It is the ultimate dream of every cricketer to win the World Cup. The burning ambition to play the World Cup fuels many cricketing careers. It is a highly demanding tournament as only the best stay in the hunt till the end.
There have been many greats of the game who have had stellar careers. But a cricket World Cup has deserted them. They could not be part of a single World Cup. It remains one of the biggest career misses for these cricketing greats.
We Look At 4 Such Cricketers Who Never Played The World Cup:
#4 Cheteshwar Pujara
He was the spiritual successor to Rahul Dravid in Tests. Cheteshwar Pujara is an old-school batsman who has played 96 Tests so far. He has amassed 6792 runs in Tests at a fine average of 43.8. Pujara has registered 18 centuries and 33 half-centuries. He remains a thorn in the flesh of many opponents. But Pujara couldn’t translate his success in white-ball formats. He has played just 5 ODIs in a career spanning 12 years. India has played three ODI World Cups so far, Pujara’s name didn’t crop even in one.
#3 Alastair Cook
He is arguably one of the greatest Test openers of all time. Sir Alastair Cook is a modern-day legend. He made his Test debut in 2006. Cook’s career lasted for 12 years wherein he played 161 Tests. He scored 12,472 runs in Tests at an average of 45.4. Cook notched up 33 centuries and 57 half-centuries in the process. Unlike Pujara, Cook was a big part of England’s ODI setup from 2007-13. But unfortunately, he too couldn’t feature in any ODI World Cup edition.
#2 Justin Langer
He was one of Australia’s most prolific batsmen in Tests. Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden were undoubtedly the most fearsome opening pair. The southpaw played 105 Tests scoring 7696 runs at an average of 45.27. Langer pummelled 23 centuries and 30 half-centuries in Tests.
He also played 8 ODIs in the period between 1993 to 2007. But Langer’s game was never cut out for the ODI format. It was understood quite early that he won’t be part of Australia’s limited-overs plans. He wasn’t considered for any ODI World Cup. Langer ironically coached the Australian side to T20 World Cup glory in 2021.
#1 VVS Laxman
His story is one of the most heartbreaking in Indian cricket when it comes to the World Cup. VVS Laxman never played a single World Cup game for a player of his stature. He represented the country in 134 Tests. Laxman almost always scored the difficult runs. He totaled 8781 runs in Tests comprising 17 centuries and 56 fifties.
Laxman strangely seemed to be part of India’s ODI setup a year before and a year after the World Cup. He once scored 3 ODI centuries in a single twi-series tournament in Australia. But alas, Laxman was never considered for the WC. He narrowly lost out to Dinesh Mongia in 2003, who provided an additional bowling option.