Great men and their defining moments

Vivian Richards (right) with Eldine Baptiste at a practice session during the 1987 World Cup. Viv scored 181 against Sri Lanka in the tournament - a record that stood for 12 years.-THE HINDU PHOTO LIBRARY Vivian Richards (right) with Eldine Baptiste at a practice session during the 1987 World Cup. Viv scored 181 against Sri Lanka in the tournament - a record that stood for 12 years.

The stars who made the World Cup their own; the men who inspired their teams with stirring performances. Andy Hampson lists his 10 great players.


As one of the game's all-time greats, Richards enjoyed many career highs and there was no shortage of them in World Cups. He was part of the West Indies teams that won the cup in 1975 and 1979. In 1979, he made the tournament his own with a magical 157-ball unbeaten 138 in the final against England. His 181 in only 125 deliveries against Sri Lanka in 1987 stood as a tournament record for 12 years.


The great Indian all-rounder and iconic captain was the inspiration behind India's World Cup success of 1983, which came after years of under-achievement in the one-day game. He got his team firing with a stunning 138-ball unbeaten 175, which included 16 fours and six sixes, against Zimbabwe and the Indians carried that momentum into the final, when they pulled off a shock win against West Indies.


Wasim Akram holds the record for the highest number of wickets in the World Cup.-V.V. KRISHNAN

Akram emerged as one of the game's great all-rounders in the 1992 World Cup as he finished top wicket-taker with 16 and destroyed England with a Man-of-the-Match showing in the final. He went on to become one of the game's leading exponents of reverse and conventional swing and, as an astute captain, led Pakistan to the 1999 final. His performances were also one of Pakistan's few plusses from a miserable 2003 tournament, which he ended with a record 55 World Cup wickets to his name.


Imran crowned his glorious career by leading Pakistan to victory in 1992. He will be remembered as one of the game's great bowlers but he was a fine batsman too and it was in this discipline, as well as captaincy, that he principally excelled in the tournament. He promoted himself to fortify a brittle top order and hit 72 in the final against England.


Jonty Rhodes is surrounded by fans after South Africa's victory over Pakistan at the `Gabba in 1992. Rhodes stood out for his brilliance on the field.-V.V. KRISHNAN

South Africa promised to bring an exciting freshness to the international scene when they finally emerged from isolation.

Rhodes, for his brilliance in the field, was one of their most eye-catching players. He took the art of fielding to a new level. The time when he defied gravity to dive full length and change a game by running out Pakistan's Inzamam-ul-Haq was perhaps the defining moment of his career.


Sri Lanka redefined one-day cricket with their exhilarating attacking play in 1996 and Jayasuriya epitomised this bold approach.

Playing as a `pinch-hitter' at the top of the order, the left-hander flayed attacks throughout the tournament and Sri Lanka powered on to take the title.


The powerful all-rounder known as Zulu was outstanding in 1999 and deserved better than the semifinal heartache. He smashed 281 runs at 140.5 in the tournament and was only dismissed twice.

He took South Africa to the brink of a place in the final only for Australia to snatch a tie and progress in scenes of pure farce as Allan Donald was run out at Edgbaston.


Sachin Tendulkar, the run-scoring phenomenon.-V.V. KRISHNAN

Statistically, the run-scoring phenomenon that is Tendulkar is the greatest batsman in World Cup history and the chances are he will still be playing in 2011, maybe 2015. The Indian master has already played in four World Cups, scoring a record 1,732 runs at 59.72 with four centuries and 12 fifties. He was the top run-scorer in both 1996 and 2003. His highest score is 152, scored against Namibia four years ago.


Ganguly may not be one of the game's most liked characters but few can question his batting ability. The left-hander is one of the cleanest and hardest strikers of the ball in the world and blends wonderful hand-eye co-ordination with a fine technique. He scored 465 runs, including three centuries, in the last tournament to lead India to the final. His World Cup best was 183 against Sri Lanka in 1999.


The World Cup's second-highest wicket-taker and a two-time winner, McGrath returns for one last crack at the competition this year. His powers may now be on the wane but he has every chance of taking the 11 wickets he needs to overhaul Wasim Akram's record at some stage in the Caribbean.

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