Top 10 Fastest Players to Take 250 Wickets in ODI Cricket
Developments within one-day cricket over the past decade or so have seen it become very much a batsmen-friendly game. The introduction of the batting powerplay coupled with big-hitting influenced by the popularity of Twenty 20 cricket has made bowlers look for alternative means to restrict batting sides.
Opening the bowling with spin, slower ball bouncers and Yorkers have all been used to good effect by the top-level bowling units who look to do all they can to slow the run rates down. Despite the importance and improvement in the standard of one-day international batting across the world, there are still plenty of bowlers that worry top-line batsmen.
Taking wickets in top-level ODI cricket is no mean feat and many have tried and failed in their quest to be as effective with the white ball as they have been with the red one. Within this, reaching 300 ODI wickets is an incredible achievement with only 13 players in the history of the game having managed to reach the milestone.
Here is a rundown of the top 10 fastest players to take 250 wickets in ODI cricket.
- 10. Wasim Akram – PAKISTAN – 250 wickets in 173 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 502
- 9. Lasith Malinga – SRI LANKA- 250 wickets in 163 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 338
- 8. Ajit Agarkar – INDIA – 250 wickets in 163 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 288
- 7. Makhaya Ntini – SOUTH AFRICA – 250 wickets in 162 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 266
- 6. Glenn McGrath – AUSTRALIA – 250 wickets in 161 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 381
- 5. Shane Warne – Australia – 250 wickets in 161 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 293
- 4. Allan Donald – SOUTH AFRICA – 250 wickets in 147 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 272
- 3. Waqar Younis – PAKISTAN – 250 wickets in 148 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 416
- 2. Brett Lee – AUSTRALIA- 250 wickets in 139 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 380
- 1. Saqlain Mushtaq – PAKISTAN – 250 wickets in 138 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 288
10. Wasim Akram – PAKISTAN – 250 wickets in 173 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 502
Pakistan legend Wasim Akram reached 250 ODI wickets in 173 games. The left-arm seamer was deadly with the white ball, managing to get the ball to reverse swing in an era when very few bowlers could do so. His partnership with Waqar Younis got famous all over the world and Akram was integral in Pakistan’s World Cup win back in 1992. His tally of 502 ODI wickets is the second-highest in the history of the game.
9. Lasith Malinga – SRI LANKA- 250 wickets in 163 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 338
Few bowlers have possessed the skill set with the white ball that Lasith Malinga has and the Sri Lankan paceman’s ability to bowl Yorkers is simply unrivalled. He was first picked by Sri Lanka back in 2004 but struggled to make a name for himself before returning to the international scene in 2007 and taking it by storm. His low, slinging action was notoriously difficult for batsmen to pick and although he has retired from ODI cricket, he continues to be integral to Sri Lanka’s T20 side even today.
8. Ajit Agarkar – INDIA – 250 wickets in 163 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 288
Few bowlers have managed to make an impact on international cricket at such a young age as did Ajit Agarkar. The Indian paceman took the international stage by storm in the late 1990s and early 2000s with his ability to swing the ball, terrorising batsmen all over the world. In just 163 matches, he took 250 wickets for India, reaching the milestone in just over 8 years. A handy batsman too, Agarkar enjoyed a stellar ODI career, playing nearly 200 times for India and he is the 3rd-highest Indian wicket-taker in the history of ODI cricket.
7. Makhaya Ntini – SOUTH AFRICA – 250 wickets in 162 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 266
Makhaya Ntini spearheaded the next generation of South African pace bowlers after Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald in the late 1990s and early 2000s. His raw pace and control made him a thorn in the side of ODI batsmen all over the world. He was just as prolific in white-ball cricket as he was in red-ball cricket, taking 250 wickets in just 162 matches and finishing with a tally of 266 South African ODI dismissals.
6. Glenn McGrath – AUSTRALIA – 250 wickets in 161 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 381
Arguably one of the most consistent bowlers of all time, Glenn McGrath led the Australian bowling attack as they dominated international cricket throughout the 1990s and 2000s. His insatiable ability to bowl line and length and never give batsmen anything made him a frightening prospect for batsmen around the world. He won three ICC Cricket World Cups (in 1999, 2003 and 2007) and became one of the most decorated Australian cricketers of all time.
5. Shane Warne – Australia – 250 wickets in 161 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 293
Few bowlers in world cricket were as prolific as Shane Warne, with the leg-spinner placed second on the all-time international wicket-takers list (across all formats). Warne always favoured Test match cricket and enjoyed a longer, more decorated career in the 5-day game but his ODI figures stand up very well. He took a total of 293 ODI wickets for Australia and played a pivotal role in the ICC World Cup win in 1999.
4. Allan Donald – SOUTH AFRICA – 250 wickets in 147 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 272
South Africa were blessed with two of the most consistent bowlers in the world during the 1990s with Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock tearing through opposition batting lineups. After being given his ODI debut in 1991, it took Donald just over 10 years to reach the tally of 250 ODI wickets as he reached the milestone against the West Indies in 2002. Going on to take 272 ODI wickets in total, Donald is the second most successful South African ODI bowler of all time.
3. Waqar Younis – PAKISTAN – 250 wickets in 148 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 416
Pakistan have always been blessed with lightning-quick fast bowlers and few come more hostile and dangerous than Waqar Younis. Along with Wasim Akram, he formed a deadly partnership that blew away all before them in ODI cricket. Despite an injury setback in 1991, Younis reached 250 ODI wickets in just 148 matches and his ability to consistently bowl quick spells scared batsmen. His tally of 416 ODI wickets makes him the 3rd-highest ODI wicket-taker of all time.
2. Brett Lee – AUSTRALIA- 250 wickets in 139 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 380
Reaching 250 wickets in just 139 matches, Brett Lee took the cricketing world by storm in the late 1990s and early 2000s with his sheer pace. With only 6 years and 282 days needed to reach the 250-wicket milestone, Lee was instrumental in Australia’s 2003 World Cup win in a period of dominance for Australia across the world. Finishing his career on 380 wickets, Lee finished his career as the second-highest Australian ODI wicket-taker of all time, one scalp behind Glenn McGrath.
1. Saqlain Mushtaq – PAKISTAN – 250 wickets in 138 matches – Total ODI Wickets: 288
The quickest man to take 250 wickets in ODI cricket is Pakistan’s mystery spinner Saqlain Mushtaq. Bursting onto the scene in the mid-1990s, Mushtaq consistently deceived batsmen with his flight and guile as well as heap loads of spin. It took him a mere 138 games to reach 250 wickets in ODI cricket, doing so in 2001 against Sri Lanka, less than 6 years after his ODI debut. He went on to take 288 ODI wickets for Pakistan, becoming 4th on the list of Pakistan ODI wicket-takers of all time.
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