The record for the most number of wickets in the history T20 World Cup has been held by Bangladesh’s left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan. He has even left behind the greatest bowler of this format which is Sri Lanka’s former right-arm pacer Lasith Malinga who is arguably the best T20 bowler to ever play the format. However, Shakib is also one of the greatest players to play for Bangladesh.
Check out the Top 5 bowlers who have picked the most number of wickets in T20 World Cup till now.
1. Shakib Al Hasan – 41 Wickets
Shakib Al Hasan has played a total of 31 matches in which he has picked 41 wickets for Bangladesh, the most wickets by any bowler in the 15-year long history of the T20 World Cup. He has represented Bangladesh in six T20 World Cups; 2007, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 & 2021. He has bowled the second-highest number of overs (110 overs) at an average of 17.29 and with an economy rate of 6.43. Last year, in the T20 World Cup 2021, he grabbed his best bowling figure of 4/9 against Papua New Guinea on 21 October in the 9th match of First Round Group B and helped Bangladesh win the match by a huge margin of 84 runs. 2021 was his best ever season with the ball, he picked 11 wickets in 6 matches and was the 4th highest wicket-taker of the season.
The left-arm all-rounder has also performed well with the bat and has scored 698 runs in 30 innings with an average of 26.85 while striking at 124.64. His best score in T20 World Cup is 84(54) which came against Pakistan on 25th September 2012. With the help of his half-century, Bangladesh posted a total of good total of 175/6 on board. However, Pakistan chased the target with 8 balls in hand and won the match by 8 wickets. In that season he scored 95 runs in just 2 matches at a strike rate of 153.22. Shakib has also smashed 3 fifties in T20 World Cups. In 2014, he scored 186 runs in 7 matches, averaging 37.20.
2. Shahid Afridi – 39 Wickets
Shahid Afridi is one of the best all-rounders Pakistan has ever produced. The right-arm leg-spinner has picked up 39 wickets in just 34 matches that he played in 6 T20 World Cups. He holds the record for bowling the most number of overs in T20 World Cup history. In 135 overs including 1 maiden over, he picked the second-highest number of wickets in T20 WC history at an average of 23.25 and a 6.71 economy rate. Shahid took retirement from T20Is after the 2016 T20 World Cup.
Shahid picked his best T20 WC bowling figure of 4/11 against Netherlands on 9 June 2009 at Lord’s. In that match, Pakistan scored 175/5 in 20 overs while batting first and bundled Netherlands all out on just 93 runs and won the match by 82 runs. Afridi also scored 13 runs off just 7 deliveries including a six in the match.
The all-rounder has also contributed a hefty amount of runs with the bat for Pakistan. He was one of the most fearless and dangerous batters of his time. He scored 546 runs in 32 innings, smashing a total of 49 fours and 21 sixes. Afridi scored his high score in T20 World Cup against Sri Lanka which came in the final of 2009 at Lord’s where he smashed an unbeaten 54 in just 40 balls at a strike rate of 135.00 including 2 fours and 2 sixes. He even took a wicket in the match and was named Player of the Match.
3. Lasith Malinga – 38 Wickets
Lasith Malinga is arguably the best T20 bowler. He was the one who showed the world how to not even restrict the batter in death over and even pick their wickets with gun-blazing yorkers and slower balls. He was the first bowler to pick a hat-trick in T20 World Cup. In 2007 against South Africa, Malinga picked 4 wickets in 4 balls in a wow and turned the match in Sri Lanka’s favor, however, South Africa still won the match by 1 wicket but Malinga made the match interesting where South Africa was running to the target with ease.
He played in five T20 World Cups and represented Sri Lanka from 2007 to 2014. He played 31 matches in that period and took 38 wickets at an average of 20.07 and an economy of 7.43. In 2009, Malinga picked 12 wickets in 7 matches, highest by him in a single T20 WC season. He was also the fourth-highest wicket-taker in that season. His best of 5 wickets for 31 runs came against England in the final of Super Eight of the T20 World Cup 2012 where Sri Lanka defeated England by 19 runs. Malinga is also only the third bowler ever to bowl more than 100 overs in T20 World Cup history after Shakib Al Hasan and Shahid Afridi.
4. Saeed Ajmal – 36 Wickets
Saeed Ajmal, another bowler from Pakistan on the list, bagged 36 wickets in just 23 matches at an average of 16.86 and with an economy of 6.79. He played his first T20 World Cup in 2009 and right from the start, he bowled really well and was one of the toughest bowlers to play throughout the tournament. He took 12 wickets in 7 matches with an average of 13.58 and 5.82 economy. Ajmal was the third-highest wicket-taker in that season after Umar Gul (13) and Ajantha Mendis (12). His best T20 WC bowling figure of 4/19 also came in that season against Ireland at Oval and with his contribution in the bowling department, Pakistan won their maiden T20 World Cup title.
After a successful season, Ajmal continued to play in 2010, 2012 ad 2014 T20 WC where he picked a total of 11, 9, and 4 wickets in 6, 6, and 4 matches respectively. However, Ajmal got disappeared from international cricket after getting banned by ICC over an illegal bowling action in September 2014. He later came back with a new bowling action but was not effective as earlier. Later in 2017, he announced his retirement from international cricket.
5. Ajantha Mendis – 35 Wickets
The second bowler from Sri Lanka to register his name on the list is Ajantha Mendis who was considered to be the mystery bowler during his career. He was one of the best spinners in the world during his career. He represented Sri Lanka in four T20 World Cups. In his debut T20 World Cup in 2009, he was the second-highest wicket-taker after Umar. He bundled 12 wickets in 7 matches for Sri Lanka and with the help of his mystery bowling, Sri Lanka reached their first-ever T20 World Cup final.
Mendis played the 21 matches and grabbed 35 wickets at an economy of 6.70 and with the best average of 15.02. He also has bowled 3 maiden overs and holds the record for the best bowling figure in the history of T20 WC. He picked 6/8 against Zimbabwe in the first match of Group C on 18 September 20012 at Hambantota.
In T20 WC 2012, he was the highest wicket-taker with 15 wickets in just 6 matches. He bowled 24 overs at an economy of 6.12 in the tournament. He played his last T20I at Chattogram against England in the 2014 T20 World Cup and announced his retirement from international cricket in 2019.
Checkout: Most Runs In T20 World Cup History
List of 25 bowlers with most wickets in T20 World Cup
|1||S Al Hasan (BAN)||31||30||110.1||41||4/9||17.29||6.43||3||0|
|2||S Afridi (PAK)||34||34||135.0||39||4/11||23.25||6.71||2||0|
|3||L Malinga (SL)||31||31||102.4||38||5/31||20.07||7.43||0||1|
|4||S Ajmal (PAK)||23||23||89.2||36||4/19||16.86||6.79||3||0|
|5||BAW Mendis (SL)||21||21||78.3||35||6/8||15.02||6.70||1||1|
|6||Umar Gul (PAK)||24||24||82.4||35||5/6||17.25||7.30||1||1|
|7||D Steyn (SA)||23||23||83.1||30||4/17||19.30||6.96||1||0|
|8||S Broad (ENG)||26||25||86.5||30||3/17||22.36||7.72||0||0|
|9||DJ Bravo (WI)||34||27||88.4||27||4/38||28.96||8.81||1||0|
|10||R Ashwin (IND)||18||18||66.0||26||4/11||15.26||6.01||1||0|
|11||S Badree (WI)||15||15||59.0||24||4/15||13.58||5.52||1||0|
|12||M Morkel (SA)||17||17||62.4||24||4/17||18.83||7.21||2||0|
|13||M Starc (AUS)||17||17||67.0||24||3/20||23.25||8.32||0||0|
|14||N McCullum (NZ)||22||20||67.1||23||3/15||17.34||5.94||0||0|
|15||G Swann (ENG)||16||15||55.0||22||3/24||16.27||6.50||0||0|
|16||T Southee (NZ)||17||17||62.5||22||3/16||22.50||7.87||0||0|
|17||S Watson (AUS)||24||23||75.2||22||3/26||27.63||8.07||0||0|
|18||R Jadeja (IND)||22||22||74.0||21||3/15||25.19||7.14||0||0|
|19||M Johnson (AUS)||14||14||52.1||20||3/15||17.55||6.72||0||0|
|20||D Vettori (NZ)||17||17||67.1||20||4/20||19.60||5.83||1||0|
|21||R Khan (AFG)||12||12||46.2||19||4/9||15.52||6.36||1||0|
|22||I Sodhi (NZ)||12||12||43.4||19||3/18||16.52||7.19||0||0|
|23||A Mathews (SL)||29||27||74.2||19||3/16||25.31||6.47||0||0|
|24||Imran Tahir (SA)||9||9||36.0||18||4/21||11.88||5.94||1||0|
|25||A Zampa (AUS)||11||11||38.0||18||5/19||12.55||5.94||0||1|
Also Checkout: Best Finisher In The World Of The 21st Century