralitharan.

Despite his supporting role, Vaas is the only bowler to take an 8-wicket haul in ODIs. Additionally, he holds the record for the best bowling figures in ODI history. Vaas is also the youngest bowler to take 300 wickets in ODI cricket.

Vaas holds many more various records and awards. However, after the 3rd Test match against Pakistan in July 2009, he retired from Test Cricket. After his retirement, he transitioned into a coaching career.

He worked as a coach for the Sri Lanka cricket team, but he resigned on February 19, 2021.

3. Waqar Younis

Waqar Younis is a former cricketer from Pakistan who captained Pakistan national cricket team. He is one of the greatest bowlers to have played the game produced by Pakistan.

Born on November 16, 1971, Younis holds the youngest Pakistani Test Captain record in 2021. He started playing for several first-class cricket clubs in 1987-88. He made his International cricket debut against India in 1989.

Younis had this unique ability to reverse swing a cricket ball at high speed. His right-arm fast bowler speed immediately impressed the audience and media. His speed became known in the media as “Wiki” or the “Burewala Express.”

Waqar_younis
Waqar Younis (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Aside from playing for the national team, Waqar also served as the head coach of the Pakistani cricket team. From 2006-2007, he worked as a bowling coach for the Pakistan National Cricket Team.

Younis is the youngest bowler to take 400 ODI wickets. During his international cricket career that spanned from 1989 to 2003, he played 87 Tests matches and 262 ODI matches. He is one of the ten players based on ICC rankings.

In 2019, Younis was appointed by the PCB as Pakistan’s new bowling coach for 3 years.

2. Wasim Akram

In the second place, we have the “Sultan of Swing,” Wasim Akram, with 502 ODI wickets. He is a former cricketer and captain of the Pakistan national cricket team. He is one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of cricket.

Akram was a left-arm fast bowler and could bowl at a significant pace. He is considered one of the founders and the finest exponent of reverse swing bowling. In 1985, he made his Test cricket debut against New Zealand.

Wasim is the first bowler to reach the 500-wicket mark in ODI cricket in the 2003 World Cup. Moreover, he is the only Pakistani cricketer to be named in an all-time Test World XI to mark the 150th anniversary of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.

Wasim-Akram-2018
Wasim Akram 2018 (Source: Wikimedia.org)

In the 2002 list released by Wisden, Akram was ranked as the best bowler in the ODI of all time. After retiring from his playing career, he transitioned into a coaching career. He took on the job of the bowling coach of Kolkata Knight Riders.

Then he had a break from the position for IPL and went to work as a director and bowling coach of Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League. In 2018, he was named one of the seven-member in the Pakistan Cricket Board’s advisory cricket committee.

Then he joined the PSL franchise’s Karachi Kings as a President.

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1. Muttiah Muralitharan

The number one player with the most ODI wickets is the former Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan. He has a record 534 ODI wickets and is one of the greatest and most successful bowlers in international cricket.

Muralitharan began playing cricket from a young age. First, he started as a medium pace bowler; then, he took off-spin. He has the record of averaging over 6 wickets per test match.

Aside from playing for the Sri Lanka national Cricket team and domestic team, Muralitharan also played for international teams like England, India, and Australia.

Muttiah_Muralitharan_bowling
Muttiah Muralitharan bowling (Source: Wikimedia.org)

His bowling action was often questioned by umpires and sections of the cricket community due to his congenitally bent arm during bowling. However, after biomechanical analysis, the International Cricket Council cleared him twice in 1996 and 1999.

Muralitharan holds records for the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket. He is also the only bowler to take 800 test wickets and 530+ ODI wickets. In 2002, he was rated the greatest Test match bowler by Wisden’s Cricketers’ Almanack.

Since 2015, Muralitharan has been working as a bowling coach for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Under his coaching, the team won the IPL Champions in 2016.

Conclusion

This concludes our list of the 13 most ODI wickets takers in cricket. Let us applaud their achievements and give them their due credit for achieving this impressive feat. 

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