Top wicket-taker betting at ICC World Cup

The leading wicket taker at the ICC World Cup is one of the most popular betting markets on the event, held every four years. Most online betting sites will have odds on the top wicket taker at the 50 Over World Cup weeks out from the beginning of the tournament.

One thing is for sure, the battle to be crowned the leading wicket-taker at the 50-over World Cup starting in England and Wales in late May promises to be an intriguing one.

Will it be pace triumphing over spin or will medium-pace swing bowling do the damage? With many pundits expecting it be a batsman-dominated World Cup, could a real surprise packet pop to take the bowing honours?

One thing that should not be forgotten when looking to place a wager on this popular market is this: it is a market for the leading wicket taker NOT the best bowler.

True, it’s possible the best bowler will also take the most wickets, but it’s not likely. Here we look at several factors at play and hopefully give gamblers with a passion for cricket some insights into who they should put their hard-earned money on for this tournament.

Our guide to betting on cricket
2019 ICC World Cup betting guide

Best bookmakers for betting on World Cup top wicket-taker

It’s important that you find a suitable sportsbook for betting on cricket, and this can vary widely depending on where you are in the world.

Most countries will have access in some way to view the matches from the World Cup, but not all bookmakers accept players from all countries.

You should do your research to find a trustworthy operator that services your country, as well shop around to find competitive odds on the players or players you want to back to the leading wicket-taker.

The World Gambling List will only recommend bookmakers with no black marks against their name and those we know will pay out promptly.
We recommend the following betting sites for wagering on the ICC World Cup 2019:

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Top wicket-takers from previous ICC World Cups

As with our look at the top run-scorer betting markets, here we have also looked at the previous editions of the one-day international World Cup to seek any patterns to the leading wicket-taker results.

We have compiled a table of leading wicket-takers and what looked at what style of bowlers have been successful.

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Year Player (country) Wickets Best bowling Style Average Host/s
1975 Gary Gilmour (Australia) 11 6-14 Left-arm swing 5.63 England
Bernard Julien (WI) 11 4-20 Left-arm fast-medium 17.70
1979 Mike Hendrick (Eng) 10 4-15 Right-arm fast-medium 14.90 England
1983 Roger Binny (Ind) 18 4-29 Right-arm fast-medium 18.66 England
1987 Craig McDermott (Aus) 18 5-44 Right-arm fast 18.94 India, Pakistan
1992 Wasim Akram (Pak) 18 4-43 Left-arm fast 18.77 Australia, New Zealand
1996 Anil Kumble (Ind) 15 3-28 Right-arm leg break 18.73 Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka
1999 Geoff Allott (NZ) 20 4-37 Left-arm fast-medium 16.25 England, Wales
Shane Warne (Aus) 20 4-29 Right-arm leg spin 18.05
2003 Chaminda Vaas (SL) 23 6-25 Left-arm fast-medium 14.39 South Africa
2007 Glenn McGrath 26 3-14 Right-arm fast-medium 13.73 West Indies
2011 Zaheer Khan (Ind) 21 3-20 Left-arm fast-medium 18.76 India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh
Shahid Afridi (Pak) 21 5-16 Right-arm leg spin 12.85
2015 Mitchell Starc (Aus) 22 6-28 Left-arm fast 10.18 Australia, New Zealand
Trent Boult (NZ) 22 5-27 Left-arm fast-medium 16.86
2019 Mitchell Starc (Aus) 27 5-26 Left-arm fast 18.59 England, Wales
2023 ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? India

Top wicket-taker tips for ICC World Cup

New ball please: The weather can be unpredictable in England and Wales and you need bowlers who can take advantage when the conditions come up in their favour. This could take the form of a nice green wicket that offer plenty off the pitch for the opening bowlers when the ball is rock hard. Cloud cover can also play its part in helping the ball move through the air. Keep an eye on the lead-up matches in England and see who is proving hard to handle among the new-ball bowlers.

Quite the reverse: Some bowlers and teams have a genuine knack at making the ball do strange things once one side of it has been roughed up. Of course, the scrutiny on any handling of the ball will be intense after what has happened in the past few years but nonetheless teams are expert at extracting reverse swing at a certain point of the ball’s ageing process. Sometimes the ball will do little early one and then all off a sudden will start being difficult to time. Just one of the fascinating aspects of this World Cup.

Quick and the dead: Genuine pace is a real weapon even on a flat pitch and can be effective especially against tail-end batsmen trying to pick up the scoring rate late in an innings. Sure, when someone’s bowling around 150kmh, they can be expensive as the slightest nicks fly away to the boundary. But not many top batsmen, let alone tail-enders, like an express Yorker headed for their toes or the ball whizzing about their ears. Quite often you will see a quality pace bowler pick up two or three late wickets, even if their earlier spell went unrewarded.

Believe the spin: Almost every team competing has a high-class spin option. At the time of writing the top 10 on the one-day international world rankings included such hard-to-handle slow bowlers as Afghan sensation Rashid Khan, Imran Tahir of South Africa, India’s Kuldeep Yadav and England’s Adil Rashid. Spinners have become the go-to bowlers in short form cricket and that is unlikely to change at this tournament.

Early tips for leading wicket-takers at 2019 ICC World Cup

Here are a few of the bowlers we think will do well in the ICC World Cup, but be sure to check the latest injury news and odds before placing any bets. Bowlers and especially pace bowlers are far more susceptible to injury than their batting counterparts. Also keep an eye on the lead-up matches and see if it is the spinners or the pacemen doing the damage.

Mitchell Starc (Australia): Left-handers have a pretty good record (see table) in previous World Cups and Starc is a proven force on the big stage. He was nigh on unplayable at time during the 2015 World Cup and, while he has had his injury woes of late, if he can strike form Australia are right back in calculations. At his best the giant left-armer delivers swinging yorkers and away swingers beyond 150kmh.

Rashid Khan (Afghanistan): One of the world’s most in-demand short-form players and it’s not hard to see why. His chances of taking a plethora of wickets in this event may depend on how opponents choose to play him. Do they shut up shop and try to ride out his 10 overs of trickery and try to attack the other bowlers? Or do they take him on. Rashid is just a wonderful player and there’s always something happening when he is bowling.

Kagiso Rabada (South Africa): A quality bowler no matter the conditions and you can be certain he will be bowling just as fast and accurately with his last delivery as he is with his first. Has had a few injury worries but is expect to be fit in time for the tournament. Worth checking the latest before you jump in though.