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5 cricketers who took the World Cup by storm but then faded into obscurity

Geoff Allott of New Zealand
Geoff Allott of New Zealand
Aakash Arya
Modified 02 May 2020
Top 5 / Top 10

Good Performances in a World Cup go a long way in shaping careers. Time and again, we have seen players turn into heroes after match-winning outings in a particular edition of the Cup.

However, there are some instances where, even after great performances in the top competition, players have been lost to obscurity. After phenomenal displays of skill and attitude, the highs of a World Cup have quickly turned into lows post the tournament.

On that note, let us try to find out the 5 cricketers who took the World Cup by storm but then faded into obscurity.

Note: The list is in no particular order.

1. Debashish Mohanty (1999 WC, India)

 The ICC designed their logo of the CWC 1999 on Debashish Mohanty
 The ICC designed their logo of the CWC 1999 on Debashish Mohanty's bowling action

One of the most sought-after bowlers in India in the 90s, Debashish Mohanty couldn't live up to his potential post the 1999 WC.

For someone after whom the ICC designed their logo for the mega-event, the pacer's career went into a downward spiral. Possessing a unique action, Mohanty delivered the goods in the 1999 WC, taking 10 wickets in six games at an impressive average of 26. Mohanty certainly did justice to his last-minute selection in the World Cup and ended as India's second-highest wicket-taker behind Javagal Srinath.

However, he was dropped from the side in 2001 and lost his place to upcoming pacers like Ajit Agarkar and Zaheer Khan. He represented India in 47 international matches between 1997 to 2001.


#2 Grant Elliot (2015 WC, New Zealand)

Grant Elliot played a vital part in New Zealand
Grant Elliot played a vital part in New Zealand's semi-final win over South Africa

After a stop-start career initially, New Zealand's Grant Elliot found his groove in the 2015 WC semi-final against South Africa.

Having made memorable contributions in patches for his country with the bat as well as with the ball, Elliot found it difficult to cement his place. However, his prowess with the bat and the ball forced the selectors to keep him in in the squad in all major events. His heroics in the 2009 Champions Trophy and the Chappell-Hadlee series, where he scored his maiden ton, tagged him as a match-winner.


His 84 not out in the semi-final against South Africa is regarded as one of the most memorable knocks of the World Cup. His six off the penultimate ball landed on Seat 12, row T, section 318. The particular seat was later immortalized as the Grant Elliot Seat. The plaque below it reads, "Here Lies the Resting Place of Grant Elliott's Mighty Six That Propelled the Blackcaps on March 24, 2015, into their maiden World Cup Final".

However, the swashbuckling all-rounder played his last ODI just one year after against Australia at Seddon Park on February 08. He played 105 international games, scoring 2233 runs and claiming 57 wickets.

#3 Geoff Allott (1999 WC, New Zealand)

New Zealand
New Zealand's Geoff Allott

New Zealand's Geoff Allott became the toast of his country after his 1999 WC heroics. Batsmen found it extremely hard to negotiate his in-swinging deliveries in overcast English conditions. He broke the record for the highest wickets in a single WC edition. Despite playing one game less, he ended as the joint-highest wicket-taker along with Shane Warne with 20 wickets.


However, he found it difficult to maintain his form and due to a persistent back injury, lost his place in a talented New Zealand outfit. He played his last ODI in November of 2000 and finished with 71 wickets in 41 international games.

#4 Michael Hendrick (England, 1979 WC)

Michael Hendrick (ICC Twitter)
Michael Hendrick (ICC Twitter)

England's Michael Hendrick was the highest wicket-taker in the second edition of the cricket World Cup in 1975. He claimed 10 wickets in only five games that included 14 maiden overs throughout the WC.


His four wickets against Pakistan and three against New Zealand in the semi-finals cemented his image as a match-winning bowler. He boasted of an impressive average of 19.45 in 22 ODIs that he played for England.

Although Hendrick bagged the wickets of Alvin Kallicharran and Andy Roberts in the finals, he still couldn't stop a fabulous West Indies team from scripting their second successive WC win. Hendrick played his last ODI two years later in 1981 against Australia at Leeds.

#5 Gary Gilmour (Australia, 1975 WC)

Gilmour tormented the English batsmen in the 1975 World Cup semi-final
Gilmour tormented the English batsmen in the 1975 World Cup semi-final

Gary Gilmour played only five ODIs for Australia. Two of those five matches were played in the 1975 WC, where he took 11 wickets.

His famous spells at the WC includes a six-wicket haul (six for 14 runs) against England at Headingley which was followed by a five-for against the mighty West Indies.

A jolly cricketer off the pitch, Gilmour battled several fitness and health issues which derailed his international career. After the WC, he played only one ODI for Australia before participating only in Test matches. He took 70 wickets in 20 matches and also scored a brilliant hundred at the highest level.


Published 01 May 2020, 20:25 IST
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