A wrist-spinner who bowled off-breaks, and turned his doosra by yards, he was impossible to fathom, physically and through measurement. He could touch his forearm with his little finger and rotate the metacarpals through a full 360 degrees.

For more than a dozen years Murali remained Sri Lanka’s ubiquitous match-winner, hauling up wickets by the buckets, 534 in One-Day Internationals. There were three World Cup finals along the way, the first in 1996 an epochal triumph for the island nation.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Muttiah Muralitharan

Born: April 17, 1972 (age 48), Kandy, Dominion of Ceylon

Height: 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)

Batting style: Right-handed

Bowling style: Right-arm off-break

Playing Role: Bowler  

 

ODI Career: Sri Lanka (1993-2011)

Mat      Inns       Balls     Runs     Wkts      BBI      BBM       Ave      Econ     SR        4w    5w    10w

350        341       18811   12326     534       7/30     7/30       23.08     3.93     35.2      15      10       0

 

Career Highlights

  • Most One-Day International wickets (534)
  • Average of 23.08 in ODIs
  • Highest career peak ODI Bowling Rating by a spinner (913)
  • Second most World Cup scalps (67)

He mixed it up by bowling googlies and the quicker ones. On occasion, he even delivered the conventional off-break. This was interspersed with some stunning knocks such as the one against India in 2005 when he got to his hundred in 45 balls.

This lethal combination made him one of the most valuable players going around in the shorter forms of the game.

That big-hitting potential may have caused people, even ones with more trained eyes, to underscore just how good a bowler Shahid Afridi was. Only Chaminda Vaas has ever produced better figures in an ODI game, his 7-12 against the West Indies in 2013 routing the hosts in Providence, Guyana for 98. This was, of course, after Afridi had propped up a poor batting performance from Pakistan with a typically aggressive 76 from 55 deliveries. Pakistan won the game by 126 runs and Afridi was duly named man of the match.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi

Born: 1 March 1975 (age 45), Khyber, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Height: 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)

Batting style: Right-handed

Bowling style: Right-arm leg spin

Playing role: All-rounder

 

ODI Career: Pakistan (1996–2018)

Mat    Inns      Balls       Runs       Wkts     BBI     BBM    Ave    Econ    SR      4w    5w     10w

398     372       17670     13632       395       7/12    7/12    34.51  4.62    44.7     4        9         0

 

Career Highlights

  • 2nd player in ODI history with 6,000 runs and 300 wickets
  • Joint leading wicket-taker in 2011 World Cup (21)
  • Most wickets in any World Cup by a captain (21)
  • 3rd most wickets by a Pakistani in ODIs (395)

Saqlain Mushtaq is regarded as one of the best spinners cricket has ever seen.  His arsenal consisted of mean spin control and he was renowned for his ‘doosras’. In fact, he was one of the first off spinners to master the delivery that spins away from the batsman even though it is delivered with an offspinner's action.

Saqlain was not good enough with the bat, but his bowling abilities gave him a place in the Pakistan side for more than nine years.

His six five-wicket hauls and 11 four-fers tell the story of an aggressive bowler who was always trying to get a wicket. Sometimes he was criticized for that aggression, as his insistence on always varying his deliveries meant he was sometimes expensive. But that aggression also may have been the reason he was the quickest ODI bowler to 100 wickets but injuries and his inability to bat may have shortened his career somewhat.

Saqlain’s quality was on full show in 2000 when he laid waste to England in a six-wicket victory in Rawalpindi. The spinner’s variations were on song that day, as his 5-20, including the wickets of Marcus Trescothick and Graeme Hick, helped restrict England to 158 all-out. Pakistan cruised to 161-4 in 43.3 overs.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Saqlain Mushtaq

Born: December 29, 1976 (age 43), Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

Batting style: Right-handed

Bowling style:     Right-arm off-break

 

ODI Career: Pakistan (1995-2003)

Mat      Inns      Balls     Runs     Wkts       BBI     BBM        Ave       Econ      SR     4w     5w   10w

169       165       8770     6275        288       5/20     5/20       21.78      4.29      30.4    11       6      0

 

Career Highlights

  • Claimed 288 wickets at 21.78
  • Joint best average of any bowler over 200 wickets
  • One of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year (2000)
  • A 2003 Wisden statistical analysis said he was best ODI spinner
  • 1st spinner to take a hat-trick in ODIs

Tall and lithe in his build, Anil Kumble was not the quintessential, everyday spinner.

He produced no lateral magic from the surface as Shane Warne did, nor did he create ripples around the batsmen like the wily old fox, Muttiah Muralitharan. Yet he ended up with 339 ODI wickets, with the only spinners ahead of him being Muralitharan and Afridi.

In the process, he gained enormous goodwill amongst fans and his fellow teammates for being fiercely aggressive and competitive on the field, and unerringly composed and humble off it.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Anil Kumble

Born: 17 October 1970 (age 49), Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)

Batting style: Right-handed

Bowling style: Legbreak googly

Playing role: Bowler

 

ODI Career: India (1990-2007)

Mat     Inns      Balls      Runs     Wkts    BBI      BBM       Ave       Econ     SR        4w  5w 10w

271       265       14496  10412  337       6/12       6/12     30.89   4.30      43.0      8     2     0

 

Career Highlights

  • Most successful bowler at the 1996 World Cup (15 wickets)
  • He picked up 337 wickets at an average of 30.89
  • He’s picked up 5 wickets in an innings, twice

Widely regarded as the greatest leg spinner in the history of cricket, Shane Warne was a renaissance man. He breathed new life into the bowling style of leg-spin which was dying and made it an integral part of the game.

His ball which bamboozled Mike Gatting in 1993, is regarded as the greatest delivery ever bowled by popular discretion.

He was the leading wicket-taker (708) in Test cricket, until December 2007, when the throne was usurped by another all-time spinning legend, Muttiah Muralitharan. Had he played as many ODIs as did other bowlers, the situation may have been the same, but his 293 from just 194 games, is testament to how dangerous he is. His average of just over 25 also makes him comparable to not just the greatest spinners in the ODI format, but the greatest bowlers, period.  

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Shane Keith Warne

Born: September 13, 1969 (age 50), Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria, Australia

Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)

Batting style: Right-handed

Bowling style: Right-arm leg break

Playing role: Bowler

 

ODI Career: Australia (1993-2005)

Mat      Inns     Balls       Runs      Wkts      BBI        BBM      Ave        Econ        SR           4w          5w          10w

194       191      10642      7541        293      5/33       5/33      4.25        25.74      36.32          1             0              0

 

Career Highlights

  • Only specialist bowler among Wisden’s 5 Cricketers of the Century
  • He was named as a bowler in Australia's "greatest ever ODI team"
  • He’s picked up 293 wickets in 194 ODIs
  • Claimed one 5-wicket haul in ODIs

He began as a left-arm spinner but gradually established himself as more of an all-rounder in the Test arena. With his preference for good technique, his batting did not flourish in the ODI game, but he was still a useful lower-order, left-handed batsman with four half-centuries.

He was the youngest New Zealander to play One Day International cricket, just as was the case for Tests.

Gradually the drift became more pronounced; the spin and bounce more controlled and cannier. Today, Vettori is New Zealand's leading ODI wicket-taker.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Daniel Luca Vettori

Born: January 27, 1979 (age 41), Auckland, New Zealand

Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)

Batting style: Left-handed

Bowling style: Slow left-arm orthodox

Playing role: Allrounder

 

ODI Career: New Zealand (1997-2015)

Mat      Inns      Balls     Runs     Wkts    BBI    BBM     Ave       Econ     SR      4w    5w    10w

295       277       14060    9674     305       5/7     5/7      31.71     4.12      46.0     8        2       0

 

Career Highlights

  • Took 305 wickets from 295 matches at 31.71
  • Most wickets by a Kiwi in ODIs
  • Eight 4-wicket hauls and two 5-wicket hauls in ODIs

Michael Holding played his first ODI on August 26, 1976, against England.  He took 2 for 38 in the match the West Indies won by six wickets with 84 balls to spare.

Fast and accurate, Holding, over the next decade, took wickets consistently as a member of the all-conquering West Indies team. In 102 matches, Holding claimed 142 wickets at an average of 21.36 and an economy of 3.32.

In the Prudential World Cup in 1979, Holding returned 4 for 33 from his 12 overs as the West Indies dismissed India for 190 before going on to win by nine wickets with 8.3 overs to spare.

During the Benson and Hedges World Series in January 1980, Holding produced a masterful performance with the ball, returning figures of 4 for 17 from 9.3 overs as the West Indies restricted Australia to 190 all out. However, it all went for nought as the West Indies lost the match by nine runs.

Five years later and again in the Benson and Hedges World Series, Holding would deliver a match-winning spell against Australia returning his best bowling figures of 5 for 26, dismissing them for 178. The West Indies then scored 179 for 3 to score a convincing seven-wicket win.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Michael Anthony Holding

Born: February 16, 1954 (66), Half-Way Tree, Kingston, Jamaica

Major teams: West Indies, Canterbury, Derbyshire, Jamaica, Lancashire, Tasmania

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

ODI Career: West Indies (1976-1987)

Mat        Inns      Balls       Runs      Wkts      BBI         BBM      Ave        Econ      SR       4w          5w         10w

102         102        5473       3034      142        5/26       5/26       21.36     3.32       38.5       5             1             0

 

Career highlights

  • Never bowled a wide in 900 overs of international cricket
  • He picked up 142 wickets in 102 ODIs
  • ODI Bowling Average: 21.36
  • Has one 5 wicket haul in ODIs

The foreboding image of a 6ft 8 inch bowler running in and delivering at lively pace from a height closer to 10 feet made many of the world’s best batsmen tremble in their boots.

That was Joel Garner for a decade.

Those characteristics, plus the ability to deliver toe-crunching yorkers with regularity also made the towering Barbadian one of the most lethal and miserly bowlers of his era.

At Lord's in 1979 he simply blew England's slim hopes away with 5 for 38, the best figures ever in a World Cup final. It included a spell of 5 wickets for 4 runs, and he was on a hat-trick twice.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Joel Garner

Born: December 16, 1952 (67), Enterprise, Christ Church, Barbados

Major teams: West Indies, Barbados, Somerset, South Australia

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

Height: 6 ft 8 in

 

ODI Career: West Indies (1977-1987)

Mat        Inns        Balls       Runs      Wkts      BBI         BBM      Ave        Econ      SR        4w          5w         10w

98           98           5330      2752      146        5/31       5/31       18.84        3.09       36.5       2             3            0

 

Career highlights

  • Highest ranked ODI bowler per the ICC best ever bowling ratings
  • Best-ever figures in a CWC Final, 5-39 in 1979
  • He picked up 146 wickets in 98 ODIs at an average of 18.84

Chaminda Vaas is easily the most penetrative and successful new-ball bowler Sri Lanka has had. He swung and seamed the ball with skill, his trademark delivery being the late in dipper. However, he also bowled a carefully disguised off cutter, and later in his career added reverse-swing to his armoury, a skill that made him a consistent wicket-taker even on bland, subcontinental pitches.

He led the Sri Lankan new-ball attack for over a decade and has taken 400 One Day International wickets, only the second Sri Lankan to do so after Muttiah Muralitharan.

Only three bowlers have taken more wickets in ODI cricket history.

Vaas holds the record for the best bowling performance in One-Day International cricket with his 8 for 19 off eight overs against Zimbabwe at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in December 2001. It remains the only eight-wicket haul in ODI cricket history.

Vaas has taken two ODI hat-tricks in his career, the third of only four players to have achieved the feat. 

 

Career Statistics

Full names: Chaminda Vaas

Born: January 27, 1974 (46), Mattumagala

Major teams: Sri Lanka, Asia XI, Basnahira North, Colts Cricket Club, Deccan Chargers, Hampshire, Marylebone Cricket Club, Middlesex, Northamptonshire, Worcestershire

Playing role: Bowler

Bowling style: Left-arm fast-medium

 

ODI Career: Sri Lanka (1994-2008)

Mat        Inns        Balls       Runs      Wkts      BBI         BBM      Ave        Econ      SR       4w          5w       10w

322         320         15775     11014      400        8/19       8/19       27.53     4.18       39.4       9             4          0

 

Career highlights

  • Holds the record for taking the only 8-fer in ODIs
  • 1st player to take a hat-trick off the first 3 balls of an innings
  • Youngest bowler to take 300 wickets in ODI cricket
  • Only 3 bowlers have taken more ODI wickets
  • Named in the World ODI XI by the ICC in 2004 and 2007

A master of reverse swing, Waqar Younis bucked the 1980s trend of bowling fast and pitching short by bowling fast and pitching full.

Not an obvious recipe for success until you factor in prodigious late inswing, which was designed to smash into the base of leg stump or the batsman's toes. In his youth, he was one of the fastest ever.

His method of aiming for the stumps rather than the batsman earned him the best strike rate of any bowler with over 200 Test wickets until Dale Steyn came along.

Waqar made his International cricket debut for Pakistan against India in November 1989 and made an immediate impression with his speed. Soon, he became known as "Wiki" or the "Burewala Express".

During his career, marred by persistent back injuries, Waqar took 416 One Day International wickets and with Wasim Akram, formed one of the world's most feared bowling attacks.

He is the youngest bowler to take 400 wickets in ODI cricket.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Waqar Younis

Born: November 16, 1971 (48), Vehari, Punjab

Major teams: Pakistan, Glamorgan, Karachi, Lahore, Multan, National Bank of Pakistan, Rawalpindi, Redco Pakistan Ltd, Surrey, United Bank Limited

Playing role: Bowler

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

ODI Career: Pakistan (1989-2003)

Mat        Inns        Balls       Runs      Wkts      BBI         BBM       Ave        Econ       SR        4w          5w            10w

262          258        12698      9919       416        7/36       7/36       23.84       4.68       30.5       14           13               0

 

Career highlights

  • Claimed 416 wickets at an average of 23.84
  • Youngest bowler to take 400 wickets in ODI cricket
  • Only bowler to have taken 5 wickets in an innings in 3 consecutive ODIs
  • First captain to take a 7-wicket haul in an ODI innings
  • Most 5-wicket hauls in ODIs (13)
  • Most 4-wicket hauls in ODIs (27)

Wasim Akram was perhaps the best left-arm fast bowler in history. With complete mastery over swing and seam, he could sometimes with a single delivery, move the ball both ways.

Wasim started his ODI career against New Zealand in Pakistan in 1984 under the captaincy of Zaheer Abbas and quickly rose to prominence by taking five wickets in his third ODI against Australia in the 1985 Benson & Hedges World Championship.

Among those five wickets were Kepler Wessels, Dean Jones, and Captain Allan Border.

Wasim took his 100th wicket, that of Curtly Ambrose, in Sharjah during the 1989–1990 Champions Trophy against West Indies. Overall, he took five wickets in that match, including a hat trick in which all three batsman were bowled.

He took his second hat trick on May 4, 1990 in Sharjah, against Australia. Once again, all three batsmen were out bowled.

From 1986–1989, Wasim took 100 wickets at 22.71 runs per wicket and at an economy rate of less than 3.9 runs per over.

He was the first bowler to reach the 500-wicket mark in ODI cricket during the 2003 World Cup.

 

Career Statistics

Full Name: Wasim Akram

Born: June 3, 1966 (54), Lahore, Punjab

Major teams: Pakistan, Hampshire, Lahore, Lancashire, Pakistan Automobiles Corporation, Pakistan International Airlines

Playing role: Bowler

Bowling style: Left-arm fast

 

ODI Career: Pakistan (1984-2003)

Mat        Inns        Balls       Runs      Wkts        BBI         BBM        Ave        Econ       SR           4w          5w               10w

356         351         18186      11812      502        5/15         5/15       23.52       3.89       36.2          17             6                  0

 

Career highlights

  • 1st man to take 500 ODI wickets
  • Claimed 502 wickets at an average of 23.52
  • He has two hat-tricks in ODIs
  • Ranked by Wisden as the best ODI bowler of all time in 2002
  • Most ODI wickets as captain (158)

Grant Flower expects Pakistan run machine Babar Azam to "break a lot of records" but fears there is a danger he could regret taking over as captain.

Babar is the top-ranked Twenty20 international batsman in the world and has established himself as one of the best players on the planet in all formats.

The 25-year-old was named T20I skipper last October and also took the ODI captaincy this month.

Flower recognised the elegant right-hander was a special talent when he first started working with him as Pakistan batting coach and believes he is destined for greatness.

He told Stats Perform News: "Babar is brilliant.

"The first time I saw him play and first time I worked with him - when I threw balls at him at the academy in Lahore - he picked up length so much quicker than the rest of the players and I think that's the hallmark of a great batsman.

"If you look at some of the best players in the world like Steve Smith, Virat Kohli et cetera, they pick up length really quickly and play the ball late, have a great eye and hand-eye coordination. He has that and I think he is going to break a lot of records.

"Even in T20 cricket he plays normal cricket shots and that is also the sign of a great player. As long as he stays humble, which I'm sure he will as he's a good bloke, there is no reason why he can't be one of the best and he already pretty much is."

Sri Lanka batting coach Flower hopes Babar thrives as a leader but fears his form could suffer due to the extra pressure on his shoulders.

The former Zimbabwe all-rounder said: "He's got a good cricketing brain but there's a lot of politics in Pakistan cricket and a lot of pressure from the public.

"If you start losing, it's one thing being the best batsman but that will put pressure on your batting skills and it can all come tumbling down pretty quickly.

"We've seen with great players in the past the pressures that captaincy can bring, but some players get better and if he gets better then the world is his oyster. Time will tell.

"But he seems pretty positive about it, I read what he said in an interview when he got the captaincy. I wish him all the best and hopefully all positives come with that."

 

- Grant Flower was speaking on behalf of The Conservation Games, a first-of-its-kind initiative from the Zambesia Conservation Alliance. To watch Grant in action, visit and subscribe to the Conservation Games channel on YouTube.

England have named 14 uncapped players among a 55-man squad to join up for England group training. 

Will Jacks, Dan Lawrence, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Henry Brookes are among those selected yet to feature at international level, but there is no place for experienced duo Alex Hales or Liam Plunkett. 

David Willey, Ben Duckett and Dawid Malan, however, will be hoping to make a return for England after they were asked to report for sessions that will go ahead subject to government approval. 

Bowlers were able to begin individual training last week for the first time since they were forced into lockdown due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

There has been no confirmation of when England will play next, but a large training group was announced on Friday ahead of a proposed Test series with West Indies on home soil, as well as one-day games against Ireland.

England and Wales Cricket Board performance director Mo Bobat said: "It's really pleasing to be in a position to have players returning to training and a huge amount of work has been done by many to get us this far. 

"The pool of players will give selectors strong options when it comes to selecting squads across formats further down the line, as we move closer to our aim of playing international cricket this summer. 

"We will need to continue to work closely with our medical team and government to ensure that our return to training and play activities are in line with best-practice guidelines. 

"We're also really grateful for the positive and collaborative response from our county colleagues who are doing a great job at facilitating coaching and support for the players. The fact that we can call on our network to support the national effort shows the strength of our system." 

 

England training group: Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Dom Bess, Sam Billings, James Bracey, Stuart Broad, Henry Brookes, Pat Brown, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Brydon Carse, Mason Crane, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Joe Denly, Ben Duckett, Laurie Evans, Ben Foakes, Richard Gleeson, Lewis Gregory, Sam Hain, Tom Helm, Will Jacks, Keaton Jennings, Chris Jordan, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Matt Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Adil Rashid, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Phil Salt, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Reece Topley, James Vince, Amar Virdi, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Cricket Australia (CA) is braced for a huge financial hit due to the possible postponement of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup, as well as playing home games without spectators. 

Speaking to the media on Friday, CA chief executive Kevin Roberts predicted the governing body stands to miss out on 80million Australian dollars due to the potential changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Admitting there is a “very high risk” of the global T20 tournament being pushed back from the original plan of October and November this year, Roberts outlined the expected missed income due to such a delay. 

However, the bigger blow is a home summer without any fans present at international fixtures, while there is also the extra cost of the biosecurity measures required to host opposing teams. 

"The likelihood of significant crowds is very slim - ordinarily that would deliver well over $50m revenue to CA," Roberts told reporters. 

"The T20 World Cup is a big question and that's a factor of perhaps $20m. We have been hopeful all along that it could be staged in October-November, but you would have to say there's a very high risk about the prospect of that happening. 

"And it's likely that our biosecurity measures that we need to put in place to deliver the season will cost in the order of $10m." 

Australia are due to host Zimbabwe in one-day internationals in August, then West Indies arrive for T20 games in October. As for Tests, Afghanistan are due to play one in Perth in November, followed by a four-match series against India, who complete their tour with three ODIs in January. 

New Zealand are the final visitors of a packed schedule, making the short trip for three one-dayers and a one-off T20 early next year. 

On the recently released schedule, Roberts remained cautiously optimistic, adding: “We're very optimistic that we will be able to stage the India men's tour and the other inbound tours for the season. 

"But we're realistic enough to know they will look very different to a normal summer. We have been forced to effectively plan for the worst and hope for the best." 

Adam Gilchrist made his international debut in ODIs as a wicketkeeper against South Africa in 1996. He started his career in a similar manner to Tendulkar, coming lower down the order. He made some useful contributions there, however in the day and age of pinch-hitters – or batsmen who could take advantage of the fielding restrictions – he was sent to open the innings. That changed everything. He went on to score his maiden century in his very second match at the top of the order against South Africa in Sydney.

Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee could have been a nightmare for other wicketkeepers but Gilly was safe as houses behind the wickets. Then there was arguably the greatest leg spinner the world has ever seen, Shane Warne. Gilly was equally safe while wicketkeeping for the great spinner as well. He hardly dropped catches and helped Australia win by turning those half chances into wickets.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Adam Craig Gilchrist

Born: November 14, 1971, Bellingen, New South Wales

Major teams: Australia, Deccan Chargers, ICC World XI, Kings XI Punjab, Middlesex, New South Wales, Western Australia

Playing role: Wicketkeeper-batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm offbreak

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

Height: 1.86 m

 

ODI Career: Australia (1996–2008)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs    HS     Ave     BF        SR       100s    50s    4s      6s      Ct      St

287     279      11     9619     172    35.89   9922    96.94      16     55      1162   149    417     55

 

Career Highlights

  • Holds record for most catches by a wicketkeeper in an ODI innings (6)
  • Second when paired with Glenn McGrath for most successful bowler/wicketkeeper combinations with 72 dismissals.
  • First and fourth on list with most dismissals in a calendar year 56 catches and 9 stumpings in 1999 and 53 catches and 3 stumpings in 2003.
  • Named in Australia's "greatest ever ODI team”
  • One of three players to have won three World Cup titles
  • Second most centuries by an ODI wicketkeeper (16)
  • Record for scoring at least 50 runs in successive CWC finals (1999, 2003, 2007)
  • Fastest century in a World Cup final
  • Highest ever score in a World Cup final (149) Barbados, 2007
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