The Best Cricketers to Never Win a World Cup


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In this article, you will come to know about the top 13 best cricketers who never won an ICC World Cup. The Trophies which fall under the ICC include the ICC Champions Trophy, Cricket World Cups, and the ICC T20 World Cups that started in 2007. These three tournaments have been the most important competitions in their cricket world for the players and their teams. 

We have noticed many magnificent performances and turnovers in these ICC events. Lifting these Trophies is considered one of the best achievements in a cricketer’s International career. Yet, some cricketers could not reach this glory in their cricketing career, although giving everything to the game they had mastered.

So without any further delay, let’s have a look at the list of best cricketers who have never won an ICC trophy.

The Best Cricketers to Never Win a World Cup

1.  AB de Villiers 

He is an ex-South African Cricketer. Abraham Benjamin de Villiers was the captain of his team during the 2012-2017 time period. He led the South African cricket team in 103 One Day International matches. Under his leadership, SA won 59 and lost 39 matches, giving him a nice 60 percent success rate as a captain. He captained the SA team in T20I for 18 matches. During this time his team won 8 T20I and lost 9.

In this way ABD got himself in the list of the best captains South Africa ever had. One major thing was missing from his cricketing career was an ICC Trophy. In 2015, he was the captain of the SA team in  Cricket World Cup. In this tournament, his team lost to New Zealand in the semifinal. Again SA team led by ABD lost to England in the semifinal of ICC Knockout Trophy in 2013.

De Villiers also led the South African Team into the 2012 ICC T20 World Cup where they even failed to make to the semifinals. With these upsets in ICC tournaments, AB de Villiers made to this unremarkable list of the best cricketers to have never won an ICC trophy.

2. Graham Gooch

Graham Gooch is a cricketer who has given everything to deserve a World Cup. He is an English man, who has played in three World Cup Finals. He captained the British team in 1992. However, he was very unfortunate to be on the losing side each time.

Gooch’s masterclass century against India in Mumbai was England’s one of the greatest knocks in Cricket World Cup history. Moreover, Gooch’s durability and longevity as a player can never be doubted. He played his first ODI in the year 1976 and his last in the year 1995. All this amazing achievements as a player clearly makes his inclusion in this list a valid one.

3. Ian Botham

Ian Botham played for Team England in two World Cup finals. People were amazed to see his all-round performance in the biggest stage of International Cricket. He was a complete package, both with the bat and the ball. He was a constant threat in ODIs throughout his cricket career with the ball. His prime time was in the 1992 tournament.

Botham took 16 wickets in 10 games and was a crucial part in their run to the final. One of his special ability was to pinch hit at the top order. He could even play big shots at the lower order quite comfortably. His excellent understanding of the game gave him an additional plus point.

Unfortunately, this legend couldn’t win a World Cup and add that glory to his name.

4. Kumar Sangakkara

Kumar Sangakkara was a cricketer who has proved himself as one of the greatest player ever to play cricket. His achievements specially in the One Day cricket format were admired by cricket fans all around the world. In the 2015 World Cup, the Legendary Sri Lankan left-handed batsman scored four tons for his team.

He was the second highest run scorer in the 2015 World Cup. He was a classic wicket-keeper as well as a masterclass batsman. At the end of his long career, only the little master-blaster Sachin Tendulkar had more ODI runs than him.

Unfortunately, he was unable to achieve the most desired trophy in a cricketer’s career i.e. the World Cup. Sadly he lost in the finals of 2007 and 2011 World Cups. However, he had a batting average of 50 in both the World Cup editions.

5. Graeme Smith

He is one of the all-time greatest captains of this century. Graeme Smith was a left-handed opener. He made his ODI debut in 2002 against a very tough opponent Australia. He was also a crucial part of South Africa’s World Cup squad in 2003. Smith was made the captain of the SA team at a very young age of 22. After that he captained his team in the next two Cricket World Cups.

In 2007 WC, Smith was very close towards a  potential World Cup win . Unfortunately, his team got totally outclassed by Ricky Ponting’s Australia as their whole team were bowled out just under a small score of 150 in the semi-final. Although Smith had started his WC campaign with a masterclass form by scoring 4 consecutive 50s, a feat never achieved by a captain before.

Smith led his team in 2011 World Cup till quarter-finals. Sadly, they were again knocked out from the cup by New Zealand while chasing the target of 222.

6. Brendon McCullum

Without any doubt the type of cricket which the modern-day great teams like England plays today had already been initiated by McCullum back in his playing days. His batting in a nutshell is all about ‘thrill and aggression’. He made his debut back in 2002. McCullum has played a total of 4 World Cups in 2003, 2007, 2011 & 2015.

McCullum’s team was defeated both the times in the 2007 and 2011 World Cup Semi-finals by the Sri Lankan team.They were unable to attain the World Cup glory although they came so close both the times. With the introduction of T20 Cricket in the later part of 2000s, the likes of McCullum and Gayle can be regarded as its greatest envoys.

McCullum’s best side got limelight when he adapted himself to the role of a full-time opener. With his captaincy he took New Zealand to its maiden World Cup final in 2015. Unfortunately they got defeated by the mighty Australians.

7. Sourav Ganguly

In the golden days of Indian Cricket ‘The Chapter of  Merciless’ will only start off with the name ‘Sourav Ganguly’.Without any doubt he was one of the greatest top limited-overs batsman in his era. He had played three World Cups in 1999, 2003 and 2007 respectively.

The 2003 World Cup Campaign of India is greatly rejoiced by every 90s kid. India defeated Pakistan, England and New Zealand  ruthlessly under the leadership of Ganguly. People greatly enjoyed watching Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly playing at their peak form. Sadly,India lost to Australia in the Final , It was a complete heartbreak for many Indian fans. Unfortunately it was the only time when Ganguly came closest to a potential World Cup glory.

Ganguly had an incredible performance in those three World Cups as he scored 1066 runs in just 22 matches with an average of close to 56.

8. Brian Lara

When we say the term ‘Legendary’, we cannot miss out Brian Lara’s name. The amount of international cricket he played in his career makes him one of the greatest cricketer. Millions of cricket fans all around the world have been awestricken by Lara’s stroke play.

The saddest part of his career was the World Cup stint. He was a part of 5 World Cup i.e. in 1992, 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2007. The closest Lara’s team travelled was in the year 1996. West Indies lost to the mighty Australian side in the Semi Final by a close margin of 5 runs. If we have a look at his overall career, clearly he played in a tough time. We can see he played in the era when WI cricket was under constant downfall.

He still managed to maintain a amazing ODI record of more than 10,000 runs. He had 19 centuries in his career along with an average around 40.

9. Jacques Kallis

Another name in this list of honor is Jacques Kallis. He is one of those cricketers who couldn’t become a World Cup Champion. He was the one who gave everything a cricketer can perform in his career but unfortunately he never won WC. His name is mostly there everytime in the list of all-time Cricket XI. Every cricket fan of the 2000s decade knows how consistently he scored runs that time.

He is one of the greatest all-rounder the world has ever seen. He has been a part of 5 Cricket World Cup. His team South Africa was very close to victory twice once in 1999 and the other in 2007. Sadly, they lost both the times in the semi-finals against Waugh and Ponting’s mighty Australia.

In his overall career he scored 10,000 plus runs in both ODIs and Tests.Besides it, he took 292 and 273 wickets in ODIs and Tests respectively. He is the second person to have scored more than 40 centuries.

10. Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid can be said as the most disciplined cricketer of all time. He was a cricketer whose batting technique can be called as a coaching manual itself. He has scored a lot of runs all around the world across every pitch and climatic conditions. Sadly, Dravid was unable to get his hands on a Cricket World Cup Trophy.

Rahul Dravid, like Sourav Ganguly, was a part of three World Cup, i.e. from 1999 to 2007. He was a crucial part of Team India’s batting order in the 2003 World Cup. His main role was to act as a wall or a bridge in between the top order and the fragile lower order.

Moreover, Dravid along with Tendulkar and Ganguly holds an amazing record for Team India. He has played more than 100 and 300 plus ODIs and Test matches for Team India. His name can also be found in the list of legends who scored 10,000 plus runs in both the formats.

11. Shaun Pollock

Shaun Pollock, a South African Legend sadly shares his name in this list of players. Not only Shaun but his family also established a name in the Cricket History. His father Peter Pollock led the South African attack in the 1960s. His uncle Graeme’s batting commanded a great level of appreciation that showed playing at the top level has always been a natural task to them.

Shaun Pollock debuted in ODI in January 1996. He became immediately a crucial part of the South African Squad in the World Cup of 1996.  He represented his country in four World Cups. Sadly he couldn’t win any of them. The closest Pollock came was in the WC Semi-final of 1999 and 2007.

Apart from this, Pollock played 300 plus ODIs and he took 393 wickets in his career. He is regarded as one of the best pacers of his time.

12. Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble, the man who rescued Team India whenever there was a crisis in the bowling department. He was India’s one of the greatest match-winner over his extended career. Though Kumble debuted in the ODI in 1990, he wasn’t a part of the World Cup Squad in 1992.

Like the other famous players in this list, he also failed to win a World Cup. The closest he came was in two occasions, in 1996 and 2003. In 1996 World Cup Team India was defeated by the Sri Lankans. Meanwhile, in the 2003 World Cup Final Kumble was left out from the squad. In total, Anil Kumble represented Team India in four World Cups i.e. in 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2007.

His performance in World Cup matches was amazing. Kumble played a total of 18 matches, in which he grabbed 31 wickets and had an average of 22.83.

13. Waqar Younis

Every cricket fan of the 1980s knows about the famous deadly Wasim-Waqar duo. Sadly, Waqar Younis couldn’t become a part of the World Cup winning squad due to his back injury. Pakistan got its first World Cup in 1992. Since that day, Waqar Younis was only able to represent his country in three ODI World Cups.

In the World Cup of 1999, Pakistan had a wholesome campaign. Yet Waqar was only able to play a single match. Later on in the 2003 World Cup , he captained the Pakistan team. Unfortunately, Waqar didn’t succeed to take his team even in the super six stages.

Overall, Waqar Younis had a masterclass ODI career where he grabbed 400 plus wickets in 262 matches. At the end of the day, he could never win the most desired World Cup trophy.

Final Talk

We have presented to you the list of all this legendary players who have never won the World Cup. You can share your views or suggestions with us in the comment section. Thank you a lot for going through this article regarding some cricket facts.


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