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11 World Cups, 406 matches, 5 champion nations, 165 hundreds and much more: The World Cups in numbers

With World Cup about to start so let's talk about the numbers associated with it.

“Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” This might be true in some aspects but not in all. With World Cup about to start, let’s talk about the numbers associated with it.

11 World Cups, 406 matches, 5 champion nations, 165 hundreds and numerous other records, so why not look into the numbers game?

Australia – The Greatest Cricket Team in World Cup

Talking about the champions, the greatest of all, Australia won 5 World Cups in 5 different continents (1987 Asia, 1999 Europe, 2003 Africa, 2007 North America, 2015 Australasia ), the only team to do so. Australia also the first team to win 3 consecutive titles (1999, 2003 & 2007). The first time champions West Indies (1975 & 1979) won it twice so as India (1983 & 2011). Pakistan (1992) and Sri Lanka (1996) are the only other teams to win it.

List of ODI World Cups
Year Matches Winner
1975 15 West Indies
1979 15 West Indies
1983 27 India
1987 27 Australia
1992 39 Pakistan
1996 38 Sri Lanka
1999 42 Australia
2003 54 Australia
2007 51 Australia
2011 49 India
2015 49 Australia


Sachin Tendulkar – 6 World Cups and making most of them

Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar dominates the batting records in World Cup. He has scored more runs (2278), most hundreds (6), most fifties (15), most boundaries (268), most runs in a single edition (673 in 2003) and most Man of the Match awards (9). Sangakkara has the most centuries in a single edition (4 in 2015). Kevin O’Brien of Ireland holds the record for the fastest World Cup hundred (off 50 balls against England, 2011). The highest score in an innings is scored by Martin Guptill (237* against West Indies, 2015).

Top 10 batsman with most runs in World Cup

Player Country Mat Inns NO HS Runs 100s 50s Avg S/R
Tendulkar, S R India 45 44 4 152 2278 6 15 56.95 88.98
Ponting, R T Australia 46 42 4 140* 1743 5 6 45.87 79.95
Sangakkara, K C Sri Lanka 37 35 8 124 1532 5 7 56.74 86.55
Lara, B C West Indies 34 33 4 116 1225 2 7 42.24 86.27
de Villiers, A B South Africa 23 22 3 162* 1207 4 6 63.53 117.30
Jayasuriya, S T Sri Lanka 38 37 3 120 1165 3 6 34.26 90.66
Kallis, J H South Africa 36 32 7 128* 1148 1 9 45.92 74.40
Dilshan, T M Sri Lanka 27 25 4 161* 1112 4 4 52.95 92.98
Jayawardene, D P M D Sri Lanka 40 34 3 115* 1100 4 5 35.48 85.94
Gilchrist, A C Australia 31 31 1 149 1085 1 8 36.17 98.01


Glenn McGrath – 7 for 15 against Namibia, 2003

Just like Tendulkar, Australian Legend Glenn McGrath outscores everyone in the bowling department. He has taken most wickets (71), most 5 wickets haul (2) along with Afridi, most wickets in a single edition (26 in 2007) and best bowling performance (7 for 15 against Namibia, 2003).

Top 10 bowlers with most wickets in World Cup

Player Country Matches Overs Mdns Runs Wkts Avg Best 5w
McGrath, G D Australia 39 325.5 42 1292 71 18.20 7/15 2
Muralitharan, M Sri Lanka 40 343.3 15 1335 68 19.63 4/19 0
Wasim Akram Pakistan 38 324.3 17 1311 55 23.84 5/28 1
Vaas, W P U J C Sri Lanka 31 261.4 39 1040 49 21.22 6/25 1
Khan, Z India 23 198.5 12 890 44 20.23 4/42 0
Srinath, J India 34 283.2 21 1224 44 27.82 4/30 0
Malinga, S L Sri Lanka 22 170.4 7 908 43 21.12 6/38 1
Donald, A A South Africa 25 218.5 14 913 38 24.03 4/17 0
Oram, J D P New Zealand 23 182.2 21 768 36 21.33 4/39 0

A miscalculation by Shaun Pollock cost South Africa a place in Super Sixes in 2003 World Cup by 1 run

There are only 4 tied matches played in World Cup history. The first and probably the most famous tied match of ODI history was played between Australia and South Africa in World Cup semi-final, 1999 at Edgbaston. The tie eventually helped Australia to reach the finals of the 1999 World Cup and from there Australia’s domination in World Cups started. The second tied game also involved South Africa (against Sri Lanka in 2003) and it was another set back for them as they couldn’t qualify for the Super Six. A miscalculation in Duckworth-Lewis and their hope of winning the World Cup at home was destroyed. The other two tied matches were played in 2007 and 2011 respectively.

Tied Matches
Match Ground
1999 Australia v. South Africa Edgbaston
2003 South Africa v. Sri Lanka Kingsmead
2007 Ireland v. Zimbabwe Sabina Park
2011 India v. England M Chinnaswamy Stadium

Some miscellaneous stats related to the World Cup are as follows.

  • Mohinder Amarnath (1983), Arvinda de Silva (1996) and Shane Warne (1999) are the only players to win the man of the match awards in both semi-final and final of a World Cup.
  • Adam Gilchrist is the only player to score 50+ score in 3 World Cup finals. He scored 54 against Pakistan at Lord’s in 1999, 57 against India at Johannesburg in 2003 and 149 against Sri Lanka at Bridgetown in 2007.
  • Kapil Dev (24) is the youngest captain to lift the World Cup while Imran Khan (39) is the oldest.
  • Sangakkara (54) holds the record for most dismissals in World Cups. Gilchrist (45) has most catches while Sangakkara (13) has most stumpings.
  • Though Tendulkar and Miandad appeared in 6 World Cups, Ponting (46) holds the record of most matches played in World Cups. He also took 28 catches in all World Cups which is the most for any fielder.
  • Only two matches were won by 1 run and both the time Australia and India were involved. Australia first beat India in 1987 by a run and then again in 1992 they beat India by 1 run.
  • World Cup in 1992 is the only edition in which no bowler took 5 fer.
  • Arjuna Ranatunga (969) has scored most runs without scoring a century in World Cups.

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