Essex At The Cricket World Cup


With the ICC Cricket World Cup now underway and an opening victory for England in the competition, take a look back at the Essex players who have represented their countries in competitions down the years.

Keith Fletcher 1975


Keith Fletcher was the first Essex player to appear in the Cricket World Cup. He played in the 1975 semi-final when England lost to Australia by four wickets. Mike Denness, then of Kent but destined to join Essex two years later, was captain of England when the host nation were beaten after Gary Gilmour took 6 for 14 to dismiss the side for 93 in 36.2 overs.

After striking 68 v India in a qualifying round match and then 131 against New Zealand, Fletcher only made 3 in the semi-final as Australia reached their target with more than 30 overs to spare. The Aussies were then beaten by West Indies in the Lord’s Final by 17 runs and the victorious team included Keith Boyce, who played for Essex as their overseas player.

Graham Gooch 1979 | 1987 | 1992


In the 1979 Final at Lord’s, the home side lost to West Indies by 92 runs after the men from the Caribbean had posted 286 for 9. With Gooch batting at no.4, the home side looked well set but once the Essex legend was castled by Joel Garner for 32, England slumped miserably. Not one of the next seven batsmen managed to reach 6 runs and five were dismissed without scoring a run.

England again made the finals in 1987 when the World Cup was played in the Indian sub-continent for the first time. Their opponents, Australia, led by Allan Border, won the toss and elected to bat posting 253 for the loss of 5 wickets in 50 overs. Gooch scored 35 off 57 balls as an opener in that match but his side went on to be beaten by just 7 runs.

Essex paceman Neil Foster also played in that final taking 1 for 38 before ending 7 not out as England reached 246 for 8. However, the outstanding innings of that tournament remains Gooch’s wonderful century against India in the semi-finals when the batsman swept his way to a glorious 115 and he was to finish as the highest scorer (471 runs) in the 1987 World Cup.

In 1992, Gooch captained England but they lost the Final at Melbourne by 22 runs to Pakistan who posted a formidable 249 for 6 wickets in 50 overs. Chasing the target under lights, England made a shaky start and Gooch was caught for 29.

Derek Pringle 1987 | 1992


All-rounder Derek Pringle was also a member of the England squad for that 1987 tournament but only played in one match although he was a losing finalist in 1992.

He took the new ball and produced superb figures of 10-2-22-3 and was 18 not out when running out of partners as England succumbed to a 22 runs defeat in pursuit of a total of 249 for 6.

Nasser Hussain 1999 | 2003


Nasser Hussain represented England in two World Cups, firstly in 1999 and then in 2003 as captain but neither competition produced a rewarding conclusion. Although he top-scored with an unbeaten 88 in the match versus Kenya, other results meant his country would be eliminated before the knockout stages.

Then in 2003, with the tournament co-hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya, England forfeited their match with Zimbabwe due to the political unrest in the country. That was to prove decisive and ultimately Zimbabwe were able to take their place in the latter stages at the expense of their Hussain’s charges.

Ronnie Irani 2003


The all-rounder was a member of that ill-fated party in 2003. He did make two appearances in the competition playing against Namibia, when he scored 12 and took 3 for 30, before a match against India saw him fail to score and return 0-for 28 with the ball.

Ravi Bopara 2007 | 2011 | 2015


The all-rounder has played in the three most recent World Cup tournaments. In 2007, he was named as man-of-the-match in the contest against Sri Lanka for his 52 off 53 balls, which brought England to within three runs of victory from a seemingly hopeless position. The partnership with Paul Nixon for the seventh wicket was an English World Cup record and was the second record partnership made by Bopara in the tournament, following his record fifth-wicket alliance partnership with Paul Collingwood against Canada.

In 2011, Bopara was drafted into England’s World Cup squad to replace injured Eoin Morgan. He made an immediate impression when scoring a match-winning 30 from 20 balls against the Netherlands. Not selected for the next two matches, he returned in the victory against South Africa and arrived at the crease with England 15 for 3. He and Jonathan Trott added 99 and Bopara, who was named as man-of-the-match, ended with 60 off 98 balls after South Africa had failed by 6 runs to reach England’s 171. Bopara scored 16 and 4 in the following two matches and returned 0-19 and 2-22 and then 31 in the quarter-final and 0-22 with Sri Lanka when England were humbled by 10 wickets.

In 2015, Bopara only played one match, which was against Afghanistan, by which time England had already been eliminated. He picked up figures of 2–31 but was not required to bat.

Ryan ten Doeschate 2007 | 2011


The all-rounder was selected in the Netherlands squad for the 2007 World Cup and in a warm-up match against India, he announced his effectiveness with the ball by impressively capturing five wickets including Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni. He followed this by scoring 57 runs off 74 balls. In the competition, the Netherlands suffered two heavy defeats against South Africa and Australia in their opening two matches, leading to their elimination, although the Essex player did make a half-century in the first of those matches, However, his unbeaten 70 against Scotland did help his side to victory in their final match of the campaign.

Four years later in 2011, the Netherlands lost all six of their group matches but ten Doeschate had a tournament to remember. He became only the third player, after AB de Villiers and Sachin Tendulkar, to score two centuries in that World Cup. The first was against England when he hit 119 before being caught by Essex teammate Ravi Bopara and then with the ball, he claimed 2 for 47. In the match versus South Africa, he removed Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy at a cost of 72 runs. He followed up with an unbeaten 52 in the defeat to Bangladesh before signing off for the tournament with 106 against Ireland during which he added 121 runs for the 5th wicket with Peter Borren to set a new record fifth wicket for the Netherlands in ODIs.

Other World Cup players with Essex connections:

Allan Border played for Essex between 1986 and 1988 and figured in four World Cup finals when playing for Australia. He was captain of the successful Aussies side who beat England in the 1987 final, scoring 31, and he also led his country in their unsuccessful bid to retain their crown in 1992.

Keith Boyce was involved in the inaugural World Cup competition of 1975, playing in the showcase final when the Caribbean cricketers beat Australia by 17 runs. Boyce scored 34 and then claimed 4 for 50 to underpin the calypso kings success.

Andy Flower, who played for Essex between 2002 and 2006, was the mainstay of the Zimbabwe international side. First selected for the 1992 World Cup as a batsman/wicket-keeper, he was the captain and keeper in the next World Cup before reverting to the batsman/keeper role in 1999 and 2003.

His brother Grant Flower also represented the county playing between 2005 and 2010 and was also an integral member of the Zimbabwe squad in 1996, 1999 and 2003.


Andy & Grant Flower batting for Zimbabwe

Mark Waugh, who played for Essex between 1998 and 2002, appeared in three World Cups for Australia, in 1992, 1996 and 1999. He scored 12 and took 0 for 35 in the defeat to Sri Lanka during the 1996 final but was on the winning side three years later, when playing against Pakistan. He opened the innings and posted an unbeaten 37, guiding Australia to an 8 wickets success.

Stuart Law, who spent six years with the Essex from 1996, was also a member of his country’s 1996 Final side being dismissed for 22.

Geoff Miller, who signed for Essex from Derbyshire in 1987, figured in the England 1979 World Cup squad. He played against Canada in a qualifying round match bowling two overs but that was his only involvement in the tournament.

Other players who have played for their countries and also Essex at various times include:

For England:

Darren Gough – 1996 and 1999
Nick Knight – 1999 and 2003
Saj Mahmood – 2007
Monty Panesar – 2007

For Australia:

Andy Bichel – 2003
Shaun Tait – 2007 and 2011
Adam Zampa – 2019


Andy Bichel takes a wicket for Australia

For Bangladesh:

Tamim Iqbal – 2007 and 2011

For India:

Gautam Gambhir – 2011
Harbhajan Singh – 2011

For Pakistan:

Salim Malik – 1987 and 1999
Danish Kaneria – 2007
Wahab Riaz – 2011 and 2015
Mohammad Amir – 2019

For South Africa:

Andre Nel – 2007
Lonwabo Tsotsobe – 2011
Hashim Amla – 2011 and 2015
Dale Steyn – 2011 and 2015

For New Zealand:

James Franklin – 2007 and 2011
Chris Martin – 2007
Jesse Ryder – 2011
Scott Styris – 2003, 2007 and 2011
Tim Southee – 2011 and 2015


Jesse Ryder celebrating for the Black Caps

For West Indies:

Dwayne Bravo – 2007