ICC Cricket World Cup Winning Captains: Clive Lloyd to Pat Cummins

“The crowd’s obviously going to be very one-sided, but in sport, there’s nothing more satisfying than hearing a big crowd go silent. That’s the aim for us tomorrow.”

This is what the Australian Captain, Pat Cummins, said before the 2023 Cricket World Cup Final between India and Australia, implying that the Aussies will silence more than  1,00,000 supporters of the Indian Cricket Team present at the Narendra Modi Stadium after beating India. And that is exactly what he did. This is exactly what it takes to be a great captain, who wins their team big tournaments; confidence, conviction, and the belief that nothing is impossible. This is what so many legendary captains have been able to instill in their teams when they have won the World Cup. While some captains and their teams have been so dominant that they have won the tournament unbeaten, there have been some to have lifted the trophy against all odds etching an inspiring story in the history books. 

So, in this article by ZAP, let’s look at the list of all Cricket World Cup winning captains. 

Cricket World Cup Winning Captains List:



Captain's Name

Final Against


West Indies

Clive Lloyd



West Indies

Clive Lloyd




Kapil Dev

West Indies



Alan Border




Imran Khan



Sri Lanka

Arjuna Ranatunga




Steve Waugh




Ricky Ponting




Ricky Ponting

Sri Lanka



MS Dhoni

Sri Lanka



Michael Clarke

New Zealand



Eoin Morgan

New Zealand



Pat Cummins



1975 & 1979 World Cup - Clive Lloyd, West Indies 

A collage of Clive Lloyd lifting the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1975 and 1979

Clive Lloyd, the legendary player from Guyana, led the West Indies team during the 1975 and 1979 Cricket World Cups, securing historic victories in both tournaments. In 1975, Lloyd led the West Indies to victory in the first-ever World Cup, defeating the Australian Team in the final at the Lord's Cricket Ground. This victory marked the beginning of West Indies' dominance in international cricket.

Four years later, in 1979, Clive Lloyd guided the West Indies to their second consecutive World Cup title, once again triumphing at Lord's, this time against England. Under Lloyd's leadership, the West Indies team showcased remarkable skill, dominance, and teamwork, establishing themselves as one of the most feared cricket teams of that era.

Clive Lloyd’s strategic brilliance, calm demeanor, and ability to inspire his teammates were instrumental in the West Indies' success during these tournaments. His legacy as one of the greatest captains of all time remains unparalleled, for his remarkable achievements in the 1975 and 1979 ICC Cricket World Cup.

1893 Cricket World Cup - Kapil Dev, India

Kapil Dev lifting the ICC Cricket World Cyp Trophy in 1983

Credit: India TV News

India was seen as a weak team in the world of cricket in the 90s and the Indian Cricket Team for the 1983 World was being written off by the media even before the tournament began. India were the underdogs in the tournament and needed an inspiring figure to lead the team and show them the path to success. That’s what Kapil Dev did, not just as the captain but also as a player. Despite India's initial underdog status, Kapil Dev's leadership and exceptional performance played a pivotal role in the Indian Cricket Team’s historic victory.

India played the dominant West Indies, who were being seen as the favourites to lift the trophy, for their first game of the tournament at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester. India beat WI in this opening encounter but people assumed that victory game out of luck more than anything else. Further in the tournament, in a match against Zimbabwe, India faced a top order batting collapse struggling at 17-5, when Kapil Dev heroically scored an unbeaten 175 runs. His innings not only rescued India but also set the tone for an eventual victory. 

Against all odds, India reached the Final of the 1983 World Cup and were set to face West Indies again, the team who were chasing a hat trick of World Cup trophies. Kapil Dev's strategic captaincy, coupled with his inspiring leadership and outstanding individual performance from players like Mohinder Amarnath, Kris Shrikanth, and Madan Lal, resulted in India's victory at Lord's, beating the West Indies to claim their first-ever World Cup title. Kapil Dev's contributions both as a captain and a player are invaluable for our country and he will go down as one of India's greatest sporting icons.

1987 World Cup - Alan Border, Australia

Allan Border lifts the World Cup trophy in 1987

Credit: ESPN Cricinfo

The 1987 event was held outside of England for the first time, with India and Pakistan sharing the hosting duties. Due to the shorter daylight hours in the Indian subcontinent than in England's summer, the games were cut from 60 overs to 50 overs per innings.

Australia faced many difficulties leading up to the tournament, including the retirement of several veteran players and Allan Border was left with a seemingly young team to lead. Despite not being considered the favourites to win the tournament, they reached the finals of the 1987 tournament meeting their rivals England at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata

In a close encounter between the team, Australia emerged victorious beating England by just 7 runs, the narrowest final score until the 2019 match between England and New Zealand. 

Allan Border's leadership, tactical decisions, and the team's collective effort propelled the Kangaroos to lift the 1987 World Cup, cementing Border's legacy as the first Australian captain to lift the prized trophy.

1992 Cricket World Cup - Imran Khan, Pakistan

Imran Khan lifting the cricket world cup in 1992

Credit: News Nation English

Imran Khan is one of the greatest all rounders ever to play the sport and at the 1992 World Cup, he was the captain of the Pakistan Cricket Team. After a poor start, it seemed that Pakistan would see an early exit from the tournament, but, Imran Khan managed to turn the fortunes of the team around with his excellent ability to keep his players motivated and with his tactical insights. 

His leadership was instrumental in rallying his teammates to perform at their best, especially during crucial moments, which helped them reach the Semi Finals of the tournament. In the semi-final match against New Zealand, Inzamam ul Haq put forth a batting masterclass, scoring 60 runs off just 37 deliveries and helping Pakistan win the match to secure a place in the Finals.  

The Final of the 1992 World Cup was between England and Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Imran Khan led by example once again, top-scoring with 72 runs to help Pakistan set a fighting score of 249 runs. His contributions with the bat, coupled with Pakistan's strong bowling performance, resulted in a historic victory as they bowled out England for 227 runs, clinching their first ever World Cup title.

Imran Khan's exceptional leadership, all round ability, and strategic brilliance solidify his legacy as one of Pakistan's greatest players and captains of all time.

1996 World Cup - Arjuna Ranatunga, Sri Lanka

Arjuna Ranatunga lifting the World Cup trophy in 1996

Credit: NDTV Sports

Arjuna Ranatunga, the renowned cricketer from Sri Lanka, captained the Sri Lankan team during the 1996 World Cup. He was known for his aggressive and a strong leadership style on the cricket pitch. Under Ranatunga's captaincy, Sri Lanka emerged as a team to reckon with, boasting a team of talented bowlers, brilliant fielders, and aggressive batsmen.

In the final match against Australia in Lahore, Ranatunga showed his class by scoring a century to hand the Aussies a defeat and win the World Cup for Sri Lanka. 

As team captain, Ranatunga created an atmosphere where players felt free to express themselves, which led to solid on-field performances. His leadership style encouraged the opening batsmen to attack from the front in the powerplay while the middle-order batting lineup formed strong partnerships. Arjuna Ranatunga will surely go down as one of the best captains of the Sri Lankan Cricket Team. 

1999 World Cup - Steve Waugh, Australia

Steve Waugh lifts the world cup trophy in 1999

Credit: India Times

Steve Waugh was a brilliant captain and was given charge of the Australian Team for the 1999 Cricket World Cup in England without having much prior experience as the captain.

Despite a shaky start to the tournament, with the Kangaroos losing their first three games, Waugh’s captaincy and his batting steered the team to an extraordinary turnaround.

Waugh emerged as Australia's standout performer during the 1999 World Cup and his most memorable innings came during the Super Six phase match against South Africa. He scored a brilliant 120 runs off 110 balls, leading his team to a crucial victory while chasing a target of 272 runs.

Australia demonstrated resilience and determination throughout the tournament, overcoming early setbacks to progress to the 1999 Tournament Final. In the final match against Pakistan, Waugh's team showed a dominant performance as they secured a convincing victory by 132 runs to claim their second Cricket World Cup title.

Steve Waugh's remarkable contributions as both a batsman and captain were instrumental in Australia's success in 1999, solidifying his legacy as one of the most influential figures in Australian cricket history.

2003 & 2007 Cricket World Cup - Ricky Ponting, Australia

Ricky Ponting with the 2003 AND 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy

Credit: ICC Cricket World Cup

Ricky Ponting is not only one of the greatest players to ever play the sport but also cemented himself as the greatest captain in cricket history. Taking over the team, he was the captain of the Australian Team for the 2003 and 2007 ICC Cricket World Cups. 

Under his reign, the Australian team’s dominance was such that they won two consecutive World Cups in 2003 and 2007 without losing a single match.

In the 2003 final against India, Ponting delivered a masterful batting performance, scoring a blazing 140 runs off 121 balls, dismantling the Indian bowling attack, and helping Australia get a winning total of 359 runs. India’s batting lineup, led by Sachin Tendulkar, who was having an outstanding tournament with the bat, crumbled and Australia won the match by 125 runs, winning their third Trophy. 

In 2007, Ponting continued to lead the Aussies with distinction, guiding his team to yet another flawless World Cup campaign. Australia remained unbeaten throughout the tournament, clinching their fourth and completing a hattrick of World Cup titles under Ponting's captaincy.

Ponting was brilliant both with the bat and with his tactics. If not for their skill, the Australian team could beat any team in the world with their mind games and Ricky Ponting was at the root of it all. His exceptional contributions made Australia one of the greatest cricket playing nations ever, also cementing his legacy as the undisputed greatest cricket captain of all time. 

2011 ICC Cricket World Cup – Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India

MS Dhoni with the 2011 Cricket World Cup Trophy

Credit: Sportskeeda

After a humiliating ODI World Cup campaign in 2007, India were in search of a new captain to replace Sourav Ganguly. MS Dhoni, who was still a young presence in the dressing room was made the captain of the Indian team for the 2007 T20 Cricket World Cup. He won the tournament for the Indian Team against all odds and showed that he was a brilliant tactician and a man manager.

India had not won a tournament in about 28 years and this edition being in India, we went into the competition as favourites. The Indian team seemed prepared to face all challenges and despite facing not performing at their best in the initial matches, Dhoni's leadership helped them get to the quarter-finals, where they faced Ricky Ponting’s Mighty Australia. It took a special knock from Yuvraj Singh to beat the Aussies and advance to the Semis. Now, it seemed more possible than ever. A man of the match performance from Sachin Tendulkar helped India beat Pakistan in the semis and move to the finals where we would be Sri Lanka. 

The finals was at the Wankhede Stadium, and while chasing 275, India lost early wickets of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag cheaply. Gautam Gambhir’s 97 run innings brought India close to the target score. After GG was dismissed, Dhoni took charge and scored a magnificent 91 runs off 78 balls under pressure. When 4 runs were required off 11 balls, he hit the most famous six in cricket history to win the 2011 Cricket World Cup for India. 

All throughout the tournament, his calm demeanour and strategic leadership under pressure helped India lift the trophy for the second time in their history. 

In 2013 he even won the ICC Champions Trophy to become the only captain to win all three ICC Trophies and cement himself as the greatest captain of the Indian Team. 

2015 World Cup - Michael Clarke, Australia

Michael Clarke with the 2015 Cricket World Cup Trophy

Credit: India Today

The Australian team was in a transition period during the 2015 World Cup with all the senior players gone, and even the captain Michael Clarke set to leave after the tournament. 

With a relatively young squad, the team displayed remarkable unity and resilience, with each member contributing to their success under Clarke’s captaincy. 

It was his leadership and batting clubbed with exemplary team work of the 15 member squad that the Kangaroos could win the tournament by defeating New Zealand comprehensively in the finals. 

This was Australia’s 5th World Cup Trophy and they became the second country to lift the trophy in their home ground. 

2019 World Cup - Eoin Morgan, England

Eoin Morgan lifts the the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup with England

Credit: India TV News

England has never won the Cricket World Cup in their entire history and the 2019 tournament seemed as their best shot. Eoin Morgan, the Irish born, was the captain of the England team at the tournament. 

With most of the squad in their primes, like Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, and Jason Roy, the England squad was the favourites to win the tournament. 

After beating their arch rivals Australia in the Semi Finals, they advanced to the finals where they would face New Zealand. After a brilliant knock by Ben Stokes, the match ended in a tie which meant the match would be decided in the super over. Even the super over ended in a tie, but due to a boundary count rule, England were crowned champions. 

Eoin Morgan led the team bravely becoming the only England captain to win the ICC Cricket World Cup. 

2023 ICC ODI Cricket World Cup - Pat Cummins, Australia:

Pat Cummins celebrates with the 2023 Cricket World Cup Trophy after beating India

Credit: NDTV Sports

India were in top form in the 2023 World Cup under Rohit Sharma’s Captaincy and had won all of their group stage encounters and were unbeaten entering the finals. The Australian team, though, had lost two out of their opening two games and people had started writing them off; that they wouldn’t even make it into the top 4 of the tournaments. But one thing in cricket always remains true, never write off the Kangaroos. Pat Cummins, the captain of the Australian Team turned the ship around helping them to a top 4 finish in the league table, all while dominating every match they played from there on. They beat South Africa, which looked like a strong competitor to make it into the finals. 

In the 2023 World Cup Finals, vs India, which was held at the Narendra Modi Stadium, the Australian dominated India on all fronts. They outdid us in every department, be it bowling, batting or fielding. And all the brains behind this performance was Pat Cummins. The Aussies beat India giving us one of the most heartbreaking moments as cricket fans. 

Patt Cummins led his team with exceptional strategic on-field leadership. Australia's victory in the tournament was largely due to his all-around abilities as a bowler and a leader. With his cool head under pressure, Cummins stood out at the World Cup and won praise for his contributions to Australia's campaign


How many captains have won the World Cup?

Since 1975, 11 Captains from 6 different team have lifted the Cricket World Cup.

Which captain has 3 ICC trophies?

MS Dhoni is the first and only captain in cricket history to have lifted all three ICC Trophies, namely the T20 World Cup, the ODI World Cup and the Chamoions Trophy.

Who was the captain of the ODI World Cup winner in 2015?

Michael Clarke was the captain of the Australian Team when they won the World Cup in 2015.

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