5 players with a crazy number of hat-tricks in cricket

Wasim Akram has two hat-tricks which were within a week of each other
Wasim Akram has two hat-tricks which were within a week of each other
Roy Suvra

The hat trick continues to amaze and amuse us but with an overdose of cricket happening all around, the rarity of this feat is on the decline. However it is still incredible to realize that there have been extremely talented cricketers who have managed to achieve this feat more than once and that too in different formats. Someone like TJ Matthews even achieved the stupendous record of taking two hat-tricks in two innings of the same Test.

From the first Test hat-trick that was recorded on 2 January 1879 by Australian Fred Spofforth, through Pravin Tambe’s exceptional record of picking up a hat trick in only 2 legitimate balls, right up to the 2016 IPL hat-trick by Axar Patel.

Here are 5 players who have managed to scalp a crazy number of hat tricks:

1. Wasim Akram

Wasim Akram claimed his 2nd ODI hat-trick against Australia
Wasim Akram claimed his 2nd ODI hat-trick against Australia

The legendary Pakistani bowler perhaps remains the master of the hat trick and that too at the highest level. He has an unbelievable record of 3 hat tricks each in first-class and List A cricket. Besides Tests and ODIs, Akram has also taken a hat-trick for the English county Lancashire against Surrey in 1988 and in a PIA v PACO match held at Karachi in 1989/90.

He, along with Hugh Trumble and Jimmy Matthews, make up the triumvirate with two Test hat-tricks in their kitty. In Akram’s case, it’s really astonishing that the hat tricks came in consecutive matches - versus Sri Lanka in Lahore and Dhaka in 1998-99. The Kolkata Knight Riders’ bowling coach deserves admiration because he managed to emulate his own feat by taking another couple of hat tricks in the ODIs - against West Indies and Australia, both at Sharjah. What is unbelievably fascinating about this record is that all six of his victims in the ODI hat-tricks were clean bowled. Interestingly he has also missed two more hat-tricks in his career by a whisker, instead taking three wickets in four balls.

Saqlain Mushtaq and Chaminda Vaas have also taken 2 hat-tricks in ODIs and besides Akram, Brett Lee and recently Thisera Perera have managed a hat trick in two formats of international cricket.

Also Read - Most ODI Hat Tricks

2. Doug Wright

Douglas Vivian Parson Wright

Doug Wright took seven hat-tricks, more than anyone else in history

Douglas Vivian Parson Wright remains the only bowler to take seven First-Class hat-tricks. The legendary Don Bradman had called him the greatest leg-spinner to tour Australia since Sydney Barnes. Though he did not play much for the national team and managed to pick up 108 wickets in 34 Tests but his First class records speak volumes where he has 2056 wickets in 497 matches. On his day, he is often considered to have been the most unplayable bowler, even by greats like Bradman and Wally Hammond. However, they also allowed that the England bowler had a tendency to give away a lot of runs on occasion.

Harold Gibbons, Joseph Horton, and Bernard became his first hat trick scalps when he registered his first First-Class hat-trick and returned with figures of 7 for 27. Within 25 days he had picked up his second hat trick against Nottinghamshire and the third followed against Gloucestershire. He made his Test debut in 1938 and his fourth hat trick came against Border at East London where he got rid of Stanley White, Harold Whitfield, and Dereck Dowlin in successive deliveries.

The amazing hat tricks continued and he got his 5th, 6th and 7th hat-trick against Gloucestershire (with career best figures of 9/47), Sussex, and Hampshire before finally resigning in 1957 with last match figures of 4/39. He also has the unique distinction of being the first bowler in history to have dismissed the three Ws — Everton Weekes, Clyde Walcott, and Frank Worrell — in the same Test innings.

3. Tom Goddard


Thomas Goddard is the fifth highest wicket-taker in first-class cricket

Thomas William John Goddard has an enviable record with 6 hat tricks and is known to be the 5th highest wicket-taker in first-class cricket history after Wilfred Rhodes, ‘Tich’ Freeman, Parker, and Jack Hearne. He started as a fast bowler but could not get much success and finally the 6’3″ Englishman turned to off-spin and is known to have been able to turn the ball even on the greenest of pitches.

Goddard played 593 first class matches and took 2979 wickets. Incredibly he has 251 5-fors and 86 10-fors placing him fifth and third respectively in the all-time lists. However for the national side, he only managed to play 8 Tests and take 22 wickets though his hat-trick for England against South Africa in 1938-39 may suggest his potential for improvement if he had been given more opportunities. Besides the hat-trick for the national team, four of his other hat tricks came playing for Gloucestershire against Sussex(1924), Glamorgan(1930), (1947) and Somerset (1947). His only other hat trick was playing for MCC against Rhodesia in 1938-39.

He formed the most deadly bowling pair with Charlie Parker and both remain legends for Gloucestershire. Parker is joint second with Goddard on 6 first class hat tricks though Parker has no hat trick playing for England.

4. Lasith Malinga

Lasith Malinga celebrates his hat-trick against Australia

Separamadu Lasith Malinga finds his name in this list as the only player to have taken 3 hat tricks in one-day internationals. The first two of his hat tricks both came in World Cups – against South Africa in 2007 and against Kenya in 2011 and the last one came against Australia in an ODI in Colombo.

An interesting fact about his third victim during his hat-trick against Kenya is that Shem Ngoche was completing an unwanted hat-trick of his own - he batted in 3 innings, only faced 3 balls and was dismissed 3 times. What’s more incredible is that Malinga remains the only bowler with two World Cup hat-tricks and the incredible feat of picking up 4 wickets in four balls.

Lasith Malinga remains the most successful bowler for Sri Lanka in Twenty20 Internationals.

5. Amit Mishra

Amit Mishra has multiple IPL hat-tricks to his name

Amit Mishra makes up the 5th spot solely for holding the record of three hat-tricks in the history of the Indian Premier League. It also happens to be the world record in the Twenty 20 format and what is more interesting is that each of his hat tricks came while playing for 3 different IPL teams – another unique record for the right-arm leg break bowler. The Indian cricketer who plays for Haryana has also another hat-trick to his name while playing against Himachal Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy.

The first of his 3 T20 hat tricks came while playing for the Delhi Daredevils against the Deccan Chargers at Feroz Shah Kotla on May 15, 2008. Ironically, for his 2nd hat trick he was playing for the Deccan Chargers and his scalps included Ryan McLaren, Mandeep Singh and Ryan Harris of Kings XI Punjab. The final magnificent performance came in 2013 during Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Pune Warriors where Mishra completed his 3rd hat trick and wrote his name in the record books.

He also had the distinction to get most wickets by any bowler in a 5-match series or tournament against Zimbabwe and more impressively equaled the great Javagal Srinath's world record for the most wickets in a bilateral ODI series with 18 wickets.

Edited by Staff Editor


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