ICC World Cup 2019: Most capped players
The who's who of ODI cricket feature in our list if most capped World Cup cricketers.

As we inch closer to the ICC Cricket World Cup, we look at the players who have featured in the highest number of matches across the previous 11 editions.

Ricky Ponting (Australia) – 46 matches

Ricky Ponting led Australia to back-to-back World Cup wins. (AFP Image)

Right at the top of the list is the man who led Australia to back-to-back World Cup titles, Ricky Ponting. Making his World Cup debut during the 1996 edition in the sub-continent, Ponting has played 46 matches – the most by anyone in history – and scored 1743 runs an at average of 45.86. In his first two World Cups, Ponting tallied 583 runs as Australia reached the final and lifted the trophy respectively. However, it was in 2003, that Ponting really took his performance up a notch scoring 415 runs at an average of over 50. His knock of an unbeaten 140 against India in the final is still regarded as the one of best innings played in ODI cricket. The former Australia captain had another memorable World Cup four years later in the West Indies scoring 539 runs from 11 games and led the side to their third consecutive title. In 2011 however, Australia were knocked out by India, but not before Ponting had scored another majestic century in a losing cause.

Sachin Tendulkar (India) – 45 matches

Sachin Tendulkar’s 673 runs in the 2003 World Cup is the highest by any batsman in a single edition. (AFP Image)

India’s superman Sachin Tendulkar features next with 45 matches. This is probably the only list where Tendulkar is second to someone in terms of World Cup records. He has the most World Cups, most centuries and unsurprisingly, most runs. Tendulkar played his first World Cup match in 1992 and in eight games, scored 283 runs. Four years later, as Tendulkar’s legend grew, as did his runs. He finished the 1996 edition with 523 runs from seven matches. The 1999 edition was a bit of a disappointment with Tendulkar tallying 253 runs from seven games. But his performance saw an all-time high in 2003, when Tendulkar added 673 runs from 11 games guiding India to the final. In 2007, Tendulkar played just three matches as India ousted the World Cup after the first round. In his final World Cup in 2011 in India, Tendulkar went out with a bang scoring 482 runs from nine games with two centuries

Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka) – 40 matches

After two quiet World Cups in 1999 and 2003, Mahela Jayawardene upped his game in the 2007 edition. (AFP Image)

Sri Lanka’s most capped ODI player, Mahela Jayawardene, shares the record for the most World Cup matches played by a cricketer from the island nation. Jayawardene featured in five World Cups for Sri Lanka, scoring 1100 runs from 40 games at an average of 35.48. In his debut World Cup in 1999, Jayawardene played just four matches for 102 runs, which was still better compared what was to come four years later. With 21 runs in nine matches, 2003 was Jayawardene’s worst World Cup statistically. As Sri Lanka reached the final four years later in the West Indies, Jayawardene racked up 548 runs from 11 matches, averaging over 60. Sri Lanka made their back-to-back World Cup final in 2011 in which Jayawardene average over 50. His final World Cup, in 2015 was a letdown of sorts with just 125 runs from seven matches as Sri Lanka lost to Australia in the semifinal

Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka) – 40 matches

For Muttiah Muralitharan, the 2011 World Cup was his international swansong. (AFP Image)

The leading wicket-taking spinner in ODIs, Muttiah Muralitharan has 68 World Cup wickets, the second highest. In the first two editions he featured in – 1996 and 1999 – Muralitharan had just 13 wickets from 11 games. But he roared back in 2003, with 17 wickets in 10 games. He bettered his performance four years later in the Caribbean, claiming 23 wickets from 10 games as Sri Lanka made the final. In 2011, Sri Lanka made the final for the second World Cup in a row, an in his international swansong, Muralitharan made a mark with 15 wickets from nine matches.

Glenn McGrath (Australia) – 39 matches

Glenn McGrath has the most wickets in World Cups with 71 scalps. (AFP Image)

The leading wicket-taker in World Cups, one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, Glenn McGrath has played 39 matches in the biggest cricket tournament in which has 71 wickets to show for his efforts. McGrath played just six games in the 1996 World Cup, his first, and picked up six wickets. Three years later, McGrath scalped 18 wickets playing a vital role in Australia’s second world title. 2003 was even better, with McGrath pocketing 21 wickets in 11 games. In his final World Cup in the West Indies, McGrath went one up and bettered his previous best performance, finishing with 26 wickets from 11 games as Australia stormed to their fourth World Cup win.