Being a leader or a captain of a team is not an easy task every single decision taken by the captain on the field matters a lot no matter which sport. A leader guides his best men/women to accomplish the task assigned to them. Here are the names of those remarkable captains of the cricket teams who guided their best men in the ICC ODI World Cup to clinch the most decorated ICC ODI trophy for their country.
Clive Lloyd (1975 and 1979):
The West Indies dominated the cricket field for over a decade, and one person who was behind the fearless West Indian team was Clive Lloyd, who led his team to two consecutive ICC World Cup wins. When the West Indies defeated Australia in the final of the World Cup in 1975, his role as an all-rounder proved to be a game changer for the West Indies. His century in the final and his skills to restrict Australia with the bowling in the 1975 final made the West Indies lift the maiden ICC ODI trophy. He repeated the same in the 1979 ODI World Cup after his tenure over the West Indies, still waiting for their third ICC ODI title.
Kapil Dev is considered one of the greatest cricket players India has ever produced. In his prime, he was as lethal with the ball as he was with the bat. Kapil Dev, during the ICC ODI World Cup 1983, was captaining the Indian cricket contingent. The Indian team was the underdog entering the tournament, and there was hardly anyone who could have thought that it would be Kapil Dev’s Indian team who would lift the title, but the leadership and consistent performance throughout the World Cup took the team to the final, and it was the semi-final against Zimbabwe where he played the knock of his life. He scored 175 runs in the semi-finals, and his catch of Sir Vivian Richards in the final is still remembered by Indian fans, which turned that match in India’s favor.
Australia’s Allan Border is a name that is imprinted in the minds of Australian cricket fans, as he was the first Australian captain to make Australia world champions by winning the World Cup in 1987. It was Allan Border’s decision in the finals of the ICC ODI World Cup that completely changed the outcome of the match. England was looking great while chasing the target of 254 runs, and it was expected that they would win the final, but it was Allan Border’s decision to come in to attack himself that turned the game into Australia’s side, and they beat host England by 7 runs to lift their first World Cup trophy.
The credit for Pakistan’s rise in the field of cricket was arguably given to their legendary captain, Imran Khan, who not only motivated the team but also took his team to its maiden World Cup title win in ICC ODI World Cup 1999. Imran Khan was not only lethal with the ball, but whenever required, he scored useful runs for his team. That’s what he did in the finals of the 1992 World Cup, where he scored 72 runs to put a respectable total of 249 runs on the board, and then Pakistan’s bowlers restricted England to a score of 227 runs.
Sri Lanka’s only ODI World Cup title came in 1996, when Arjuna Ranatunga led the Asian nation to their first ODI World Cup trophy. Arjuna Ranatunga was one of the fearless and aggressive captains of the 90s who always took the side of his team and, if situation demanded, argued even with umpires to support his teammates. His aggressive walk-off during Sri Lanka’s match against England before the 1999 World Cup is still fresh in the minds of cricket fans, as is how he saved a spin prodigy’s career by showing defiance to the Australian Cricket Board. Sri Lanka’s one of the greatest captains and a great batter hit a century in the World Cup final against Australia to claim the ICC ODI World Cup 1999 title.
Australia’s decade of dominance started with the 1999 World Cup, the same year the ICC came up with its own ODI World Cup trophy and Australia became the first team to lift the ODI trophy that we see now. Steve Waugh was arguably the writer of the success story of Australia in the 1999 ODI World Cup, as even after losing their first three matches, Australia went on to not just play the final but they lifted the trophy that year. This was the second time Australia was announced as the world champion, and his successor, Ricky Ponting, took the Australian team one step forward in later years.
Ricky Ponting(2003 and 2007):
Ricky Ponting was playing his first World Cup as a captain back in 2003, and he proved himself during the event as Australia didn’t lose even a single match during the 2003 World Cup and lifted the cup eventually by defeating India in the final. They were unbeatable throughout the tournament; in fact, Australia repeated the same form in the ODI World Cup 2007, where they lifted the Cup for the fourth time under the captaincy of Ricky Ponting. Australia looked unbeatable because of their dominant performance in every tournament they entered.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni(2011):
The 2011 ICC ODI World Cup finally ended the wait of the Indian cricket fans who wanted to see their team lift the trophy once more, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni gave that moment to India, who could not forget the six he hit to take India home. The ICC event of that year was jointly organized by India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, and in the finals, two Asian nations fought to win the trophy one more time, but it was India who won the final under the leadership of MS Dhoni. The decision he took in the final to come up in order instead of Yuvraj Singh, who batted up throughout the World Cup, proved to be the game changer, as even after losing wickets early, India bounced back to lift the World Cup.
Michael Clarke captained the Australian team in the 2015 ICC ODI World Cup, which happened in Australia and New Zealand. The home team at the end of the tournament lifted the ICC title by beating New Zealand throughout the tournament. They displayed a dominant performance and worked as a team to bid farewell to Michael Clarke during his retirement from cricket. Australia, after lifting the ICC ODI World Cup 2015 trophy, became the champions for a record fifth time, the most by any team in the World Cup.
The ICC ODI World Cup 2019, which was happening in England and Wales, was like a dream come true for the England team as they lifted the ODI World title for the first time. Eoin Morgan led his team to their maiden ICC title in 2019. The Ireland-born left-handed batter was well supported by one of the best all-rounders, Ben Stokes, during the tournament. Apart from him, batters like Joe Root, Jason Roy, and Jonny Bairstow performed their best throughout the tournament. In fact, cricket fans saw one of the most exciting ICC ODI World Cup finals in 2019 with two super overs in the same match, and still the winner was hard to declare based on the scorecard. So, in terms of the number of boundaries scored, the trophy was handed over to England.
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