The #ODIGOAT is cricket.com.au's knockout competition to determine the greatest ODI player of all time. We've selected our top 64 ODI players and now we're asking YOU to do the hard work – that is, narrow it down to one. Set up in much the same way as a tennis tournament, each day you'll see head-to-head match-ups, with the winner of those progressing to the next round to square off with their next challenger. From 64, we'll go to 32, to 16, 8, 4 and ultimately our final. So cast your VOTE and decide just who is the greatest ODI player in history!
JOEL GARNER (WEST INDIES)
The numbers: Matches: 98 | Wickets: 148 | Average: 18.84 | SR: 36.5 | Economy: 3.09 | BB: 5-31 | 5fa's: 3
Why he makes the list: If there was a more terrifying sight for a batsman than watching the 203cm colossus that is Joel Garner running into bowl, we haven't seen it. The tallest and perhaps the most fearsome of the West Indies brilliant pace bowling battery of the 1980s, Garner was equally devastating with the white ball as he was with the red. No bowler has a better average than Garner's 18.84 (min. 1500 balls), and his economy rate of 3.09, albeit in a more conservative era, remains unmatched. While his release point was stratospherically high, it was ability to deliver a toe-crunching yorker at the death made him a devastating one-day weapon.
Performance we loved: A lot of players in this #ODIGOAT contest have performed when it mattered most – in World Cups. In just the second edition of the showpiece 50-over event, 'Big Bird' produced the best bowling performance in a final, 5-38 against England at Lord's, which remains a record to this today. Garner went wicketless in first spell of the 60-over per side contest, but his second spell was frightening and fruitful, taking 5 for 4 in 11 balls, including Graham Gooch and David Gower, with four of his victims bowled. Incredibly, it was only his sixth match in the format.
ALLAN DONALD (SOUTH AFRICA)
The numbers: Matches: 164 | Wickets: 272 | Average: 21.78 | SR: 36.2 | Economy: 31.4 | BB: 6-23 | 5fa's: 2
Why he makes the list: White Lightning! South Africa's premier fast bowler spearheaded the Proteas attack in the dawn of their readmission through to the new millennium. His elastic action generated speeds as fast as, well, not quite lightning, but pretty close. He is the fastest South African to reach 100 ODI wickets, and the third fastest ever to reach 200, behind Pakistan spin wizard Saqlain Mushtaq and Australian pace ace Brett Lee. Donald started off with a bang (more on that later), but it was five years into his stellar career, in 1996, where his white-ball game went to new heights. In 20 matches that year, the Bloemfontein Bulldozer claimed 51 wickets at 15.43, including a career best 6-23 against Kenya. The years and years of thunderous bowling eventually led to injury in the back-end of his glittering career, and he bowed out in the 2003 World Cup on home soil as South Africa's greatest bowler.
Performance we loved: Talk about setting the tone early! Donald, then 25, ripped apart India in his maiden one-day international at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Defending a limp 177, Donald ran amok with the new ball, knocking over Ravi Shastri, Sanjay Manjrekar and Navjot Sidhu in an opening onslaught rarely seen on the subcontinent. He returned to claim the wicket of the Little Master Sachin Tendulkar and Pravin Amre with scores tied to complete his five-wicket haul. While the Proteas lost the match, from the ashes of defeat a legend was born.
#ODIGOAT First Round: Tendulkar v Sharma
#ODIGOAT First Round: Akram v Starc
#ODIGOAT First Round: Richards v De Silva