Simon Hughes: Help me pick the best World Cup team ever

Jokes are still being circulated about Australia’s demise in the Ashes (Q: What is the difference between an Australian batsman and Cinderella? A: Cinderella knew when to leave the ball) but already the cricketing circus has moved on and everyone is now thinking about the World Cup.

After the fiasco of the Caribbean world cup of 2007, this should be a humdinger of a tournament, despite that it takes a month to get to the business end of it (the quarter finals).

Anyway in celebration of 40 years of one-day international cricket (acknowledged last week on Channel 9 when the commentators arrived dressed in 1970s’ gear with afros, wide lapels, medallions and brightly-coloured flares) I have been entrusted with selecting an All-Time World Cup XI for the March issue of The Wisden Cricketer (which comes out on February 18).

I have my ideas (interestingly not too many Englishmen feature) but we’d like to know yours too. Based on World Cup performances, email your World Cup Dream Team to, a side to take on the eventual winner of World Cup 2011.

And, to my mind, this could well be England, though Stuart Broad’s fitness is vital for that. I got the prediction of the 3-1 Ashes score right (and I’ve got video to prove it!) so trust me on this …

Simon Hughes is the Cricket Analyst, broadcaster, commentator and associate editor of The Wisden Cricketer. Follow him on Twitter @cricketanalyst

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5 Responses to Simon Hughes: Help me pick the best World Cup team ever

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  3. Rick Pontig says:

    Not many Englishman in your squad, Simon?

    Andrew Strauss
    Matt Prior
    Kevin Pietersen
    Jonathan Trott
    Craig Kieswetter
    Michael Lumb
    Eoin Morgan
    Mike Denness
    Tony Greig
    Allan Lamb
    Basil D’Oliveira
    Graeme Hick
    Andrew Caddick
    Geraint Jones
    Ed Joyce

    Yep, good point – it is tricky.

  4. mykuhl says:

    A couple of names to throw into the mix. Based on WC performances.

    1. Imran Nazir
    2. Sachin Tendulkar
    3. Lance Klusener
    4. Martin Crowe (C)
    5. Viv Richards
    6. Scott Styris
    7. Andrew Symonds
    8. Guy de Alwis (K)
    9. Shane Warne
    10. Chris Old
    11. Geoff Allott

    12th man John Davison

    This team is a mix of different players from different eras, and mostly different teams. It is quite flexible, with 3 all rounders in the team. (and three batsmen who can bowl)

  5. Joey says:

    Mark Waugh
    Sachin Tendulkar
    Ricky Ponting
    Viv Richards
    Brian Lara
    Imran Khan
    Lance Klusener
    Adam Gilchrist
    Wasim Akram
    Abdul Qadir
    Glenn McGrath

    The openers pick themselves
    I have a problem with how to adjust these three – Richards is the only player one can never leave out from such a team. At a time, when 4 runs an over was exceptional, he scored at over 5.
    Genuine all-rounders – Imran could bat like a batsman if there was a collapse and at the same time could take apart bowlers like Garner and Ambrose – additionally he averages under 20 with the ball in the World Cups and at his peak was one of the fastest in the world. His death bowling in the 1987 World Cup was unbelievable – wickets against England, West Indies and Australia.
    Klusener has an exceptional World Cup record anyway.
    He is the wicketkeeper and would bat lower down the order simply because you have Mark Waugh and Tendulkar are better than him and Gilchrist can still go crazy in the last overs.
    Wasim Akram – The greatest one-day bowler of them all and equally effective anywhere.
    My spinner Abdul Qadir delivered overwhelming performances in the two World Cups he played – both in the subcontinent and softer wickets of England. Decent backup available in the form of Richards, Waugh (both off-breaks) and Tendulkar (leg-breaks and off-breaks).
    McGrath completes a perfect pace-attack

    I would have loved to have Joel Garner (just made for the ODIs) in my team but apart from his 1979 final show, he had little to write home about.
    Similarly I would love to have Hayden in there but Tendulkar and Waugh just don’t have good batting records – they are genuine wicket-taking backups as well.
    Ultimately you have a batting line-up where Klusener and Gilchrist come at 7 and 8 and you still have Wasim Akram and Abdul Qadir (who could hit sixes off fast bowlers)
    Wasim, McGrath, Abdul Qadir and Imran could get a wicket at any point and you have a middle-order than won’t just stop.