The most coveted trophy in cricket is the World Cup. It has been 45 years since the first World Cup was played in England in the year 1975. Since then there have been ten more editions of the world cup and ten teams will again battle for the crown this English summer.
Out of the 11 editions of the World Cup, Australia has triumphed on 5 occasions (1987, 1999,2003,2007, 2015), India (1983 and 2011) and West Indies (1975 and 1979 respectively) have lifted the trophy twice and Pakistan and Sri Lanka have won once in 1992 and 1996 respectively.
The 12th edition owill get underway from 30th May, 2019 in England with hosts England playing South Africa at the Oval.
While some cricketers led their teams to the championship title with their performances, few cricketers despite of putting their best efforts, could not get their team past the line. Here is a playing 11 of the World Cup's most impactful players over the years.
Sachin Tendulkar (2003)
The Master Blaster was unstoppable in the 2003 edition of the World Cup which was held in South Africa. In 11 innings for India, the opener scored 673 runs at an impressive average of 61.18.
Sachin Tendulkar who apparently did not bat a single ball in the nets in the 2003 World Cup, dominated the bowlers from the word go and had six half-centuries and one century to his credit in the 2003 World Cup.
Riding on his form, the Men in Blue finished runners-up and Sachin was named the Man of the Series. The 673 runs scored by Sachin is till date the record for most runs scored in a single edition in World Cup history.
The highlight of the edition is Sachin dominating the dangerous Pakistani pace trio of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Shoaib Akhtar.
Sanath Jayasuriya (1996)
Sanath Jayasuriya was named the Man of the Series in the 1996 World Cup. The left-handed opener changed the dynamics of ODI cricket in the 1996 World Cup with his opening partner Romesh Kaluwitharana.
In 6 innings in the 1996 World Cup, Jayasuriya scored 221 runs at an average of 36.83 and an impressive strike rate of 131.54. He took full advantage of the fielding restrictions in the first 15 overs and in the day and age when teams were satisfied to score 50 to 60 runs in the first 15 overs, Jayasuriya led Sri Lanka to 117 against India, 123 against Kenya and 121 against England in the first 15 overs.
Jayasuriya blasted to 82 of just 44 balls in the quarterfinals against England and subsequently Sri Lanka won the trophy by beating Australia in the finals.
Jayasuriya changed the way ODI cricket was played and thereafter following his footsteps, cricketers started taking advantage of the field restrictions to score more runs in the first 15 overs.
The left-hander also took seven wickets and took five catches in the tournament. All in all, Jayasuriya's all-round performances were the guiding light for Sri Lanka's triumph in the 1996 World Cup.