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Game-changers and record-makers: Statistical standouts from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cups

Exploring the statistical journey of superstars of the game who paved the way to glory and established a remarkable legacy.

By Garima Srivastava

Cricket’s biggest T20I party started in 2007, which was won by Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led India in Johannesburg after they defeated arch-rivals Pakistan in a final-over thriller by five runs.

Since that inaugural event, there have been seven further editions of the tournament, held in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2021, and 2022.

ALSO READ: Groups, fixtures confirmed for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024

With the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 fast approaching, we take a look at some of the key stats, covering all the editions of the showcase tournament so far.

Players to have featured in all editions of the Men's T20 World Cups so far:

PlayerT20 World Cup appearances
Rohit Sharma (IND)2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2021, 2022
Shakib Al Hasan (BAN)2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2021, 2022

India's T20I captain Rohit Sharma is set to lead the side in the upcoming tournament in West Indies and USA, making his record ninth appearance in the tournament. He will be joined by Bangladesh's star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who is the only other player in the list to have featured in all the editions of the event.

Yuvraj backs Rohit Sharma to deliver for India

Yuvraj backs Rohit Sharma to deliver for India

The Tigers are yet to announce their 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, and should Shakib be selected, he would join Rohit as the only players to have competed in every T20 World Cup, sharing that honour.

Most appearances in Men's T20 World Cup history:

PlayerNo. of Matches
Rohit Sharma (IND)39
Shakib Al Hasan (BAN)36
Tillakaratne Dilshan (SL)35
Dwayne Bravo (WI), Shahid Afridi (PAK), Shoaib Malik (PAK), David Warner (AUS)34

Another record that belongs to India's Rohit – the most number of Men's T20 World Cup matches with 39 games under his belt. Following closely behind him is Shakib with 36 appearances.

Rohit Sharma unleashes the big hits during half-century | Highlights | T20WC 2022

Rohit Sharma scored a splendid half-century as India took on Netherlands in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022.

Among the active players, next on the list is David Warner, the Aussie opener, who is poised to climb higher in the upcoming edition. As the competition intensifies, changes to this leaderboard are expected in the tournament to come.

Highest run-scorers at the tournament:

PlayerRuns scored
Virat Kohli (IND)1141
Mahela Jayawardena (SL) 1016
Chris Gayle (WI)965
Rohit Sharma (IND)963
Tillakaratne Dilshan (SL)897

India superstar Virat Kohli tops the list for the most runs in T20 World Cups, accounting for 1141 runs in five editions. He was the highest run-getter in the 2014 edition with 319 runs in six matches – the highest by any batter in a single Men's T20 World Cup.

Kohli is currently in exceptional form in the ongoing Indian Premier League, leading the run-scorers chart with more than 500 runs. If the battling stalwart maintains this rich vein of form in the upcoming tournament, he will elevate his tally to another level.

Highlights of Virat Kohli's all-time great knock against Pakistan | T20WC 2022

Virat Kohli scored an unbeaten 53-ball 82* to help India secure an opening victory against Pakistan in their ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 encounter.

Another active player on this elite list is Kohli's teammate and India captain, Rohit. The opening batter is not very far behind Kohli, sitting in fourth spot with 963 runs. A series of explosive innings from him could propel him to a higher rank on this list.

Highest wicket-takers at the tournament:

Shakib Al Hasan (BAN)47
Shahid Afridi (PAK) 39
Lasith Malinga (SL)38
Saeed Ajmal (PAK)36
Ajantha Mendis (SL), Umar GUl (PAK)35

Among the top five wicket-takers, which mainly consists of four spin-bowling experts, Bangladesh's left-arm spinner Shakib holds a substantial lead. He is the sole active player within this elite group and will feature in the upcoming tournament in June after being announced in the squad. Three more scalps will take his tally to a remarkable 50 T20 World Cup wickets.

'A legend of the game': Shakib Al Hasan | T20 World Cup

Sri Lanka's former pace sensation Lasith Malinga is the only pacer in this top five, sitting in the third spot with 38 scalps.

Highest individual T20 World Cup score:

Brendon McCullum (NZ)123 from 58 ballsv Bangladesh21 Sep 2012, Pallekele
Chris Gayle (WI)117 from 57 ballsv South Africa11 Sep 2007, Johannesburg
Alex Hales (ENG)116* from 64 ballsv Sri Lanka27 Mar 2014, Chattogram
Ahmed Shehzad (PAK)111* from 62 ballsv Bangladesh 30 Mar 2014, Mirpur
Rilee Rossouw (SA)109 from 56 ballsv Bangladesh27 Oct 2022, Sydney

Former Black Caps captain and explosive batter Brendon McCullum still holds the record for the highest score by an individual in Men's T20 World Cups. He broke Chris Gayle's record from 2007 in the 2012 tournament. His blazing knock was studded with 11 fours and seven sixes.

Brendon McCullum hits biggest score in tournament history | T20 World Cup

Brendon McCullum hits biggest score in tournament history | T20 World Cup

Gayle is the only batter to have made two Men's T20 World Cup hundreds, reaching the milestone for the second time during West Indies' successful run in 2016.

Fastest Men's T20 World Cup century:

PlayerBalls takenOppositionMatch
Chris Gayle (WI)47v England16 Mar 2016, Wankhede 
Chris Gayle (WI)50v South Africa11 Sep 2007, Johannesburg
Brendon McCullum (NZ)51v Bangladesh21 Sep 2012, Pallekele
Rilee Rossouw (SA)52v Bangladesh27 Oct 2022, Sydney 
Ahmed Shehzad (PAK)58v Bangladesh30 Mar 2014, Mirpur

West Indies' swashbuckling batter Gayle set the record for the fastest hundred in the tournament's inaugural edition by reaching the landmark in just 50 balls. New Zealand's Brendon McCullum came close but fell marginally behind from making that record his own.

Chris Gayle: Fastest T20WC Ton

Relive Chris Gayle's sizzling century for West Indies at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2016

Gayle outdid himself by setting a new record when he scored his second T20 World Cup century in 2016 against England during the group stages. He surpassed his previous record of a 50-ball century set in 2007 by achieving a remarkable feat in just 47 balls – an achievement that remains unmatched to this day.

Most sixes in Men's T20 World Cups:

PlayerNo. of sixes
Chris Gayle (WI)63
Rohit Sharma (IND)35
Jos Buttler (ENG), Yuvraj Singh (IND)33
Shane Watson (AUS), David Warner (AUS)31

The West Indies legend stands out remarkably when it comes to hitting massive sixes on the T20 World Cup stage. Gayle is way ahead of the second-best player on the list, India's Rohit, by a significant margin in terms of the most sixes hit by a batter in the tournament's history.

Yuvraj slams six sixes in an over | ENG v IND | T20WC 2007

Yuvraj Singh became the first batsman to hit six sixes in an over in the shortest format when he took on Stuart Broad in the 2007 ICC Men's T20 World Cup.

India's Yuvraj Singh, who hit the famous six sixes in an over in the 2007 edition off Stuart Broad also features in the top five.

Among the active players, in this eye-catching list, are India captain Rohit, England captain Jos Buttler and Australia opener Warner. One could expect a fiercely contested battle for these top positions in the upcoming World Cup, with all the three star batters capable of smashing explosive sixes.

Best T20 World Cup innings figures:

PlayerBowling figuresOppositionMatch
Ajantha Mendis (SL)6/8 in 4 oversv Zimbabwe18 Sep 2012, Hambantota
Rangana Herath (SL)5/3 in 3.3 oversv New Zealand31 Mar 2014, Chattogram
Umar Gul (PAK)5/6 in 3 oversv New Zealand13 Jun 2009, The Oval
Sam Curran (ENG)5/10 in 3.4 oversv Afghanistan22 Oct 2022, Perth
Ahsan Malik (NED)5/19 in 4 oversv South Africa27 Mar 2014, Chattogram
Adam Zampa (AUS)5/19 in 4 oversv Bangladesh04 Nov 2021, Dubai

Two Sri Lanka spin maestros – right-arm off-spinner Ajantha Mendis and left-arm spinner Rangana Herath – top the list for registering the best bowling figures in a T20 World Cup game. Mendis is the only bowler to have claimed a six-wicket haul in the tournament and his record spell of 6/8 remains the best innings figures since 2012.

Ajantha Mendis collects best figures in tournament history | T20 World Cup

Ajantha Mendis collects best figures in tournament history | T20 World Cup

In this list, two active players, England all-rounder Sam Curran and Australia's ace spinner Adam Zampa recorded exceptional figures in recent World Cups.

Most dismissals by a wicket-keeper:

PlayerDismissals Catches Stumpings
MS Dhoni (IND)322111
Kamran Akmal (PAK)301218
Denesh Ramdin (WI)27189
Kumar Sangakkara (SL)261214
Quinton de Kock (SA)22175

T20 World Cup-winning India captain Dhoni is the record-holder of the most number of dismissals by a wicket-keeper in the tournament. His 32 dismissals comprise of 21 catches and 11 stumpings.

All wicket-keeping dismissals by MS Dhoni | T20 World Cup

All wicket-keeping dismissals by MS Dhoni | T20 World Cup

His 21 catches as the designated wicket-keeper are also the most in Men's T20 World Cups while Pakistan's Kamran Akmal, who sits right behind Dhoni with 30 dismissals, holds the record for most number of stumpings (18).

Most number of catches taken by a fielder (non-wicketkeepers):

PlayerNo. of catches taken
AB de Villiers (SA)23
David Warner (AUS)21
Martin Guptill (NZ)19
Glenn Maxwell (AUS), Rohit Sharma (IND)16
Kane Williamson (NZ), Dwayne Bravo (WI)15

South Africa's AB de Villiers with the safest hands in Men's T20 World Cups tops the list for the most catches in the tournament by a (non-wicketkeeper) fielder. Australia's Warner is right behind and may surpass de Villiers' tally of 23 during the 2024 tournament.

Milne strikes first after brilliant Williamson catch

Additionally, two exceptional fielders, Glenn Maxwell and Rohit, could advance in this rankings along with joint fifth-placed Kane Williamson, with all three named in their respective T20 World Cup squads.

NewsICC Men's T20 World Cup, 2024