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All-Time Cricket World Cup XI

Syed Sharjeel Askari

The Cricket World Cup is the most watched mega-event in the subcontinent. The people of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka follow the game with utmost zeal and passion, and they love to see their country compete for the ultimate prize in world cricket. The mega sporting event is starting today, and the teams, and also the players are gearing up for the biggest challenge of their lives.

Many former cricketers and experts are looking back at the best players and making the best possible team of eleven greatest players in the history of Cricket World Cup. There have been eleven editions of the most elite cricket tournament and there have been so many wonderful players who gave amazing performances to help their team win matches in critical situations and stages in the Cricket World Cup. We will make an All-Time World Cup XI comprising of the greatest players in the history of Cricket World Cup.

1 Adam Gilchrist

The flamboyant Australian wicket-keeper batsman is one of the most explosive batsmen and the best wicket keeper in the history of the Cricket World Cup. The stylish wicket-keeper batsman played  3 World Cup tournaments from 1999 to 2007 and he scored 1085 runs in 31 innings at an average of 36.16 and an amazing strike rate of 98.01. The Australian legend is also the most effective wicket-keeper in World Cup cricket with 52 dismissals in 31 innings, including 45 catches and 7 stumpings at an average of 1.67 dismissals per innings. Adam Gilchrist had an amazing World Cup career as featured in only those World Cup editions that Australia won from 1999 to 2007.

2 Sachin Tendulkar

The legendary Indian batsman is arguably the best batsman India has ever produced. Though some may argue that Sunil Gavaskar is the greatest batsman to represent India, Sachin Tendulkar is the second most consistent batsman in the history of the game as he piled up runs better than every other batsman except Sir Donald Bradman, the greatest batsman of all time. The batting maestro appeared in 6 World Cup tournaments from 1992 to 2011, a record for most World Cup appearances that he shares with Pakistani batting legend Javed Miandad. Sachin Tendulkar holds the record for most runs in World Cup career by a batsman with 2278 runs from 44 innings at an excellent average of 56.95 and a strike rate of 88.98. The Indian legend played a pivotal role in his country’s second World Cup title in 2011.

3 Vivian Richards

The most destructive batsman of the 1970’s and 80’s, Vivian Richards is still dubbed as the best batsman the game has ever seen by his contemporaries. Viv’s ability to thrash the best fast bowlers of his era to every part of the ground without wearing a helmet made him the most destructive and daring batsman of all time. The West Indian legend was equally good in World Cup tournaments and a lethal threat to the opponents. Viv appeared in 4 World Cup tournaments from 1975 to 1987, and scored 1013 runs in 21 innings at a wonderful average of 63.31, and an equally impressive strike rate of 85.05. Vivian Richards played a significant role in his team’s consecutive World Cup titles in 1975 and 1979.

4 Martin Crowe

The best batsman New Zealand has ever produced, Martin Crowe had all the qualities you will find in a world class batsman. On his day, he was the most dangerous batsman and could thrash even the best bowler of his time with comfort. Martin Crowe appeared in 3 World Cup tournaments from 1983 to 1992 and scored 880 runs in 21 innings at an impressive average of 55 and a strike rate of 83.57. His most impressive performance came in the 1992 Cricket World Cup when he scored 456 runs in 9 innings at an astonishing average of 114 and a strike rate of 90.66. Martin Crowe was named player of the tournament in the 1992 Cricket World Cup.

5 Steve Waugh

Steve Waugh is one of the best batsmen ever produced in cricket and he was very useful with the ball and played as a genuine all-rounder. The Australian legend is one of the leading run scorers in test cricket but his ODI record is not as impressive as his test career, but his World Cup record is very impressive. Steve Waugh played in 4 World Cup tournaments from 1987 to 1999 scored 978 runs in 30 innings at an impressive average of 48.90 and a strike rate of 81.02. As a bowler he got 27 wickets in 26 innings at an average of 30.14. The legend’s best bowling performance came in the 1987 World Cup when he claimed 11 wickets at an average of 26.11. Steve Waugh made significant contributions with the bat in the 1987 and 1999 World Cup editions. He made 167 runs in 8 innings at an average of 55.67 in the 1987 World Cup, and made 398 runs at an astonishing average of 79.60 in the 1999 World Cup. His 120 not out against South Africa in the knockout stages in the 1999 World Cup is termed as one of the best innings in Cricket World Cup history. He guided Australia to the 1999 World Cup title with his amazing captaincy and brilliant batting.

6 AB de Villiers

The stylish South African batsman is certainly the most explosive batsman in recent times, His ability to hit any bowler in any direction makes him one of the best players to watch. AB de Villiers has the fastest ODI century to his credit off just 31 balls, and he is a kind of batsman who can come in the late middle order and score 150 runs with ease against any bowling attack. The South African legend played 3 World Cup tournaments from 2007 to 2015 and scored 1207 runs at an astounding average of 63.52 and an amazing strike rate of 117.29. The talismanic batsman will provide the much-needed firepower in the batting line.

7 Imran Khan

One of the best bowling all-rounders the game has seen. Imran will provide the firepower in the pace attack and will also be a very useful batsman. Imran Khan is one of the pioneer of reverse swing along with his bowling partner Sarfaraz Nawaz, and they both terrorized the opposing batsmen with their pace and swing bowling in the 1970’s and 80’s. Imran Khan played 5 World Cup tournaments from 1975 to 1992. He claimed 34 wickets in 19 innings at an excellent average of 19.26 and an equally impressive strike rate of 29.9. The Pakistani legend was also very handy with the bat, he scored 666 runs in 24 innings at an average of 35.05 and a strike rate of 65.68. Imran Khan guided Pakistan to their only Cricket World Cup title in 1992 with his impressive captaincy and great devotion.

8 Wasim Akram

The best left arm pace bowler ever produced in cricket. Wasim Akram could bowl six different deliveries in a single over. He and his bowling partner Waqar Younis terrorized  the best batsmen in the 1990’s. Wasim Akram played 5 World Cup tournaments from 1987 to 2003. He is one of the leading wicket takers in Cricket World Cup history with 55 wickets in 36 innings at an impressive average of 23.83 and a strike rate of 35.4. The legendary bowler played a pivotal role in guiding Pakistan to the World Cup title in 1992 when he took 18 wickets at an average of 18.78 and a strike rate of 29.89, and finished the tournament as the leading wicket taker. He was also handy with the bat and could play brisk innings at the lower order when required.

9 Shane Warne

One of the best leg spinners ever and the most effective leg spinner in the history of the Cricket World Cup, Shane Warne was highly impressive in the mega event.  He played 2 World Cup tournaments from 1996 to 1999 and claimed 32 wickets in 17 innings at an amazing average of 19.50 and at a very good strike rate of 30.5. He won crucial matches for Australia in both the World Cup tournaments he played and his most amazing performances came in the 1996 World Cup semi-final against the West Indies, and also in the 1999 World Cup final against Pakistan when he guided his team to the World Cup title almost single-handedly. He was also the joint leading wicket taker (20) along with New Zealand pacer Geoff Allot in the 1999 Cricket World Cup

10 Muttiah Muralitharan

The leading wicket taker in international cricket is also one of the leading wicket takers in the history of Cricket World Cup. Muttiah Muralitharan is the best off spinner ever produced in cricket. He played 5 World Cup tournaments from 1996 to 2011 and claimed 68 wickets in 39 innings at a brilliant average of 19.63 and a strike rate of 30.3. The Sri Lankan legend was also part of the World Cup winning Sri Lankan squad of 1996.

11 Glenn Mcgrath

The Australian pacer is the leading wicket taker in the history of Cricket World Cup. Glenn Mcgrath played 5 World Cup tournaments from 1996 to 2007, and he claimed 71 wickets in 39 innings at a wonderful average of 18.19 and an immaculate strike rate of 27.5. Glenn Mcgrath made significant contributions to Australia’s World Cup victories from 1999 to 2007. He was also the leading wicket taker in the 2007 World Cup when he claimed 26 wickets at an unbelievable average of 13.73 and a strike rate of 18.65.

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