It is a dream for every player to play for their country in an ODI World Cup and win it. However, only a few selected ones achieve that as the competition in the squad is tough. For, ODI World Cup remains the biggest, most cherished prize among cricketers and fans as it comes every four years, and it has to coincide with the best years of a player for him to be selected in the squad.
Interestingly, there have been a few greats of the game who have not played a single game in an ODI World Cup. As we approach the World Cup 2023, which is only three months away, we decided to look at 3 great cricketers who didn’t feature in a single game in ODI World Cup.
Here are 3 greats of the game who didn’t play in a single match in an ODI World Cup:
Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook is, without debate, the biggest name on the list of players to have not played a single match in an ODI World Cup. Cook had a considerably significant ODI career of 92 matches, wherein he scored over 3000 runs at an average of 36 with 5 centuries, spanning from 2006 to December 2014.
He missed out on selection in the 2007 and 2011 World Cups. He was set to lead England in the 2015 World Cup, however, for some reasons, not least the extreme pressure and demands and expectations as well as some turmoil within the England team, Cook stepped down from his captaincy and also retired in December 2014, just a few months before the 2015 WC.
Legendary Indian batsman VVS Laxman was part of India’s golden batting generation and the mid-90s and in the 2000s and had some memorable moments in Indian Test cricket history. As Laxman played 134 Tests, he also featured in 86 ODI matches for India, averaging 30 with the bat, batting in the middle-order, with 6 ODI centuries.
Laxman had a good ODI career from 1998 to 2006. He was even close to making it to the 2003 World Cup squad, however, all-rounder Mongia was preferred over him and Laxman ended his career without a World Cup appearance.
One of the quickest pacers to have played for England was Matthew Hoggard, but his career remained marred by unfortunate injuries. Matthew Hoggard featured in 67 Tests and 26 ODIs from 2000 to 2008 and was part of the historic 2005 Ashes victory. He picked up close to 250 wickets in Tests, but only managed 32 scalps in ODIs.
Despite being a skilled and quickfire pacer, Hoggard didn’t play a single match in an ODI World Cup; although he was part of the 2003 WC squad, he didn’t get the nod in the starting XI.