Top 5 Quickest To 100 ODI Wickets

image-loeefam4Shaheen Afridi's growth in ODI cricket has been tremendous 

On Tuesday, Eden Gardens in Kolkata witnessed a thundering applause not for an Indian cricketer, but for Pakistan's pace prodigy, Shaheen Afridi.

This young left-arm fast bowler etched his name in the record books by becoming the third fastest bowler to clinch 100 wickets in One Day Internationals (ODIs). The stage couldn't have been grander - Pakistan's World Cup 2023 match against Shakib Al Hasan-led Bangladesh.

Top 5 fastest bowlers to grab 100 ODI wickets

In doing so, he surpassed Australia's Mitchell Starc, who had set this record in August 2016 during an ODI against Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

As Shaheen celebrates his monumental achievement, here's a look at the top five fastest bowlers to 100 ODI wickets.

1. Sandeep Lamichhane: 42 matches

image-loeege4xSandeep Lamichhane (Twitter)

The young leg-spinner from Nepal, Sandeep Lamichhane, stunned the cricketing world by reaching 100 ODI wickets in just 42 matches. While Nepal might not traditionally be a powerhouse in the cricketing world, Lamichhane's journey defies this narrative. Bursting onto the scene through his performances in U-19 cricket, he quickly showcased a maturity and skill set far beyond his years. His leg-spin, marked by impeccable control and a deceiving googly, has often left batsmen in a tangle. The nuance with which he approaches his craft, understanding batsmen's mindsets and altering his deliveries accordingly, has been instrumental in his swift journey to 100 ODI wickets.

2. Rashid Khan: 44 matches

image-loeenfi7Rashid Khan with his Afghanistan teammates (AP Photo)

Afghanistan's wonder boy, Rashid Khan, with his quick arm action and lethal googlies, is a force to be reckoned with in ODIs. Taking just 44 matches to reach the 100-wicket mark, Rashid's journey is symbolic of Afghanistan's incredible rise in international cricket. His impeccable accuracy along with an uncanny ability to deceive batsmen made him one of the most sought-after players in leagues around the world. The fact that a spinner from a war-torn nation could rise to such prominence is a heartwarming story of passion and belief.

3. Shaheen Afridi: 51 matches

image-loeehheuShaheen Afridi (Twitter)

Pakistan has always been a breeding ground for fast bowling talent, and Shaheen Afridi is the latest prodigy. At Eden Gardens vs Bangladesh on Tuesday, he became the third-fastest bowler to reach 100 ODI wickets, achieving this in his 51st match. Towering over batsmen with his height, Shaheen's ability to swing the ball both ways at pace made him a lethal proposition. His record-breaking feat surpassed that of Mitchell Starc, positioning him as the fastest pacer in this elite list.

4. Mitchell Starc: 52 matches

image-loeei82jMitchell Starc (Twitter)

Australian pacer, Mitchell Starc’s journey to becoming a cornerstone of Australian fast bowling is one of dedication and evolution. His round-arm action and searing yorkers has terrorized batsmen worldwide. Achieving the 100-wicket milestone in 52 matches, Starc's ability to strike in the powerplays and at the death makes him indispensable to the Australian setup. His brilliance was on full display during the 2015 and 2019 World Cups, where he ended up as the leading wicket-taker. While his record was surpassed by Shaheen, Starc's place amongst the fast-bowling elites is unquestionable.

5. Saqlain Mushtaq: 53 matches

image-loeeiodoSaqlain Mushtaq (Twitter)

Rounding off the list is Pakistan's off-spin maestro, Saqlain Mushtaq. Known for introducing the 'doosra' to international cricket, Saqlain's mastery with the ball saw him reach the 100-wicket mark in 53 matches. During the late 90s, his battles with top-order batsmen were the stuff of legends, often tilting the match in Pakistan's favour. His place on this list, amidst a sea of pacers and leg-spinners, highlights the timeless value of quality off-spin in ODIs.