The highly anticipated Asia Cup 2023 is set to make its long-awaited return on 31st August, marking nearly a year since its last edition. As we eagerly await the upcoming Asia Cup let’s take a journey through time and discover the five players with the most wickets in Asia Cup history. Notably, the 2022 edition of the Asia Cup witnessed Sri Lanka emerging as the champions, triumphing over Pakistan in a dominating final. Making his mark in that tournament, Bhuvneshwar Kumar of India reigned supreme as the leading wicket-taker in the Asia Cup 2022. Throughout cricket history, the Asian continent has produced a plethora of exceptional bowlers, including the likes of Wasim Akram, Muthiah Muralidaran, Zaheer Khan, Shakib Al Hasan, and Rashid Khan. However, the question that looms large is: Who among these illustrious names holds sway over the realm of Asian cricket and sits atop the Asia Cup wicket-taking chart? Brace yourself as we embark on an exhilarating quest to uncover the answer.
If you want to learn more about Asia Cup, don’t miss these captivating articles:
1. Lasith Malinga – Sri Lanka
Securing the top spot for the most wickets in Asia Cup history is none other than Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga, renowned as the unrivaled master of yorkers. Malinga played seven Asia Cups from 2004-2018, six in the ODI format and one in T20, taking as many as 33 wickets in just 15 matches. He won two Asia Cups with Sri Lanka in 2004 and 2014, he was also the leading wicket-taker in the 2014 Asia Cup with 11 wickets in just four matches.
Malinga took 29 wickets in 14 matches in ODI Asia Cups at an average of 20.55 and a strike rate of 26.51 including a four-wicket haul and three five-wicket hauls. Whereas, In the T20 Asia Cup, Malinga had a limited opportunity, featuring in only one game. Nonetheless, he made a significant impact by taking an impressive four-wicket haul.
2. Muthiah Muralidaran – Sri Lanka
Muthiah Muralidaran, the legendary spinner with 30 wickets holds the second spot for most wickets in Asia Cup history. Muralidaran played six Asia Cups from 1995 to 2010, taking as many as 30 wickets in just 24 matches. He won three Asia Cups in 1997, 2004, and 2008 and etched his name in the annals of Asia Cup as one of the finest.
Muraliadaran took 30 wickets in 24 matches at an average of 28.83 and an economy of 3.75 including one four-wicket haul and a five-wicket haul. His best performance came in the 2008 Asia Cup wherein he took 11 wickets in just five matches.
3. Ajantha Mendis – Sri Lanka
Yes, another Sri Lankan talent secures a spot in the top three wicket-takers of Asia Cup history. Sri Lanka’s dominance is evident as three of the highest wicket-takers in Asia Cup history hail from their ranks. Ajantha Mendis mesmerized cricket experts and fans alike with his exceptional performance in the 2008 Asia Cup, where he astoundingly claimed 17 wickets in just five matches. His remarkable contributions played a pivotal role in Sri Lanka’s triumph in the 2008 edition, earning him the well-deserved title of Player of the Tournament.
Mendis has taken a total of 26 wickets in a mere 8 matches in his Asia Cup career. He was also a member of Sri Lanka’s successful campaign in the 2008 and 2014 Asia Cup. Out of the 8 matches that he played in the competition, he took two 4-wickets and two 5-wicket hauls.
4. Saeed Ajmal – Pakistan
Saeed Ajmal, the esteemed magician hailing from Pakistan took 25 wickets in 12 matches in his Asia Cup career. He played in four Asia Cups from 2008-2014, where he played a pivotal role in the success of the Pakistan team.
One of his notable achievements came in the 2012 Asia Cup, where Pakistan emerged as champions. Ajmal’s remarkable contribution of eight wickets in four matches proved vital to the team’s triumph. Furthermore, his outstanding performance was instrumental in guiding Pakistan to the final of the 2014 Asia Cup, amassing an impressive tally of 11 wickets in five matches. Although Pakistan fell short in the final, Ajmal’s contributions were instrumental in their journey to the title clash.
5. Shakib Al Hasan – Bangladesh
The south-paw from Bangladesh is the fifth-highest wicket-taker in Asia Cup history with 25 wickets over the course of 20 matches. He played six editions of the Asia Cup from 2010-2022, four in the ODI format and two in the T20 format.
In the One-Day Asia Cups, he showcased his bowling prowess, accumulating 19 wickets in 13 matches, maintaining an average of 32.72 and an economy rate of 4.87. Moving on to the T20 Asia Cup, he played seven matches but managed to secure only six wickets.
the Asia Cup has witnessed the exceptional performances of numerous talented cricketers over the years. As we explored the top 5 players with the most wickets in Asia Cup history, it is evident that these individuals have left an indelible mark on the tournament. Their relentless dedication, skill, and ability to deliver under pressure have made them true legends of the game.
You Can Also Read Exciting World Cup Content Here: Top 5 Player Battles To Watch Out For In The 2023 ODI World Cup