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Ten great cricketers who never won a WC

June 01, 2019 00:00:00

From left to right: Graham Gooch, Ian Botham, Waqar Younis, Sourav Ganguly, Brian Lara, Lance Klusener, Jacques Kallis, Kumar Sangakkara, AB de Villiers and Shahid Afridi

Attaining the status of a great does not actually guarantee the World Champion tag. While this holds true in every sport but particularly in cricket, the list is rather long and illustrious, especially taking the relatively short history of the tournament into consideration, according to reports.

One does not have to look too far ahead for an example. Sachin Tendulkar, the great man, had to wait for six editions to get his hands on the silverware in 2011.

Here are 10 great cricketers who were not as luck as Tendulkar.

Graham Gooch

Graham Gooch could not have done much more to win a World Cup.

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.

Ian Botham

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.

Waqar Younis

It feels so cruel to bring it up all over again.

But 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.

Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly played in three World Cups between 1999-2007 and led India to the final in 2003.

And while his individual brilliance is without doubt - 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.

Brian Lara

Brian Lara's records in Test cricket are known to even the most casual of cricket fans.

But the Prince of Port of Spain 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.

Lance Klusener

The man they called Zulu - chiefly because of his fluency of the language - was an all-rounder of serious talent.

A fine red-ball player, Klusener would come alive in limited overs cricket and his annus mirabilis was undoubtedly 1999.

Jacques Kallis

After Lance Klusener, it only seems right to mention the great South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis.

Across both Tests and ODIs, there was little Kallis could not do.

Kumar Sangakkara

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.

By the end of his international career, only Sachin Tendulkar had more ODI runs than he.

AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers could do things with a bat in his hand that no other batsman could have even dreamed of.

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.

Shahid Afridi

You don't get the nickname 'Boom Boom' for nothing. But 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.

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