The Cricket World Cup is a dream event for each player in the international arena. It occurs once every four years. Hence the cricketers who stretch their way to the multiple editions of the competition tend to perform well every season of their career span. So far, 11 instalments of the cricket World Cup have been carried out effectively but very less players have been able to represent their country in the quadruple event several times through their incredible performances. Let’s contemplate the fancy topic of the most World Cup matches played by a player.
The two-time World Cup-lifting skipper Ricky Ponting holds the respectable feat of the most World Cup matches played by a player. From 1996 to 2011, the ace batter cum captain represented the Aussies in 5 editions and 46 games, amassing 1743 runs at an impressive average of 45.86 with the highest score of an unbeaten 140 against India in the 2003 WC final in South Africa.
The greatest-ever batsman to play in the event, Sachin Tendulkar participated in the 2nd most matches in World Cup history and also marked his presence in the most WC editions by a cricketer (6). The highest run-getter in cricket made his World Cup in 1992 and left the prestigious stage in 2011 with silverware. He notched up 2278 runs, averaging a staggering 56.95 in all 45 matches he played in the mega competition.
The spin maestro Muttiah Muralitharan tops the tally of the most World Cup matches played by a bowler with 40 games. Playing his first global event in 1996, he went on to play another 4 installments till 2011. The ace magician bagged 68 wickets at a commendable average of 19.63. Muralitharan was a part of the Sri Lankan squad which won the 1996 WC.
One of the most versatile batsmen with class and perseverance in World Cup history, Mahela Jayawardene made 40 appearances in the event, the 4th most in the World Cup between 1999 and 2015. At a decent average of 35.48, the reliable top-order batsman scored 1100 runs. Moreover, his century in the losing cause in the 2011 World Cup final at Wankhede Stadium gave nightmares to the Indian fans.
The most complete bowler of all time, Australian right-arm seamer Glenn McGrath made the ODI World Cup of his own with his outrageous bowling exploits, taking 71 wickets in just 39 outings. The proficient pacer was the highest wicket-taker in the 2007 edition of the tournament with 26 scalps in 11 games. His contribution to winning the ICC events for Australia is immense and irreplaceable, would not have been possible without him.
Most World Cup Matches Played by a Player
|Player||Career Span||Matches||Runs /Wickets|
|Ricky Ponting (AUS)||1996-2011||46||1743|
|Sachin Tendulkar (IND)||1992-2011||45||2278|
|Muttiah Muralitharan (SL)||1996-2011||40||69|
|Mahela Jayawardene (SL)||1999-2015||40||1100|
|Glenn McGrath (AUS)||1996-2007||39||71|
|Sanath Jayasuriya (SL)||1992-2007||38||1165|
|Wasim Akram (PAK)||1987-2003||38||55|
|Kumar Sangakkara (SL)||2003-2015||37||1532|
|Jacques Kallis (SA)||1996-2011||36||1148 & 21|
|Aravinda De Silva (SL)||1987-2003||35||1064 & 16|
Ricky Ponting has played the most World Cup matches (46).
Sachin Tendulkar played the most World Cup matches among Indians (45).
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