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Top 5 Leading wicket takers in Cricket World Cup history

  • Several bowlers have shone at the World Cup. But, who among them is the highest wicket taker of them all ?
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 25 May 2019, 15:24 IST

Does Muralitharan make it to the list?
Does Muralitharan make it to the list?

Ever since its inception in 1975, the ICC Cricket World Cup has garnered unparalleled popularity and unsurprisingly, it has become the premier Cricket competition in the world.

Conducted every four years, countries start planning to scale the pinnacle of world cricket quite early in order to not allow the opposition an inch.

In a few days’ time, the 12th edition of the World Cup would roll into England and the excitement has already hit an all-time high. Fans and pundits alike are raving about the prospect of the current World Cup being one of the most competitive ever and evidence certainly suggests that it could be the case.

Thus, it is only inevitable that on the grandest cricketing stage of them all, players of yesteryear have made a name for themselves either with the willow or with the ball.

The article in question concentrates on the latter aspect and it will take you down memory lane to relive some of the best cumulative wicket tallies bowlers have conjured in the past editions. 

Without further ado, here is a look at the elite list of bowlers who have taken the most number of wickets in World Cup history:

#5. Zaheer Khan and Javagal Srinath (India) - 44 Wickets

Zaheer was a vital cog in India
Zaheer was a vital cog in India's wheel in the 2011 World Cup

Javagal Srinath is arguably one of the best right-arm pacers India has ever produced. Capable of swinging the ball at will, the lad from Karnataka went on to enjoy a superb career for India across all formats.

However, when the big occasion came calling, the fast bowler raised his game to another level.  


In 34 World cup games, the seamer snapped up 44 wickets at a miserly economy rate of 4.32. In addition, he boasted a strike rate of 38.6, meaning that he picked a wicket every six overs. 

However, when contesting the 5th spot on our list, he just gets pipped by another Indian seamer, Zaheer Khan.

The left-armer played a crucial role in India’s run to the final in 2003 and was unfortunate not to cap off his tournament on a high. Though a sub-standard 2007 World Cup followed, he ensured he made amends in the 2011 edition where he ended up finishing as the competition’s leading wicket taker with 21 scalps in 9 matches. 

Zaheer played 3 World Cups for India and picked up 44 wickets in just 23 games. Additionally, he did so at an average of 20.22, which was considerably better than the numbers produced by Srinath who did it at an average of 27.81

Zaheer bowled a total of 198.5 overs in the competition and collected those wickets at a strike rate of 27.1. Thus, in essence, the seamer achieved a breakthrough every four and a half overs through his World Cup career. 

Thus, it comes as no surprise that Zaheer makes the list at No.5.

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Published 25 May 2019, 15:21 IST
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