The World Cup is regarded as the most reputed tournament in the history of cricket. It features the top cricketing nations of the world, who battle against each other for the prestigious trophy. In the tournament’s history, Australia, India and West Indies are the only teams to have won the World Cup on more than one occasion.
Every cricketer wishes to represent his nation at this glorious event as it adds more prestige and worth to their career. To play the World Cup for the nation is a matter of pride for every cricketer. However, it is not everyone’s cup of tea as it demands a lot of dedication and a whole lot of skills.
There have been a number of stars who had helped their nation to lift the trophy courtesy of their extraordinary skills and have clinched Man of the Match awards for their game-changing performances.
Here are five players who have won the most number of Man of the Match awards in the history of World Cup.
#5 Lance Klusener (South Africa) - 5 times
Lance Klusener had a great cricketing career while representing South Africa for eight years. Debuting in the year 1996, Klusener won the hearts of the entire cricketing world with his all-around skills which added an extra dimension to the South African side. He was an integral part of South Africa’s World Cup squad which took part in the year 1999 and 2003.
ICC named Lance Klusener as the 'Man of the Tournament' of the World Cup which took place in the year 1999. The star cricketer scored a total of 281 runs and picked up 17 wickets from just nine games from the edition as grabbed four MoM awards in that tournament but his performances went in vain as South Africa did not qualify for the final.
#4 Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka) - 5 times
Sanath Jayasuriya has been widely regarded as one of the greatest ODI batsmen of all time. He provided the best of his services to Sri Lanka and the cricketing world from 1989 to 2011. His cricketing career took a huge turn when Arjuna Ranatunga pushed him to open the innings for his side. Jayasuriya, along with his opening partner Romesh Kaluwitharana initiated the explosive batting style while opening the innings.
The left-handed batsman proved to be the cornerstone for Sri Lanka during the World Cup as his all-around skills added an overall value the side. He holds the record of most MoM awards for a Sri Lankan player in World Cup history, having won the title five times.
Jayasuriya was a key player for the Lankan side which won the 1996 ICC World Cup where he won two awards. After claiming one MoM award from the 2003 World Cup, Jayasuriya's two centuries in the 2007 World Cup also earned him two more MoM awards.
#3 AB de Villiers (South Africa) - 5 times
AB de Villiers enjoyed a memorable cricketing career spanning 14 years which started from 2004 and lasted till 2018. He proved to be an undetachable part of South Africa’s 2007, 2011, and 2015 ICC World Cup squad. One of the most talented batsmen blessed with a wide array of strokes, AB de Villiers clinched five MoM awards.
His first award came during the 2007 World Cup courtesy of a mammoth 146-run knock against West Indies while in the 2011 World Cup, two centuries, one against West Indies and the other against Netherlands fetched him the award.
His monstrous innings of 162 runs from just 66 balls against West Indies in 2015 World Cup was the highlight of his career which also led South Africa to a massive 257-run win. In what was yet another quality knock during the same edition, de Villiers' 99 against UAE was also a worthy of an award.
#2 Glenn McGrath (Australia) - 6 times
Australia have been the most successful team in the history of the World Cup so far. The Australians have lifted the trophy five times in cricket history and Glenn McGrath has been a part of three of Australia’s World Cup winning squads, wrecking havoc with his top flight bowling skill.
Glenn McGrath holds the record of second highest number of MoM awards in World Cup history, having won the award on six occasions. He won his first award in 1999 when he grabbed his first five-wicket haul against West Indies and clinched his second MoM award against India in the next game.
McGrath carried his form into the 2003 World Cup and finished with figures of 7/15 from seven overs against Namibia, the best ever figures in the history of the World Cup till date.
In the 2007 World Cup, McGrath was in the best of form as he regularly picked up wickets that fetched him three MoM awards and at the end of the World Cup, the pacer finished with 26 wickets from 11 matches.
#1 Sachin Tendulkar (India) - 9 times
Widely regarded as the 'God of cricket', Sachin Tendulkar completely changed the viewers' perspective towards cricket with his magnificent batting skills. After providing the best of his services to cricket and his home country, Sachin ended his World Cup career on a winning note in the year 2011.
Making his World Cup debut in 1992, Tendulkar was right on the money in that edition, notching up a half-century against Pakistan that earned him a MoM award. He continued his form into the next game and clinched his second MoM award against Zimbabwe, with a 77-ball 81.
In the 1996 World Cup at home, Tendulkar picked up two MoM awards but in the 1999 World Cup, finished with just the one award courtesy of his 140-run knock against Kenya.
His best World Cup performance came during the 2003 World Cup when he finished with a total of 673 runs from 11 matches, including two fifties and one hundred - a 152 against Namibia - as Tendulkar picked up three MoM awards from that edition.
With India crashing out of the competition in 2007, Tendulkar did not have a lot of batting time but in what was his last ever World Cup, the ace batsman amassed 482 runs from nine matches, including a match-winning 85 against Pakistan in the semi-final that was his record ninth MoM award in World Cups.