Being a part of the national squad for any World Cup is more than just a dream come true for any International player. However, as only the best XI can play games to maximize the chances of winning, some players miss out on getting any game time whatsoever.
Lets look at 5 players who did win the World Cup but did so without playing a single match.
1. Marvan Atapattu – 1996 World Cup
One of the finest ever Sri Lankan batsmen, Atapattu also went on to lead the Islanders for a considerable period of time, but not before he went game-less and won the World Cup in 1996. Yes thats right. Atapattu, who scored 13000 international runs across all formats of the game, failed to play even a single game in Sri Lanka’s triumphant 1996 World Cup campaign.
2. Mitchell Johnson – 2007
One of Australia’s finest ever bowlers, Mitchell Johnson was a mere bench warmer in the 2007 World Cup where Australia continued with their unsparing dominance which they started four years ago.
Johnson’s fearsome bowling which smashed deliveries regularly around the 140 kph mark left many a batsmen scared throughout the years. However, in 2007, the bowling squad of Australia featured names like Glenn McGrath, Shaun Tait, and Stuart Clarke who were already breathing fire in the middle of the pitch
No matter how phenomenal you will be in your offing, a bowling attack spearheaded by McGrath is hard to be broken into unless you are out of this world.
3. Brad Haddin – 2007
Currently, a member of the selection squad of the Australian cricket team and also the best replacement Australia had in years after the departure of Adam Gilchrist, Brad Haddin was a rookie who was just getting the hang of International cricket in his early days.
Despite showing some good performances to make to World Cup squad, Haddin couldn’t make it to the playing eleven for the triumphant 2007 campaign because there was no replacing Gilly.
Gilchrist led from the front and also went on to play the World Cup-winning innings in a rain-dampened finale.
4. Liam Dawson – 2019
Despite being around for almost three years in the international circuit by the time the 2019 World Cup was played, England had a very muscular squad to accommodate the youngster.
A team that showcased the likes of batsmen like Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Johny Bairstow, and Joe Root was undoubtedly the best in the world. To make a breakthrough in this challenging line up, you will have to be at your phenomenal best. Liam Dawson was a decent pick but under no circumstances could have actually cracked his fortune open. However, the team was so good that it was with consummate ease that they cruised to the finals before meeting their similar match in New Zealand.
5. Tom Curran – 2019
Curran is one of the finest bowlers who have been savoring meteoric stardom in franchise cricket. Known for his lethal swing and brutal pace, he will definitely go on to lead the pace attack of England someday.
However, in 2019, Jofra Archer was s dominant that Curran couldn’t find himself a place in the playing World Cup. In fact, Archer was breathing fire with his pace that not only rattled timber but also a few helmets and grille. Once again England was so exceedingly dominant in the tournament, that they really didn’t have to think about any of these.