Including the recently concluded World Test Championship, till now, we have seen 27 ICC Trophies that have been competed for. Australia has been the most successful squad, having accounted for seven of these trophies. In an ICC tournament, the role of a captain is very significant. It becomes all the more decisive if the team reaches an ICC final. However, a few captains have faltered multiple times in ICC finals so far. In this article, we take a look at six captains who have lost more than one ICC final.
1) Virat Kohli – 2
ICC Champions Trophy 2017 || World Test Championship 2021
Although he has an ODI World Cup and a Champions Trophy in his kitty as a player, an ICC trophy as a captain has eluded Virat Kohli. Despite enjoying more than a 50% win record as a skipper in all three formats, the current Indian captain has not aced the summit clash on two occasions.
Virat’s first entry into an ICC final as a captain was the 2017 Champions Trophy edition. Battling Pakistan, Team India was under immense pressure. Chasing a target of 339, the batting order crumbled, and there was no coming back. In the recent World Test Championship final, too, the batting unit disappointed on the final day. Hence, Virat joined the list of captains who have lost more than one ICC final.
2) Sourav Ganguly – 2
ICC Champions Trophy 2000 || ICC ODI World Cup 2003
Sourav Ganguly’s only victory in an ICC tournament, 2002 ICC Champions Trophy. However, that trophy was shared with Sri Lanka. Dada had two more hits at an ICC championship but unfortunately failed.
Ganguly had taken over the reins of the Indian Team after the infamous fixing controversy. A relatively inexperienced skipper then, Ganguly did well to help India reach the finals of the 2000 Champions Trophy. The southpaw even hit a century in that game and had the match in control, but the Kiwis chased down India’s target of 265 with two balls remaining. Later, in South Africa, Ganguly led India to the finals of the 2003 World Cup but was blown away by a dominant performance by the Aussies.
3) Brian Lara – 2
ICC Champions Trophy 1998 || ICC Champions Trophy 2006
After the 1979 World Cup, West Indies had not won an ICC Trophy. A legendary batsman, the task of winning a trophy fell on Brian Lara‘s shoulders. The most experienced ODI captain of the West Indies, Lara won one Champions Trophy but lost two of them in the finals.
The inaugural Champions Trophy (called Knockout Trophy then) saw South Africa and West Indies facing off in the finals. A pretty close game, West Indies lost the encounter by four wickets. Six years later, Lara redeemed himself by winning the same trophy, beating England in the final. However, in the next edition, again, West Indies lost in the final, this time to Australia.
4) Kumar Sangakkara – 2
ICC World T20 2009 || ICC ODI World Cup 2011
Despite being underdogs in the 1996 World Cup, Sri Lanka went on to win the trophy. At the break of this century, though, they had a powerful team. Kumar Sangakkara was one of the team’s main batsman. However, as a captain, Sanga lost two ICC finals.
While his first disappointment came against Pakistan in the 2009 World T20, his next setback was to India in the 2011 World Cup. Hence, the southpaw is one of the captains who have lost more than one ICC final.
5) Brendon McCullum – 2
ICC Champions Trophy 2009 || ICC ODI World Cup 2015
Former Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum also lost two ICC trophies in the final game. The 2009 ICC Champions Trophy was the first defeat, while the next one was bigger when the Kiwis lost the 2015 World Cup in the final.
On both occasions, it was to arch-rivals Australia, whom McCullum lost to. Interestingly, in both these games, Bazz opened the innings for the Kiwis and was out before opening his account. One of the main reasons why New Zealand lost both these games was because they could not set a stiff target for Australia.
6) Mahela Jayawardene – 2
ICC ODI World Cup 2007 || ICC World T20 2012
Kumar Sangakkara’s compatriot and most productive batting partner on the field, Mahela Jayawardene also lost two ICC finals. Similar to Sanga, Jayawardene also lost one World Cup final and one World T20 final.
In the 2007 World Cup final, Adam Gilchrist was in top form and Sri Lanka could not recover from the storm to chase the target of 282. In the 2012 World T20, too, Sri Lanka could not chase a total in the final. This time it was just 138 runs, but Sunil Narine was too hot to handle for the Lankans. This game was the second ICC final that Jayawardene lost.