Playing for one’s nation is like a lifelong dream for any athlete. However, one needs to understand that this dream has further nuances which apparently get accentuated with an individual zeroing in on his dreams. Once you achieve your dream of being a regular for the squad or even make it to the first 15 which is announced for a particular tour or a fray, your next objective becomes very clear as you have to make it to the first eleven.
The event of achieving your dreams gets even bigger if this call up is for the World Cup. World Cup is like the grandest stage of all where greats of the game clash with each other to decide the crown of the world. A few players are, however, fortunate in a very tricky way as they apparently do not play a single game and goes on to notch up the World Cup, thanks to a dominant team effort from his comrades. We will look at 5 such cricketers who went on to win the World Cup by not being a part of a single game throughout the hallowed fray.
1. Marvan Atapattu – 1996
One of the finest Sri Lankan middle-order batsmen, Marvan Atapattu also went on to lead the Islanders for a considerable period of time. With 13000 international runs across all formats of the game, he went on to be a part of the Lankan brass. However, no matter how great you are as a cricketer, you will always have to face your fire of baptism.
After failing miserably with the bat in the 1990s, Atapattu was axed from both Tests and ODI’s. In 1996, he made a return to the team and after a few decent shows, he got picked up for the already insuperable Sri Lankan squad that featured the likes of stalwarts like Jayasuriya, Ranatunga, and Aravinda De Silva.
It wasn’t easy for the greenhorn to crack into this team of cricketing masters and he ended up throughout the tournament on the sidelines. Despite not being able to make it to the starting eleven even for a single game, Atapattu notched up one of the most coveted possessions that a cricketer can ask for.
2. Mitchell Johnson – 2007
One of Australia’s most fearsome fast bowlers, who went on to resemble Dennis Lille in both his mustache style and bowling figures 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 nasty bowling which scaled deliveries at a regular 140 kays left the batsmen scared with some magical movement of the ball. 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 a titan redivivus.
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 novice learning the game in the initial days.
Despite showing promising stints to feature in the World Cup as a backup wicketkeeper to Gilly, Haddin couldn’t make it to the playing eleven for the 2007 quadrennial extravaganza.
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.
Information source: Crictracker.com