In 1858, Heathfield Harman Stephenson, a famous English cricketer during the game’s round arm era, did the unthinkable. The bowler took three wickets in a row. As a reward, the fans held a collection, the money was collected in a hat which was then given to the hero. This gave way to the expression “hat-trick”. The term was eventually adopted by many other sports including hockey, association football (soccer), Formula 1 racing, Rugby, Water polo, and many more.
The rush is still felt today, by the bowler and the spectator alike. Getting three or more wickets in a row effectively stuns the opposition and adds extra entertainment and adrenaline into the game.
Let’s look at some top cricketers with the Most Hat Tricks in Cricket
Most Hat-tricks in ODI Cricket
Wasim Akram (Pakistan)
Akram took most hat tricks in ODI cricket – two in ODIs and two in Tests. Akram’s first ODI hat trick, including the wickets of Dujon, Marshall and Ambrose, came against the West Indies in Sharjah on 14th October 1989 and his second ODI hat trick, bowling out Merv Hughes, Rackemann and Alderman, against Australia in Sharjah in the final of the Austral-Asia Cup on 4th May 1990. As a result, he shares the record for most hat tricks in international cricket with Lasith Malinga.
Lasith Malinga (Srilanka)
Sri Lanka pace genius, Lasith Malinga is the only international bowler with the most hat tricks in cricket. Malinga took his first ODI hat trick against South Africa on 28th March, 2007 in Providence. His 2nd ODI hat trick came against Kenya in Colombo on 1st March 2011 and the 3rd ODI hat trick was against Australia in Colombo on 22nd August, 2011.
Trent Boult (New Zealand)
New Zealand’s left-arm fast-medium bowler, Trent Boult took his first hat trick in the 1st ODI of a series on New Zealand’s tour of the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi on 7th November, 2018 and received his title of most hat tricks in ODI cricket with the 2nd hat trick against Australia at Lord’s on 29 June 2019.
Saqlain Mushtaq (Pakistan)
Regarded as one of the best spin bowlers in the history of cricket, Mushtaq is best known for pioneering the “doosra”, a leg break delivery bowled with an off-break action and being of the players with most hat tricks in cricket. Saqlain holds the record for two hat-tricks in his playing career when he achieved it against Zimbabwe in 1996 and again in 1999.
Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka)
Chaminda Vaas has been the only bowler so far in the history of cricket who has taken 4 wickets in the first over of the match during the 2003 World Cup game. The Sri Lankan pacer has taken two hat-tricks and is one of the players with most hat tricks in ODI cricket once against Zimbabwe in 2001 and against Bangladesh in 2003.
Kuldeep Yadav (India)
Kuldeep Yadav became the first Indian bowler to take the most hat tricks in ODI cricket. The 27-year-old achieved the feat in the second ODI against West Indies in 2019 at Visakhapatnam. Kuldeep’s first hat-trick was against Australia in 2017 at the Eden Gardens.
Most Hat-tricks in International Test Cricket
Hugh Trumble (Australia)
When Trumble made ’em tumble – The Australian off-spinner was the first man to take two Test hat-tricks and have the Most Hat Tricks in Cricket in his time. Trumble made the hat-tricks against England in 1902 and 1904. He also took 141 wickets in just 32 Tests.
Jimmy Mathews (Australia)
This Australian bowler is the only player to have most hat-tricks in international cricket with two of them in the same Test match when playing against South Africa at Old Trafford, crazy as it sounds he took a hat-trick in each innings of the triangular series in 1912.
Wasim Akram (Pakistan)
Apart from ODI’s, the Pakistan legend even has two hat-tricks in Test matches. Akram’s Test hat-tricks are one of a kind since they were taken in consecutive Test matches in the same series, a game once played against Sri Lanka in the 1998-99 Asian Test Championship making him one of the top players with most hat tricks in international cricket.
Stuart Broad (England)
Broad began his professional career at Leicestershire and soon, became one of the players to have most hat tricks in international cricket. On 30 July 2011, at the Nottingham Test match against India, he achieved a Test match hat-trick. He became only the 4th player, and the first Englishman, to take two Test hat-tricks when he achieved another in the second Test at Headingley against Srilanka in 2014.
Most Hat tricks in T20 Cricket
While many players have achieved the title of Most Hat-tricks in the world of cricket, most hat-tricks in T20 cricket with multiple hat-tricks by single player still remains a difficult feat to perform. As the game format is small with a quota of just 24 balls per bowler, we don’t get to witness double hat-tricks that often.
Having said that, here are some who have pulled off great Hat tricks with 3+ wickets under their names in this format of cricket.
Jason Holder (West Indies)
As of March 2022, Holder is rated as the No.1 all-rounder in the world in ICC Test all-rounder rankings and became one of the players with Most hat tricks in T20 cricket on 30 January 2022, when holder took four wickets against England at Barbados Kensington Oval, Bridgetown. Jason Holder also became the first bowler for West Indies to take a hat-trick in T20Is.
Curtis Campher (Ireland)
Campher, 22, a diminutive seam-bowling allrounder, grew up in Johannesburg and represented South Africa at Under-19 level before a chance conversation with Ireland’s Niall O’Brien He took Most hat tricks in T20 cricket with four wickets in four balls against Netherlands in 2021 and is making progress to become a top order batter.
Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)
Malinga is the only cricketer to have two T20I hat-tricks and five international hat-tricks (three in ODIs and 2 in T20Is). Lasith Malinga retired from all forms of cricket on 14 September 2021, ending his career as the leading wicket taker in T20Is with 107 wickets. He’s indeed, the undisputed champion of Most Hat-tricks in Cricket.
Rashid khan (Afghanistan)
The Afghan took a hat-trick and four wickets with four balls in February 2019 in the 3rd T20I match against Ireland. The former captain took his 400th wicket in Twenty20 cricket against New Zealand on 7th November, 2021 climbing a stunning feat of collecting the most number of wickets and becoming one of a kind players with Most Hat Tricks in T20 cricket.
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