The inaugural ICC World Cup, then known as the Prudential Cup, was held at England back in 1975 with 8 participating nations. Since then, 10 editions have been played. The last edition of the tournament, held in 2015, was won by hosts Australia. In fact, Australia is also the most successful team in the tournament’s history, winning the tournament for a record 5 times including 4 times in the last 5 editions.
Apart from Australia, India and West Indies has claimed 2 titles each. While some more cricketing nations have been victorious on the biggest stage, there are some famous countries who still haven’t won the World Title a single time. Here are the top 5 popular teams who have never won the Cricket World Cup.
Zimbabwe Cricket is the most inconsistent member of the ICC in terms of the team’s performance over the years. In 1983, Zimbabwe qualified for the World Cup for the first time and pulled off a stunning upset against Australia. The Zimbabwean legend, Duncan Fletcher scored a 69 not-out and also produced his career-best figures of 4-42. Zimbabwe Cricket rose to greater heights by late 1990s with players like Andy Flower, Heath Streak, Murray Goodwin, etc.
The 1999 World Cup also saw Zimbabwean brilliance as they finished 5th in the super six, just behind New Zealand with an inferior net run rate. This golden era of Zimbabwe Cricket followed a series of decline that drowned the cricket culture in the country. The worsened political and economic scenario of the country, Zimbabwe cricket has not been half of what once it used to be. In fact, Zimbabwe also did not qualify for the 2019 ICC World Cup for the first time since 1983.
The Proteas (nickname of South African cricket team) is famous as ‘chokers’ when it comes to performing at the big stage. South African cricket has been dominant ever since its return to the International stage in 1992. They have even managed to top the ICC list of ODI rankings and Test rankings for time and again. But their only Finals appearance in an ICC Tournament was in the first edition of the Champions Trophy (which they won) in 1998.
No South African Team has even gone past the Semi-Final stage in the World Cups. The term choker aroused to existence after the famous 1999 World Cup Semi-Finals against the eventual Champions Australia. The Proteas needed just 1 run off 4 balls, however, a horrific mix-up between the last men Allan Donald and Lance Klusener led to a dramatic runout and the game ended as a tie. Australia qualified for the Finals because of higher position in the Super-6 stage.
In fact, the South African team has managed to produce their worst performance in the World Cup recently, facing a much early exit after losing 5 of the 6 played matches. Over the years, South Africa has undoubtedly produced some great cricketers and who laid out unbelievable performances. But this tag of ‘Chokers’ has been haunting their legacies till date.
The New Zealand Cricket team has been a consistent part of the ICC Cricket World Cup since its inception. Besides qualifying, the Kiwis never made it past the Semi-Finals until the last edition. In 2015, New Zealand co-hosted the ICC World Cup and also made its debut in the World Cup Finals against Trans-Tasman Australia. Like South Africa, Blackcaps haven’t seen much success in the ICC Tournaments apart from the Champions Trophy (ICC Knockout Tournament) Title in 2000.
In the ongoing edition of the ICC World Cup, New Zealand has laid out a truly promising start, winning all the 5 matches played and currently stands 2nd in the table. With Kane Williamson leading their World Cup campaign at a staggering batting average of 186.5, New Zealand fans must be hoping to break out of this list.
Kenya National Cricket Team is has been an associate member of ICC since 1981. But did have an ODI status till 1996. Since then, Kenya has qualified for 5 World Cups from 1996 to 2011 making it to the Semi-Finals in just one of them. The 2003 ICC World Cup in Southern Africa saw the underdog nation defying the odds. Kenya became the first non-test playing nation to move beyond the first round in the World Cup, entering the super 6 ahead of biggies like South Africa and West Indies. In fact, Kenya even managed to make it to the Semi-Finals on the back of a better net run rate and just the one win against Zimbabwe. They were later defeated by India in the Semi-Finals.
Apart from this one Semi-Finals appearance, Kenya does not have much in their World Cup resume. Kenya has not qualified for the World Cup since its last appearance in the 2011 edition.
This the probably the biggest irony in the world of cricket that the inventors of the game never claimed the biggest achievement of the game. Lifting the World Cup Trophy has been a long unfulfilled dream of the English Cricket and its fans.
The England Cricket Team is the founding member of ICC, currently representing England and Wales on the international stage. The English team has faced disappointment thrice in the 11 World Cups till now. They were runners up in 1979 losing in the Finals to West Indies at home, in 1987 losing Finals to Australia and then again losing the next Finals in 1992 to Pakistan. Since 1992, England has never even qualified for the Semi-Finals.
As of 26 June 2019, England ranks first in the ICC ODI rankings, currently hosting the 12th edition of the mega-event. England stands 4th in the table currently, having lost 3 of their 7 matches in the tournament. England needs to win the final 2 league games to ensure a spot in the Semis. Else they will have to rely on their luck, hoping that the league dynamics play out in their favour. It is fair to say that English Cricket has never had much luck when it comes to the World Cup. However, there is no denying to the fact that they have a strong team who are genuine contenders for the title.