It is said that picking up wickets in the One-Day International (ODI) format is difficult as the white ball doesn’t swing as much as the red one and there’s little to no help from the surface.

But what stands out from all this is a bowler’s ability to adapt and come up with strategies to claim precious wickets. Those who do this consistently end up scalping the most wickets in a particular year.

So, here are the top 10 instances of bowlers picking up the most wickets in a calendar year in ODIs.

Most Wickets in a Calendar Year in ODI

PlayerInningsWickets Year
Saqlain Mushtaq (PAK)34691997
Saqlain Mushtaq (PAK)32651996
Shane Warne (AUS)36621999
Saeed Ajmal (PAK)33622013
Anil Kumble (IND)32611996
Abdul Razzaq (PAK)38612000
Shaun Pollock (SA)37612000
Waqar Younis (PAK)34601996
Ajit Agarkar (IND)30581998
Muthiah Muralidaran (SL)33562001

(You can check out other calendar year stats here.)

Key Insights

69: Pakistan’s former off spinner, Saqlain Mushtaq, holds the record for grabbing the most wickets in a calendar year in ODIs. The off spinner got 69 wickets in 34 innings in 1997, eclipsing his own record of 65 wickets set in the previous year.

15 & 21: Allan Donald, who scalped 51 wickets in 1996, has the best bowling average and best bowling strike rate in a calendar year. Donald averaged 15.43 with the ball, while his bowling strike rate was 21.6 among the bowlers with 50+ wickets in a year.

50: More than 18 bowlers have picked up 50+ wickets in a single year in the ODI format.

2: Saqlain Mushtaq, Shane Warne, Shaun Pollock, and Waqar Younis are the only 4 bowlers with 50 or more wickets in 2 different calendar years.

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