HomeSportsCricket12 Bowlers with most wickets in T20 Internationals

12 Bowlers with most wickets in T20 Internationals

Twenty20 international (T20) is considered one of the most entertaining formats of cricket. Since its induction in 2005 onto the international stage, the shortest version of the game has forced cricketers to shift to a more explosive style of play, both in hitting and wicket-taking. And with batsmen always looking for opportunities to hit tremendous, bowlers have adapted as well. They not only need to be accurate but also be fast, economical and, more importantly, have a wicket-taking ability in pressure situations. Here’re the bowlers who have the most wickets in T20 Internationals:

Stuart Broad (England) | 65 Wickets

Stuart Broad Most Wickets T20 Internationals KreedOn
Stuart Broad. (image via @cricketcomau/Twitter)

At number 12, we have former English International Stuart Broad. Since his 2/35 in four overs on his debut against Pakistan, Broad has gone on to pick 65 wickets in 56 matches.

Apart from his infamous six-sixes-in-six-balls over against Yuvraj Singh, fans also remember the right-arm medium pacer for playing a crucial role in the Three Lion’s march to the 2010 ICC World T20 Championship trophy in West Indies.

T20I Wickets: 65

Matches: 56

Economy: 7.62

Best Figures:4/24

4 wicket Hauls: 1

5 Wicket Hauls: None

Nuwan Kulasekara (Sri Lanka) | 66 Wickets

Nuwan Kulasekara Most Wickets T20 Internationals KreedOn
Sri Lankan Legend Nuwan Kulasekara (image via @ICC/Twitter)

Nuwan Kulasekara is the first of four Sri Lankan bowlers in this list of most wickets in T20 international. Rated amongst the best swing bowlers, Kulasekara picked up 66 wickets for 58 matches for ‘The Lions’.

In 2009, Kulasekara topped the ICC ODI bowlers’ ratings. And by doing so, he scripted history by becoming the first and only Sri Lankan till date to achieve the feat. Kulasekara also holds a unique record to have an economy rate of 0.00. He achieved it when Sri Lanka had played the Netherlands in 2014.

T20I Wickets: 66

Matches: 58

Economy: 7.45

Best Figures: 4/31

4 wicket Hauls: 2

5 Wicket Hauls: None

Ajanta Mendis (Sri Lanka) | 66 Wickets

Ajanta Mendis Most Wickets T20 Internationals KreedOn
Ajanta Mendis. (image via @ICC/Twitter)

Ajanta Mendis is well-known as the “Mystery Spinner” due to his ability to disguise batsmen with a range of varieties. The cricketer picked up 66 wickets in 39 matches for the Sri Lankan National Cricket team to make his way into the list. After a distinguished service for the Sri Lankan team, Mendis called time on his career in August 2019.

T20I Wickets: 66

Matches: 39

Economy: 6.45

Best Figures: 6/8

4 wicket Hauls: 3

5 Wicket Hauls: 2

Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan) | 69 Wickets

Mohammad Nabi Most Wickets T20 internationals
Mohammad Nabi (image via @ICC/Twitter)

Afghani cricketer Mohammad Nabi is the first name in this list with most wickets in T20 internationals to still be active. Nabi has picked 69 wickets in 75 T20 matches for Afghanistan. The 34-year-old all-rounder has played a crucial role both as a cricketer and as a captain during Afghanistan’s rise as a cricketing nation.

T20I Wickets: 69

Matches: 75

Economy: 7.16

Best Figures: 4/10

4 wicket Hauls: 3

5 Wicket Hauls: None

Tim Southee (New Zealand) | 75 Wickets

Tim Southee Most Wickets T20 Internationals
Tim Southee. (image via @ICC/Twitter)

In a list dominated by bowlers from Asia, Tim Southee is one of the few exceptions to feature on the list. In 66 matches, Southee has picked up 75 wickets for the Black Caps. Southee was the only Kiwi to feature on the ‘Team of the Tournament’ of the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup after picking 18 wickets in the event.

T20I Wickets:75

Matches: 66

Economy: 8.36

Best Figures: 5/18

4 wicket Hauls: None

5 Wicket Hauls: 1

Henry Dockrell (Ireland) | 75 Wickets

Henry Dockrell Most Wickets T20 Internationals
Henry Dockrell. image via ICC Website)

No, this is not a mistake! Irish slow left-arm orthodox bowler Henry Dockrell has picked 75 wickets in 73 matches for Cricket Ireland to feature in this list of bowlers with the most wickets in T20 Internationals. The 27-year-old had his most impressive moments during the ICC World T20 Championships 2010. Dockrell picked four wickets including a marvellous 3/16 in his four overs against West Indies.

T20I Wickets: 75

Matches: 73

Economy: 6.95

Best Figures: 4/20

4 wicket Hauls: 1

5 Wicket Hauls: None

Rashid Khan (Afghanistan) | 84 Wickets

Twenty-one-year-old Rashid Khan is the youngest among other top wicket-takers in T20 internationals. The recently appointed captain of Afghanistan cricket team has picked 84 wickets in 45 matches. At this rate, there is no doubt that the young spinner will go on to soon become the top wicket-taker in T20 Internationals. Rashid Khan also eclipsed other legendary spinners in Wisden’s T20I team of the decade:

T20I Wickets: 84

Matches: 45

Economy: 6.15

Best Figures: 5/3

4 wicket Hauls: 3

5 Wicket Hauls: 2

Saeed Ajmal (Pakistan) | 85 Wickets

Saeed Ajmal Most wickets T20 internationals
Saeed Ajmal (image via @brandsynario/Twitter)

Entering the top five wicket-takers in T20 international cricket is Pakistan international bowler Saeed Ajmal. The right-arm off breaker has picked 85 wickets in 64 matches in his six-year-long T20 international career. During his prime in 2012, Ajmal was ranked one in the ICC T20 bowler ratings.

T20I Wickets: 85

Matches: 64

Economy: 6.36

Best Figures: 4/19

4 wicket Hauls: 4

5 Wicket Hauls: None

Umar Gul (Pakistan) | 85 Wickets

Umar Gul Most Wickets T20 internationals KreedOn
Umar Gul. (image via @ICC/Twitter)

Just like his name, Umar Gul (which roughly translates to ‘Age Disappears’ in Hindi) has been representing the ‘Shaheens’ for a long time now! The right-arm medium pacer has performed well in the shortest format of the game with having picked 85 wickets in 64 matches.

Gul has had many impressive spells for Pakistan in T20I. However, the 3/6 against New Zealand in 2009 is regarded as his best.

T20I Wickets: 85

Matches: 64

Economy: 7.19

Best Figures: 5/6

4 Wicket Hauls: 4

5 Wicket Hauls: 2

Also Read: 10 Bowlers with the Most wicket in ODI Cricket 

Shakib Al Hassan (Bangladesh) | 92 Wickets

Shakib Al Hassan Most Wickets T20 Internationals
Shakib Al Hassan. (image via @sumon52658579/twitter)

By far one of the best Bangladeshi players in recent times, Shakib Al Hassan is the only player from the Tigers to feature as the top wicket-takers in T20 internationals. With 92 wickets in 76 matches, Shakib could soon go on top of record books.

However, Shakib will have to wait before trying to do so due to his two-year ban from international cricket. Shakib holds various cricketing records. Shakib holds a unique record to be named as the best allrounder across all three formats at the same time.

T20I Wickets: 92

Matches: 76

Economy: 6.81

Best Figures: 5/20

4 Wicket Hauls: 3

5 Wicket Hauls: 1

Shahid Afridi (Pakistan) | 98 Wickets

Shahid Afridi Most Wickets T20 Internationals
Pakistani Cricketer Shahid Afridi (image via @malikusama933/Twitter)

‘Boom Boom Afridi’ sits on the second spot of the list of the highest wicket-takers in T20 internationals. Despite all of his controversies off the pitch and his Twitter battles with Gautam Gambhir, the all-rounder has picked 98 wickets for Pakistan in 99 T20 Internationals.

Afridi’s highest performance with the ball in T20 internationals came against the Netherlands when he picked four wickets while conceding 11 runs. After a long, illustrious career, Afridi hanged his boots in February 2017.

T20I Wickets: 98

Matches: 99

Economy: 6.63

Best Figures: 4/11

4 Wicket Hauls: 3

5 Wicket Hauls: none

Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka) | 106 Wickets

Lasith Malinga Most Wickets T20 Internationals
Lasith Malinga (image via @ICC/Twitter)

It is hard to identify a unique trait about Lasith Malinga, simply because he has too many of them! What would you choose – his hair, his action- ‘Slinga’ or his wicket-taking ability! The Sri Lankan is the only bowler to have picked over 100 wickets in T20 internationals.

While representing the Lions, Malinga picked up 106 matches in 79 matches. His ability to deliver consistent yorkers and pick wickets made him one of the most feared bowlers. After a long distinguished career, Malinga retired recently in November 2019.

T20I Wickets: 106

Matches: 79

Economy: 7.23

Best Figures: 5/6

4 Wicket Hauls: 1

5 Wicket Hauls: 2

It is an astonishing fact that no Indian bowlers feature. The closest Indian with the most wickets is Ravichandran Ashwin with 52 wickets in 46 T20 international matches. Following him are Jasprit Bumrah (51 wickets in 42 matches) and Yuzvendra Chahal (50 wickets in 34 matches).

Manan Dharamshi
I usually describe myself with three 'F's, i.e, Food, Football and Films. Born and Brought up in Bangalore since the mid-1990s, I have always had a huge interest in playing football, cricket and watching other sports. People who know me always tell I bleed football. Sports, and Football, in particular, has helped me through hard times and helped me to shape my view on the world. And that is one of the reasons why I want to serve as a Sports Journalist.


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