10 best players to have never won an ICC World Cup
Former England cricketer Graham Gooch couldn’t have done much more to win an International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup trophy. After all, he played in three finals – captaining them in 1992 – and yet was on the losing side each time. His century in the 1987 semi-final to defeat India in Mumbai was one of England’s greatest World Cup knocks. Not to mention the fact that his tally of 22,211 runs is the most by any batsmen List A cricket. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@ICC)
Botham played in two World Cup finals with England and his all-round talents were brought to bear on the biggest stage of all.With the ball, he was a consistent threat throughout his ODI career – but he hit his peak at the 1992 tournament. He picked up 16 wickets in 10 games and was instrumental in their run to the final but he never managed to add the coveted trophy to his tally. Throw in his ability to pinch hit at the top of the order as well as in his more traditional lower middle order and you have an understanding of just what Botham offered a team.
Waqar Younis – one of the greatest fastest bowlers of his or any era – was injured and did not appear for Pakistan in their historic 1992 World Cup success.Wasim Akram starred with the ball that tournament – finishing as top wicket-taker – but the player with whom he formed such a feared pair was not there.A pioneer of reverse swing with the older ball – Younis was near impossible to hit in the death overs while his work with the new ball earned him his nickname ‘The Burewala Express’.
Sourav Ganguly played in three World Cups between 1999-2007 and led India to the final in 2003.While his individual brilliance is without question – he hit three centuries in the 2003 tournament alone, his real influence was on creating the dominant India side we see in front of us today.It was just a shame that the skipper who nurtured so many young stars was not there when India finally won the World Cup title in 2011. However, his record at World Cups is beyond reproach as the Bengal Tiger hit 1,006 runs across 22 matches at an average of 55.88. (Photo Courtesy: PTI)
Brian Lara’s records in Test cricket are known to even the most casual of cricket fans. But he was also a titan of the one-day era and racked up the runs in 50-over cricket much like he did in the longest form.Very few players before him had passed 10,000 career ODI runs – and even now he sits 10th in the overall standings.
A fine red-ball South African player, Lance Klusener would come alive in limite- overs cricket and his annus mirabilis was undoubtedly 1999.Voted man of the tournament as South Africa crashed out in the semi-finals, his big hitting and canny bowling made him the most valuable player by far and Wisden’s cricketer of the Year in 2000.But he was no flash in the pan either, the South African with the baseball style backlift finished his career with an ODI batting average of 41 and bowling average of 29 but without a World Cup trophy.(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@cricketworldcup)
Across both Tests and ODIs, there was little South African all-rounder Kallis couldn’t do. He took 273 wickets and scored over 11,000 runs in ODI cricket, and was the first name on the team sheet for the Proteas year after year.With 17 hundreds and 86 fifties in one-day internationals, Kallis was the man with the willow who could do it all for his country – re-build an innings or press the accelerator after a strong start.However, he never got a chance to lift the biggest prize in the format.
There was no more fitting way for Kumar Sangakkara to prove his brilliance in one-day cricket than with his sign off at the 2015 World Cup. The Sri Lankan left-hander with silky smooth class smote four straight tons during the tournament. Throw in his years of compiling runs while also keeping wickets – at the end of his career he switched to the specialist batsman. By the end of his international career, only Sachin Tendulkar had more ODI runs than him.The one achievement lacking in an exemplary copybook was that he never won the World Cup trophy. He was too young for Sri Lanka’s 1996 title and lost in the 2007 and 2011 finals. (Photo Courtesy: PTI)
AB de Villiers
A career ODI average of 53.50 puts him in rarefied air but with a strike rate north of 100 makes him in a category all of his own. Throw in his 31-ball ton against the West Indies – the fastest of all time no less – and the de Villiers CV is compelling just on numbers alone.But watching the Proteas legend bat was about so more than the statistics. He could see shots others couldn’t, would give death bowlers nightmares and could single-handedly take a game away from your team in a nanosecond. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@ICC)
You don’t get the nickname ‘Boom Boom’ for nothing. While Shahid Afridi burst onto the scene as a big-hitting middle-order batsman for Pakistan, his career has been one of reinvention.He could hit the ball a mile and his 37-ball century back in 1996 was a record that stood for a long time.But his wrist spin – that began as a part-time practice – also saw him end up as the current fifth highest wicket-taker of all time.Additionally, Afridi's captaincy and all-round talents make him one of the greats that dragged the game of cricket into the modern era but have never won the coveted trophy. (Image Courtesy: Reuters)