One of the world’s most popular sports is cricket, played on every continent with the exception of America and the most important job on any team, is that of captain. A good cricket team captain may get to captain his national team and there have been some great national cricket team captains over the years, leading their teams to glory. Here are perhaps the top 10 best of those captains and the countries that they played for.
Stephen Fleming, New Zealand
New Zealand is known as one of the top countries in the world of cricket and at the age of just 23, Fleming led his national team for 10 years from 1997 to 2007, the longest captaincy in New Zealand’s history.
Nasser Hussain, England
Although he was actually born in India, itself a great cricketing nation, Hussain captained the England team for 4 years. He was primarily a batsman but was renowned for making changes in playing field positions randomly.
Sourav Ganguly, India
Both a batsman and a bowler, Ganguly led the India team from 2000 to 2005 and in that time India won an amazing 21 of its 49 test matches. Popularly known as dada, he was an aggressive and emotional player.
Steve Waugh, Australia
Often referred to as ‘Mr. Cool’ by his team mates, Waugh captained Australia’s one day internationals in 1997 and 198 and the full test team from 1999, when they won the world cup, until 2004 during which time he set a record for winning 16 consecutive test victories.
Ricky Ponting, Australia
Under his captaincy, Australia won 108 out of 165 test matches and achieved winning the world cup twice in succession, making Australia one of most successful teams ever. Apart from being an exceptional batsman, Ponting was also a superb fielder.
Graeme Smith, South Africa
Smith captained the South African team from 2003 until 2011. He is famed for having his team chase 434 runs in 50 overs and winning. Apart from leading his team to over 50 test match victories Smith is a great all round cricketer, attaining a record for the most catches other than by wicket keepers, a bowler and is also one of the best ever opening batsmen.
Imran Khan, Pakistan
Captaining the Pakistan team from 1982 until 1992 when he led his team to win Pakistan’s only world cup victory, Khan is known as one of the best bowlers of all time, holding records for the most test wickets, 78, the best test bowling figures, 8 wickets for 60 runs and the most 5 wickets in test matches, 6.
Clyde Walcott, West Indies
In the early days of International cricket Sir Clyde Walcott led the West Indies for 10 years from 1974 to 1985 achieving an over 50% win record. He was both a batsman and a bowler and under his captaincy, the West Indies were known as one of the best International teams.
M. S. Dhoni, India
Dhoni has been captaining the India team since 2004 and led his team to a Cricket World Cup victory in 2011. He is thought of as India’s best ever captain and is renowned for using unusual tactics like opening a test match with a spin bowler.
Arjun Ranatunga, Sri Lanka
Ranatunga first captained the Sri Lankan team in 1988 when it was a low rated team but quickly led into the top ratings and in 1996, led it to win the Cricket World Cup. His ability to lift a team to such great prominence has led many to believe him to be the best cricket captain of all time.