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5 cricketers who carried their teams at World Cups but ended the tournament with heartbreak

We look at instances when individual brilliance of a player was not enough to carry the team all the way through.

Cricket is a team's game, but then very often the entire team revolves around one key player in the squad who carries the weight of expectations and invariably the fortunes of the team.

In a team game, it is the particular individual who on many occasions forms the crux and allows the entire team to rotate around the fulcrum. Thus, it is no surprise that a productive team is one wherein the players share a common goal and believe in the abilities of the marquee player and then try to grow by learning how to adapt to different conditions and dish out performances that help the team in the end.

Over the years there have been players who have been like the talisman for their respective teams and have carried their respective sides all by themselves. They took upon themselves to do it all and have been inspirational in their ways and means. However, in spite of all their bravado, their teams have not been able to cross the final hurdle and has resulted in heartbreaks and unfiltered emotions being bared on the field.

We take a look at 5 such players who have dominated a particular tournament, and have hogged all the limelight, but unfortunately, the campaigns ended with a sudden jitter. 

#1 Martin Crowe (1992 World Cup)

Martin Crowe
Martin Crowe stroked a sublime century against Australia to start the campaign

Arguably the greatest Kiwi batsman, Martin Crowe was in his elements during the 1992 World Cup. Captain Crowe lead his team into the semi-finals of the World Cup, and was in sublime form with the bat. He averaged 55 in the tournament and like all champions reserved his best for Australia, against whom he scored a regal century in the first match of the tournament.

Crowe scored 456 runs in the tournament which and was the leading batsman by some distance. Even in the semi-finals against Pakistan in Auckland, he top scored with an 83-ball 91 and helped his side get to a formidable score of 262 in 50 overs. He injured his hamstring during this innings and sat out during Pakistan's chase.

Crowe said that he was waiting for the rain to arrive as was predicted by the MET department, and hence was pretty confident of his team's progress into the finals. The rains never arrived and Pakistan got to the target in 49 overs with 4 wickets to spare.

"In other words, the team would win and I would be fit for the final. With what unfolded, I had made a massive mistake in not taking the field despite a hamstring injury, because I was trying to be fit for the final as opposed to getting the team through to the final", Crowe said.

For all the effort, Crowe was adjudged the Player of the Tournament, for the very first time in the history of World Cups. 

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