Legendary spinner Muthiah Muralitharan sits atop the list for most wickets in ODI having bagged 534 wickets in 350 ODI matches.

The spin wizard made his debut for Sri Lanka against India in 1993 and took the wicket of Pravin Amre in that game to play his part in an 8-run win for his team.

Since then, Muralitharan dismissed 275 different batters in his 18-year ODI career and has registered the most wickets taken via stumpings (56).

Muthiah Muralitharan claimed 500-plus ODI wickets in 15 years and 165 days to become the quickest bowler to reach the landmark. However, the first bowler to breach the 500 ODI wickets milestone was Pakistan’s Wasim Akram.

Nicknamed the Sultan of Swing, Akram is revered as one of cricket’s pace icons. The Pakistan great became the first to take 500 ODI wickets with the dismissal of Netherlands’ Nick Statham in a 2003 Cricket World Cup match.

Wasim Akram would finish his limited-overs career with 502 scalps in 356 matches and sits second on the leaderboard for most wickets in ODIs.

Akram’s pace partner Waqar Younis is third on the list for most wickets in ODIs. The right-arm quick took 416 ODI wickets, while Sri Lanka’s Chaminda Vaas is fourth with 400 ODI wickets. 

The Sri Lankan pacer is considered one of the best new-ball bowlers to ever play in the 50-over format and is the only bowler to take eight wickets in an ODI innings (8/19 vs Zimbabwe, 2001).

Shahid Afridi rounds up our top five list for most ODI wickets. The flamboyant Pakistan all-rounder grabbed 395 wickets in 398 matches besides being a healthy contributor for his team with the bat as well.

Most wickets in ODI

Player Career span Matches Wickets
Muthiah Muralitharan 1993-2011 350 534
Wasim Akram 1984-2003 356 502
Waqar Younis 1989-2003 262 416
Chaminda Vaas 1994-2008 322 400
Shahid Afridi 1996-2015 398 395

Author: William Paul

Featured photo: AFP / William West