With 195 wickets, Shane Warne holds the record for the most Ashes wickets in history. But who else makes up the top 10?
A captivating 2023 Ashes series ended all square, with Australia retaining the urn. It also marked the end of a true great, as Stuart Broad bowed out of Test cricket in style.
Broad was one of the stars of the show and has ensured his place in the Ashes record books.
Here, we look at the top 10 leading wicket-takers in Ashes history.
1. Shane Warne (195)
The late, great Shane Warne tops this list as the highest wicket-taker in Ashes history. The King of Spin took 195 wickets at an economy of 2.52 across 36 Tests against England. His tally of 11 five-wicket hauls also tops the charts.
Warne’s best year, in terms of wickets, came in 2005, when he took 96. Of those, 40 came in the Ashes, yet that effort could not help Australia avoid defeat.
But in his last act before retiring, Warne – the first player to 700 Test wickets – helped Australia regain the urn in the 2006-07 series, with the Baggy Greens whitewashing the tourists.
Arguably the most famous ball in the history of the sport was delivered by Warne in the 1993 Ashes, when he sent Mike Gatting packing with a ball that bounced outside leg stump yet hit off.
2. Glenn McGrath (157)
Along with Warne, and at least until Lyon does it, McGrath is the only Australian to take 500 wickets in men’s Tests.
Like Warne, McGrath retired after the 2006-07 Ashes series. He stands sixth in the all-time list of Test wickets (563), with only two pace bowlers – Broad and James Anderson – ahead of him.
McGrath took 157 of those wickets in the Ashes. His economy was 2.7 and his best innings against England was 8-38.
3. Stuart Broad (153)
Broad surpassed Hugh Trumble and moved into the top three during the 2023 series, which he finished with 22 wickets in total – only Mitchell Starc (23) took more.
Unfortunately for the right-handed paceman, he fell just four wickets short of matching McGrath in second, though that would have meant the 37-year-old maintaining an average of five wickets per game for the final three Tests, one of which was scuppered by weather.
Interestingly, of those players in the top 10 for wickets, Broad’s economy of 3.18 is the poorest of the bunch.
But he is an Ashes legend. His rivalry with David Warner will go down in the history books, and it was fitting that he took the final two wickets as England won the fifth Test in 2023 to level the series.
That left Broad on 604 Test wickets. Not bad.
4. Hugh Trumble (141)
Another Australian rounds out the top three in the form of Trumble, who played in the late 1800s and early 20th century.
In 31 matches, and 55 innings, Trumble – a spinner – took 141 wickets from 7,895 deliveries against England.
He had 448 maiden overs, while his best figures in an Ashes Test were 12-89.
5. Dennis Lillee (128)
Another Australia great, Dennis Lillee had England’s batters on the back foot between 1971 and 1982, across 24 matches, 47 innings and 6,998 deliveries.
Lillee went for just 2,858 runs, which is second-best of any player on this list. When he retired, Lillee had taken 355 Test wickets from just 70 matches – an average of five per match.
Arguably his most famous performance against England came in the 1977 Centenary Match, which marked 100 years since the first Test Australia played. Lillee took 6-26 and 5-139 in a match-winning display.
6. Ian Botham (128)
Tied with Lillee is England’s Ian Botham. “Beefy” as he was dubbed, was a true maverick, and spearheaded England’s attack against the Aussies between 1977 and 1989.
In 58 innings, he took 128 wickets for 7,252 runs, while he accumulated 232 maidens at a 2.97 economy rate.
One of British sports true personalities, Botham went from being England’s best all-rounder, to captain, to resigning, within four years of making his debut.
His performances in the 1981 series have gone down in history as possibly the greatest individual displays in Ashes history.
7. Bob Willis (123)
An England great who went on to become a stalwart of the media coverage of cricket in his later years, Bob Willis was a brilliant bowler in his prime.
Willis might have featured in Ashes series between 1971 and 1983 but, like Botham, his approach would not have been out of place in the modern era of high risk, high reward cricket in the longest format.
His finest Ashes moment came in the same match that Botham scored 149 not out in the third Test of the 1981 series at Headingley. With Botham doing the damage with the bat during the follow-on, Willis took 8-43 to propel England to victory.
8. James Anderson (117)
Anderson did not have the impact he would have hoped in the 2023 series, taking just 5-427 across four Tests, having been dropped for the third match at Headingley. The 41-year-old is also the only active player on this list, and he has moved above Monty Noble into eighth place.
Like Broad, the 2023 series was surely Anderson’s Ashes goodbye, given the next one will not take place until the end of 2025.
That means Willis’ place in seventh is likely assured for some time yet.
9. Monty Noble (115)
Renowned as one of the greatest – if not the greatest – all-rounders that Australia have produced, Monty Noble played in 39 Ashes Tests between 1898 and 1909. His haul of 353 maidens is the third-highest of players on this list, after Trumble (448) and Warne (488).
His best Ashes innings was 7-17 in the first innings of a Test in Melbourne in January 1902. The second innings wasn’t bad, either – Noble took 6-60 to finish with remarkable figures of 13-77.
Noble finished with an economy rate of 2.48 in the Ashes, while going for 2,860 runs – the third-best total in this list.
10. Ray Lindwall (114)
One shy of Noble and Anderson’s total and tenth on the list is Ray Lindwall, who took 114 wickets across 51 innings (29 Tests) for Australia against England between 1946 and 1959.
Of the players on this list, Lindwall went for the fewest runs – 2,559 – while his best match figures were 9-70.
Lindwall was uncontested as Australia’s opening bowler in the era immediately following World War II, and inspired Australia to a 4-0 win on English soil in the 1948 series.
His best innings came in Sydney in the 1947-48 series, taking 7-63.