The ICC Champions Trophy competition began way back in 1998 when it was called the ICC Knockout Trophy. The name was changed in 2002 and ever since, it is known as the Champions Trophy with the top 8 teams of the world taking on each other to lift the coveted title.
Although the best in the business lock horns against each other, there have been some prolific international cricketers who were never fortunate enough to play the tournament despite being among the finest to have represented their respective teams.
The reasons behind players of such high pedigree missing out can be attributed to them playing lesser limited-overs cricket or specialists in the shorter formats being preferred over them. Let’s take a look at some of those unfortunate players.
#1 Justin Langer
Justin Langer is easily one of the finest openers to have represented Australia in international cricket. The southpaw donned the Australian jersey in 105 Tests in a career spanning over 14 years and scored more than 7000 runs at an average of just over 45.
Langer, together with fellow opener Matthew Hayden formed a great partnership and they were the most formidable Test opening pair in the early 2000s.
However, the Aussie’s ODI career lasted just 8 matches in which he could only manage 160 runs without a single half-century. This is why he did not get to play in the Champions Trophy despite being a big name in Australian cricket.
Also, he is perhaps the only batsman from the golden era of Australian cricket who has not even played for his team at the World Cup.
#2 Chris Martin
New Zealand’s Chris Martin was commonly known for his ability to bowl nagging line and lengths at moderate pace with a bit of seam movement to pry batsmen out.
At the end of his career, Martin finished as the third highest wicket-taker for New Zealand in Test with a total of 231 wickets at an average of 33.81. After boasting of such a record in international cricket, it was surprising that a bowler of his caliber never played the Champions Trophy.
But he also has the second most number of ducks in the history of Test cricket. In 104 innings, Martin suffered 36 ducks!
However, he featured in only 20 ODI matches in a career of 13 years, which is why a Champions Trophy spot was never given to the Test specialist.
He was rarely on the selectors’ radar for the 50-over format. The closest Martin came to participating in a World Cup was in the 2007 edition when he replaced an injured Daryl Tuffey in the squad but did not get a game to play.
#3 Brad Hodge
Victoria’s highest ever run-scorer in the Sheffield Shield (10,474 runs), Brad Hodge has never played the Champions Trophy. In 223 first-class matches, Hodge has scored 17,084 runs at an average of 48.81.
He has been one of the most prolific players for Australia in the domestic circuit. However, his transition to international cricket was not smooth because he was unlucky.
Australia had a brilliant middle order and one which was hard to break through. Hodge played 25 ODIs and 15 T20Is, scoring 575 and 183 runs respectively but Champions Trophy always remained a distant dream for him.
#4 Piyush Chawla
As a 15-year old, Piyush Chawla represented India U-19, as well as Uttar Pradesh U-22, and that itself was a testament to the talent he possessed. He was a part of the victorious Indian side in the ICC T20 World Cup 2007 and the ICC World Cup 2011 but the Champions Trophy had no calling for him.
He became the talking point in the international circuit after getting the better of English batsman Kevin Pietersen in 2007. Chawla once bowled Shane Watson with a quicker one, which read 117 km/hr. One of the fastest deliveries by a spinner. Yet he was never seen in India’s Champions Trophy squad.
#5 Monty Panesar
Monty Panesar will always be remembered as a distinct identity in English cricket. Panesar was referred to as England’s next long-term spinner.
Early in his career, former England head coach Duncan Fletcher described him as ‘the best finger spinner in the world.’ However, after close to three years of top-class cricket, his career graph began to plummet because of slump in form and personal problems.
Panesar made his ODI debut in the Commonwealth Bank series following the Ashes in 2007. The left arm spinner’s international career continued to progress thereafter. But, he was accuses of not learning and improving his game.
In the 26 international ODIs he played, he took 24 wickets at an average of 35.