They are the willow-wielders that have chopped the fleeting cherry with the most frequency and disdain on cricket's greatest stage. They stand out for their workmanship in putting bat to ball and creating a fission of magic and majesty. They have kept the scoreboard rolling over with a deft prowess and a insatiable appetite for runs.
The drive and focus of the World Cup's top run getters have taken their respective teams a long way in their quest for globe-dominating glory, in some cases the venture culminating in 22 hands grappling at cricket's most coveted prize. Their ultimate objective has transcended individual prestige. Today, thatsCricket honours the heroes who have woven silken tapestries of strokeplay to adorn the World Cup's Hall of Fame.
10) Viv Richards
The most pugnacious batsman of his era, Viv Richards was any bowling attacks' ultimate bette-noir. Richards was on top of his game in the 4 World Cups he played. During his appearances in the event from 1975 to 1987, this dashing middle-order bat from Antigua compiled a total of 1,013 runs for the West Indies from 23 matches at a formidable average of 63.31 and a phenomenal strike rate of 85.05 (unparalleled during his career). His stints in the World Cup were highlighted by three marvelous centuries, the best of which was 181 off 159 in a 1987 group encounter against Sri Lanka. Richards massive contribution took the Windies to a humongous total of 360 and their competent bowling attack then ensured that they win the match by a record margin of 191 runs.
9) Aravinda de Silva
He stamped his worth on the Sri Lankan team in World Cups his unruffled technique, a hard-hitter that was strong in cutting, pulling and hooking. His short stature belied his ability to play the rising ball with deft ease and calculation. His career was studded with five appearances in World Cups starting in 1987 and culminating in 2003, during which time he came up with a gigantic run-tally of 1,064 runs at 36.68 runs per match accompanied with an ominous strike rate of 86.57. De Silva's belligerent nature at the crease was best exemplified by his World Cup highlight innings of 145 off 115 balls against Kenya during the league phase of the 1996 World Cup, helping his side amass the second highest total ever in the tournament: 398.
8) Herchelle Gibbs
His career ended abruptly and on an acrominous note as he fell out with his team's leadership and published his anger in a tell-all tale which turned out to be his career's death warrant. But when he was playing for South Africa, he proved time and again that he was vital and indispensable cog in the batting machinery. He appeared in just 3 World Cups in all, but he made the most of his time in the limelight, aggregating a remarkable 1,067 runs at an outrageous average of 56.15 and a top strike rate of 87.38. His best performance in a World Cup match came against New Zealand in 2003 when he accumulated 143 off 141 balls, only to see his side lose the encounter by 9 wickets due to the untimely intervention of rain and the notorious Duckworth/Lewis method of calculating reduced scores.
7) Stephen Fleming
One of the most successful captains New Zealand has had, Stephen Fleming proved that he was a very capable batsmen when the stakes were high and especially during the 4 World Cups he played in. A champion of the straight drive, Fleming translated his batting acumen to beefy scores in most of his appearances in the global event, notching up a run-tally of 1,075 runs at a healthy average of 35.83 and a competitive strike rate of 76.89. The innings that stands out for him is an unbeaten 134 of 132 balls against South Africa in a crucial, rain-curtailed WC 2003 match, which his side won by 9 wickets.
6) Javed Miandad
A feisty and rambunctious player, Javed Miandad was the backbone of the Pakistani batting when he was at his prime. Miandad did not belong to the the classical school of batting. Though he possessed a magnificent square cut which showed face routinely in his innings, most of his shots were from out of the the book. He was for instance, a fine early reverse-sweeper. As of the present he is the only player to figure in as many as 6 World Cups. He has worked hard during all those performances and encores, accumulating a total of 1,083 runs at a noteworthy average of 43.32, though his strike rate wasn't so hot at 68.02. Nevertheless, his best innings in a World Cup encounter came against Sri Lanka in 1987, when he scored 103 off 100 balls to set up a 15 run-win over the islanders.