Former Australia all-rounder Lyn Fullston holds the record for most wickets in a single edition of the Women’s World Cup. During the 1982 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, the multiple-time world champion picked 23 wickets to become the first bowler to scalp 20 plus wickets in a single edition of the Women's Cricket World Cup.

Till date, Fullston is only one of three bowlers alongside India’s Neetu David and England's Sophie Ecclestone to have picked at least 20 wickets in a single World Cup edition.

Fullston, who is also the leading wicket-taker in Women’s World Cup history, was, in fact, wicketless in the opening two games of the 1982 edition against India and New Zealand. What followed next was nothing short of carnage as she only blanked once in her next 11 games while registering her best bowling figures - 5/27 - against New Zealand women in a group stage game.

In the final against England Women that year, Fullston picked two for 20 in 12 overs as she finished with a tally of 23 wickets in the tournament. 

It took more than 10 years for any bowler to come close to Fullston’s tally. During the 2005 Women’s World Cup edition, India’s Neetu David ended the competition with 20 wickets to her name. 

Unlike Fullston, Neetu David’s campaign started off with a brilliant three-wicket haul against Sri Lanka followed by a combined eight-wicket spell against England Women (3) and New Zealand Women (5).

She continued to pick wickets at will but despite her best effort, the Indian Women’s cricket team lost the final to Australia Women by 98 runs. Her tally of 20 wickets during the 2005 edition is the closest any bowler has ever come to challenging Fullston’s record. 

England's Sophie Ecclestone sits third on the list for most wickets in a single edition of the Women’s World Cup. The left-arm spinner bagged 21 wickets in nine matches during the 2022 edition of the Women's World Cup held in New Zealand.

Meanwhile, former Australia bowler Charmaine Mason (17) is fourth on the list for most wickets in a single edition of the Women’s World Cup. Fullston’s tally of 16 wickets in 1988 is also shared by England Women’s Laura Marsh, who matched the figure in 2009.  

As many as four bowlers who have scalped 15 wickets in a single Women’s World Cup edition. This includes Karen Smithies and Julie Harris in 1993, Megan Schutt in 2013 and Dane van Niekerk in 2017.

Most wickets in a single edition of the Women’s World Cup

Player Country Wickets Year
Lyn Fullston Australia 23 1982
Neetu David India 20 2005
Sophie Ecclestone England 21 2022
Charmaine Mason Australia 17 2000
Lyn Fullston Australia 16 1988
Laura Marsh England 16 2009
Karen Smithies / Julie Harris England / New Zealand 15 1993
Megan Schutt Australia 15 2013
Dane van Niekerk South Africa 15 2017

Featured photo: AFP / Patrick Hamilton