Viv Richards won 31 Man-of-the-Match awards in 173 matches. The best frequency for a player with over 100 ODIs © Getty Images

"I'm extremely pleased with my performance in today's match. It's always a great feeling to help win the game for the team. It wasn't an easy wicket, so once you settled in, you had to ensure you made it count and I'm happy I was able to do that." That's routine and boring Man-of-the-Match spiel that's often spouted after a scintillating performance. Which players have won the award the most times? Who wins it most frequently? And who's never won it? Read on ...

Wasim Akram, known more for his prowess in the one-day format, leads the list of players with most Man-of-the-Match awards in Tests having won it 17 times stretching back to 1979-80, when awards were given in the majority of Test matches. He won't be hanging on to that record for much longer though, because Muttiah Muralitharan, Jacques Kallis and Shane Warne are tied on 16 awards. The Test list is more evenly balanced between bat and ball with bowlers occupying four of the top five spots and Kallis at No. 3. In one-day internationals, however, Wasim Akram at No. 15 with 22 awards, is the only bowler in a batsman-dominated list.

Most man of the match awards - Tests (qualification: since 1979/80)
Player Span Num Mat Mat/Num
Wasim Akram (Pak) 1985-2002 17 100 5.88
M Muralitharan (ICC/SL) 1992-2006 16 98 6.12
JH Kallis (ICC/SAf) 1995-2006 16 101 6.31
SK Warne (Aust) 1992-2006 16 140 8.75
CEL Ambrose (WI) 1988-2000 14 95 6.79
SR Waugh (Aust) 1985-2004 14 166 11.86
RT Ponting (Aust) 1995-2006 12 105 8.75
BC Lara (ICC/WI) 1990-2006 12 125 10.42
Imran Khan (Pak) 1980-1992 11 57 5.18
PA de Silva (SL) 1984-2002 11 82 7.45

  • Click here for the highest scores and best bowling figures that didn't win the award in Tests.
  • Frequent injuries delayed Richard Johnson's England debut by a few years and when he finally did win an England cap, against Zimbabwe in 2003, he was adjudged Man-of-the-Match for his six-wicket haul in the first innings. Further injuries hampered his progress and Johnson played his second Test when Steve Harmison was crocked for the second Test against Bangladesh in November 2003. Johnson picked up 9 for 93 in that match and was Man-of-the-Match again. But because of injuries, Harmison's recovery and James Anderson's emergence, Johnson played just one more Test before fading away.

    Sachin Tendulkar's record of 51 Man-of-the-Match awards in ODIs will take a while to beat because his closest contenders are Sanath Jayasuriya with 40 awards, and Brian Lara on 30. Tendulkar wins the award once out of every seven matches on average, a frequency bettered only by Vivian Richards, 31 awards in 173 matches , and Gordon Greenidge, 20 awards in 120 matches, among batsmen to have played over 100 ODIs.

    Most man of the match awards - ODIs
    Player Span Num Mat Mat/Num
    SR Tendulkar (India) 1989-2006 51 345 6.76
    ST Jayasuriya (Asia/SL) 1989-2006 40 350 8.75
    IVA Richards (WI) 1975-1991 31 173 5.58
    PA de Silva (SL) 1984-2003 31 294 9.48
    BC Lara (ICC/WI) 1990-2006 30 253 8.43
    SC Ganguly (Asia/India) 1992-2005 30 265 8.83
    Saeed Anwar (Pak) 1989-2003 28 240 8.57
    NJ Astle (NZ) 1995-2006 25 202 8.08
    DL Haynes (WI) 1978-1994 25 221 8.84
    JH Kallis (Afr/ICC/SAf) 1996-2006 24 225 9.38

  • Click here for players who have won the award most frequently in ODIs.
  • Predictably, wicketkeepers - Adam Gilchrist is a worthy exception - have played the most ODIs without ever being the Man-of-the-Match. Nayan Mongia is on top with 133 ODIs without an award, followed by Dave Richardson, Khaled Mashud and Ian Smith. Nasser Hussain is the first non-wicketkeeper to feature in the list having played 87 games.

    Rahul Dravid has the highest score in ODIs not to win a Man-of-the-Match award. His run-a-ball 153 against New Zealand in 1999 was overshadowed by Tendulkar's unbeaten 186 during a 331-run stand for the second wicket. A few months earlier, Dravid's 145 off 129 balls was again second fiddle to Sourav Ganguly's 183 against Sri Lanka at Taunton.

    Highest scores when overlooked for the match award - ODIs
    Player Runs Opposition Ground Season Scorecard
    R Dravid (India) 153 v New Zealand Hyderabad (Decc) 1999/00 ODI 1523
    CH Gayle (WI) 152* v South Africa Johannesburg 2003/04 ODI 2096
    AJ Strauss (Eng) 152 v Bangladesh Nottingham 2005 ODI 2252
    SR Tendulkar (India) 146 v Zimbabwe Jodhpur 2000/01 ODI 1658
    R Dravid (India) 145 v Sri Lanka Taunton 1999 ODI 1463
    A Flower (Zimb) 145 v India Colombo (RPS) 2002/03 ODI 1876
    Younis Khan (Pak) 144 v Hong Kong Colombo (SSC) 2004 ODI 2147
    HH Gibbs (SAf) 143 v New Zealand Johannesburg 2002/03 ODI 1955
    SB Styris (NZ) 141 v Sri Lanka Bloemfontein 2002/03 ODI 1944
    Saeed Anwar (Pak) 140 v India Dhaka 1997/98 ODI 1279

  • Click here for the best bowling figures that didn't win a Man-of-the-Match award.
  • Only once in the history of one-day cricket have two team-mates taken five wickets each to dismiss the opposition. It would have been hard to pick between Greg Chappell's 5 for 20 and Gary Cosier's 5 for 18 for Man-of-the-Match had Australia won at Birmingham in June 1977. However, England blew Australia away for just 70 and John Lever picked up the award for his hand in the 101-run win.

    As for the other side of the coin, there's no doubt that Viv Richards was the adjudicator's darling during the 1980s. Four times he received the award without even passing 50 (or having a noteworthy bowling spell), and many times more for routine 50s or 60s. But no award baffled more than in the Nehru Cup semi-final against India when he received the gong from adjudicator Asif Iqbal despite not taking a wicket and not batting. We can only assume from a distance that it was for his fielding, despite two of his three catches coming off lower-order batsmen.

    Note: The stats include only those games in which the Man-of-the-Match award was given and therefore excludes some no-result matches etc.

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    Travis Basevi is the man who built Statsguru. George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo