Murali takes the baton from Akram
A little more than a month into 2009, we witnessed the fall of a major record. Muttiah Muralitharan took his 503rd wicket against India at the Premadasa Stadium to become the highest wicket-taker in one-day internationals, an honour that Wasim Akram seemed to have owned forever. But who held the record before them and for how long? This week we look at the progression of record holders for most wickets and runs in ODIs.
Before Murali, Kapil Dev was the last bowler to simultaneously hold the records for Test and ODI wickets. Unlike Murali, who will remain the record holder in both formats for several years, Kapil's dual reign was brief. He had been the highest wicket-taker in ODIs since 1988, after breaking Joel Garner's nine-month old record of 146 wickets, against West Indies in Sharjah, but went past Richard Hadlee's Test record only in February 1994. By that time Akram was closing in on Kapil's ODI mark of 251 wickets. Akram claimed the mark in August 1994, trapping Sanath Jayasuriya lbw, also at the Premadasa Stadium, and remained on top for more than 14 years. Six years passed after Akram's last ODI, in 2003, before he was overtaken.
England's Geoff Arnold was the first bowler to remain the highest wicket-taker for more than two years - his tally grew from six to 18 wickets between 1972 and 1975, when ODIs were few and far between. Later Dennis Lillee held the record for three years before becoming the first bowler to take 100 ODI wickets, against Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup.
Who are the contenders to Murali's title? The closest current players are Chaminda Vaas and Brett Lee, with 400 and 313 wickets respectively, but it's highly unlikely that they will play long enough to overtake Murali. Makhaya Ntini is on 265 but he will have to double his tally to have any chance. Maybe the best bet is Ajantha Mendis, whose career has just begun. He's 23 years old and has become the fastest to reach 50 wickets.
|KR Stackpole||3||v England||Melbourne||5 Jan 1971||ODI 1|
|R Illingworth||3||v Australia||Melbourne||5 Jan 1971||ODI 1|
|AA Mallett||3||v England||Melbourne||5 Jan 1971||ODI 1|
|KR Stackpole||3||v England||Manchester||24 Aug 1972||ODI 2|
|AA Mallett||3||v England||Manchester||24 Aug 1972||ODI 2|
|RA Woolmer||3||v Australia||Manchester||24 Aug 1972||ODI 2|
|AA Mallett||5||v England||Lord's||26 Aug 1972||ODI 3|
|GG Arnold||6||v Australia||Birmingham||28 Aug 1972||ODI 4|
|GG Arnold||18||v New Zealand||Nottingham||11 Jun 1975||ODI 23|
|CM Old||18||v East Africa||Birmingham||14 Jun 1975||ODI 27|
|CM Old||41||v West Indies||Lord's||23 Jun 1979||ODI 74|
|AME Roberts||41||v England||Melbourne||20 Jan 1980||ODI 86|
|AME Roberts||45||v England||Lord's||30 May 1980||ODI 90|
|DK Lillee||45||v India||Melbourne||6 Dec 1980||ODI 97|
|DK Lillee||103||v West Indies||Lord's||18 Jun 1983||ODI 215|
|MA Holding||104||v Sri Lanka||Sydney||17 Jan 1985||ODI 290|
|MA Holding||142||v England||Melbourne||30 Jan 1987||ODI 428|
|J Garner||142||v England||Melbourne||30 Jan 1987||ODI 428|
|J Garner||146||v New Zealand||Christchurch||28 Mar 1987||ODI 441|
|N Kapil Dev||146||v New Zealand||Sharjah||1 Apr 1988||ODI 517|
|N Kapil Dev||251||v New Zealand||Christchurch||2 Apr 1994||ODI 899|
|Wasim Akram||251||v Sri Lanka||Colombo (SSC)||22 Aug 1994||ODI 917|
|Wasim Akram||502||v Zimbabwe||Bulawayo||4 Mar 2003||ODI 1980|
|M Muralitharan||502||v India||Colombo (RPS)||3 Feb 2009||ODI 2813|
|M Muralitharan||505||v India||Colombo (RPS)||8 Feb 2009||ODI 2818|
The record for most ODI runs changed hands frequently between Ian Chappell, Dennis Amiss and Keith Fletcher during the first few years of ODI cricket. Amiss eventually broke from the pack in June 1975, going past Fletcher's tally of 599 runs to reclaim the record, and finished his career with 859 runs at an average of nearly 48, in 1977. Chappell and Fletcher were unable to catch up, even though they played until 1980 and 1982 respectively.
Another three-way battle began two years later when Greg Chappell went past Amiss during the World Series Cup in Australia in 1979. West Indies were also involved in the tournament and Viv Richards scored 85 off 77 balls against England at the Gabba in the very next match to go past Chappell's tally of 867. The record changed hands twice more during the series and it ended with Richards leading with 1059 runs - he was the first person to score more than 1000 runs in ODIs.
Gordon Greenidge entered the race briefly and held the record for seven months in 1980 before Richards took it back against Pakistan in Sialkot on December 5. Two days later Chappell was back in front and this time he held the record for three years, until he played his last match in April 1983, finishing with 2331 ODI runs.
Richards soon caught up and broke the record against India in December 1983. It was the start of a seven-year reign for the King and he had raised the bar to 6051 runs by March 1990. Richards played until May 1991, leaving Greenidge behind, but he was overtaken before his last ODI by team-mate Desmond Haynes, who broke the record against Pakistan in Karachi in 1990. Haynes' final tally of 8648 stood for four years after his last ODI, against England in 1994.
In November 1998, Mohammad Azharuddin became the first Indian to become the highest run-scorer in ODIs, and the record has never left the subcontinent since. Azharuddin remained the record holder until the end of his career in June 2000. Five months later Sachin Tendulkar scored his 9379th run in the Champions Trophy final against New Zealand to become the highest run-scorer in ODIs. He currently has 16,440 runs but his appearances in ODIs have become more sporadic.
|JH Edrich||82||v Australia||Melbourne||5 Jan 1971||ODI 1|
|IM Chappell||113||v England||Manchester||24 Aug 1972||ODI 2|
|IM Chappell||144||v England||Lord's||26 Aug 1972||ODI 3|
|DL Amiss||168||v Australia||Birmingham||28 Aug 1972||ODI 4|
|DL Amiss||302||v New Zealand||Manchester||20 Jul 1973||ODI 7|
|IM Chappell||316||v New Zealand||Christchurch||31 Mar 1974||ODI 11|
|DL Amiss||322||v India||Leeds||13 Jul 1974||ODI 12|
|KWR Fletcher||338||v India||The Oval||16 Jul 1974||ODI 13|
|KWR Fletcher||400||v New Zealand||Wellington||9 Mar 1975||ODI 18|
|DL Amiss||509||v India||Lord's||7 Jun 1975||ODI 19|
|KWR Fletcher||599||v New Zealand||Nottingham||11 Jun 1975||ODI 23|
|DL Amiss||613||v East Africa||Birmingham||14 Jun 1975||ODI 27|
|DL Amiss||859||v Australia||The Oval||6 Jun 1977||ODI 44|
|GS Chappell||867||v West Indies||Sydney||21 Dec 1979||ODI 80|
|IVA Richards||883||v England||Brisbane||23 Dec 1979||ODI 81|
|GS Chappell||919||v England||Sydney||26 Dec 1979||ODI 82|
|GS Chappell||953||v England||Sydney||14 Jan 1980||ODI 83|
|IVA Richards||971||v England||Adelaide||16 Jan 1980||ODI 84|
|IVA Richards||1059||v England||Sydney||22 Jan 1980||ODI 87|
|CG Greenidge||1073||v England||Leeds||29 May 1980||ODI 89|
|CG Greenidge||1133||v Pakistan||Karachi||21 Nov 1980||ODI 93|
|GS Chappell||1154||v New Zealand||Sydney||25 Nov 1980||ODI 95|
|IVA Richards||1211||v Pakistan||Sialkot||5 Dec 1980||ODI 96|
|GS Chappell||1213||v New Zealand||Melbourne||7 Dec 1980||ODI 98|
|GS Chappell||2331||v Sri Lanka||Colombo (SSC)||30 Apr 1983||ODI 196|
|IVA Richards||2457||v India||Jamshedpur||7 Dec 1983||ODI 229|
|IVA Richards||6501||v England||Georgetown||7 Mar 1990||ODI 617|
|DL Haynes||6537||v Pakistan||Karachi||9 Nov 1990||ODI 639|
|DL Haynes||8648||v England||Port of Spain||5 Mar 1994||ODI 890|
|M Azharuddin||8648||v Sri Lanka||Sharjah||6 Nov 1998||ODI 1366|
|M Azharuddin||9378||v Pakistan||Dhaka||3 Jun 2000||ODI 1600|
|SR Tendulkar||9433||v New Zealand||Nairobi (Gym)||15 Oct 2000||ODI 1639|
|SR Tendulkar||16440||v Sri Lanka||Colombo (RPS)||3 Feb 2009||ODI 2813|
(*The player's first row shows the stats in which the player broke the record and the second, his record when he was equalled or overtaken)
Click here for the full tables.
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George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo