The ICC T20 World Cup 2022 is less than a week away. The tournament will kick off on October 16 with the preliminary round and the Super 12 will commence on October 23 with the final slated to be played at the MCG on November 13.
Bowlers are expected to enjoy the pace and bounce in Australian conditions. The ICC T20 World Cups in the past decade have been played on more bowler-friendly surfaces in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India and the UAE. And before that as well, the tournaments were played in South Africa, West Indies and England where bowlers had a bigger say in the outcome.
Over the past 7 editions of the tournament, some bowlers have stood out in their role of holding the run rate and have made impact with their tight bowling.
Here are the top 5 most economical bowlers in ICC T20 World Cup history (minimum 35 overs):
West Indies legendary spinner Sunil Narine has expectedly been the most difficult to get away for the batters. Narine has featured in only 2 ICC T20 World Cups – 2012 and 2014 – and he played a key role in West Indies’ title win in 2012.
In 12 matches in T20 World Cups, mystery spinner Sunil Narine has bowled 44.4 overs taking 15 wickets at an astonishing economy of only 5.17. Narine’s best in the tournament came in the 2012 T20 WC final against Sri Lanka – 3/9 while defending a total of 138.
Another West Indies stalwart, Samuel Badree was part of both of West Indies’ ICC T20 World Cup winning teams in 2012 and 2016 and also featured in the 2014 edition. Badree thrived in the Asian conditions in the three tournaments, picking up 24 wickets in 15 matches across the three T20 WCs while managing a parsimonious economy of 5.52.
Badree took the wicket of Sangakkara in the 2012 final and the wickets of Jason Roy and Eoin Morgan in the 2016 final.
Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori featured in 4 ICC T20 World Cups – in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012 – and snapped up 20 wickets in 17 matches across. The left-arm finger spinner kept things tight from his end, bowling at an economy of 5.83 giving his pacers the opportunity to pick wickets as batters would go after them after being unable to find boundaries to Vettori.
Vettori’s best T20 WC was in 2007 when he picked 11 wickets including a four-wicket haul.
Another New Zealand and admittedly a surprise entry on this list is Nathan McCullum. The off-spinner who played only white-ball internationals for New Zealand, Nathan McCullum, played in all the first six T20 World Cups from 2007 to 2016, taking a total of 23 wickets in 22 matches. Nathan McCullum maintained a good economy rate of 5.94 in these T20 World Cups.
South African legendary leg-spinner Imran Tahir is on this list as he recorded an enviable economy of 5.94 during the 9 matches he played, picking up 18 wickets across the 2014 and 2016 ICC T20 World Cup. South Africa reached the semis of the 2014 T20 WC with Tahir playing a significant role with 12 wickets in that tournament.