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An Australian fielder runs to take a catch In the air.jpg
An Australian fielder runs to take a catch
New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond about to dismiss Mohammad Yousuf caught and bowled Shane Bond catching Mohammad Yousuf, Dunedin, NZ, 2009.jpg
New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond about to dismiss Mohammad Yousuf caught and bowled

Caught is a method of dismissing a batsman in cricket. A batsman is out caught if the batsman hits the ball, from a legitimate delivery, with the bat, and the ball is caught by the bowler or a fielder before it hits the ground.


If the ball hits the stumps after hitting the wicket-keeper, If the wicket-keeper fails to do this, the delivery is a "no ball", and the batsman cannot be stumped (nor run out, unless he attempts to run to the other wicket.)

If the catch taken by the wicket-keeper, then informally it is known as caught behind [1] or caught at the wicket . [2] A catch by the bowler is known as caught and bowled. [1] This has nothing to do with the dismissal bowled but is rather a shorthand for saying the catcher and bowler are the same player. (The scorecard annotation is usually c. and b. or c&b followed by the bowler's name.)

Caught is the most common method of dismissal at higher levels of competition, accounting for 36,190 Test match dismissals between 1877 and 2012, which is 56.9% of all Test match dismissals in this period. [3]

South African wicket-keeper Mark Boucher holds the record for the most Test match catches, with 532, [4] while Rahul Dravid holds the record for the most Test match catches by non-wicket-keepers, with 210. [5]


This method of dismissal is covered by Law 33 of the Laws of Cricket, which reads: [6]

The striker is out Caught if a ball delivered by the bowler, not being a No ball, touches his/her bat without having previously been in contact with any fielder, and is subsequently held by a fielder as a fair catch,..., before it touches the ground.

This means that the batsman cannot be out caught if:

A catch is not completed until the fielder catching the ball obtains complete control over both the ball and his/her own movement (Law 33.3).

Note that if a batsman could be given out both caught and by another method, 'caught' takes precedence, unless the other method is bowled. [8]

If a batsman is out caught, any runs scored off that delivery are voided.

If a batsman is caught, the bowler is credited with the batsman's wicket and the catching fielder is credited for the dismissal; there are no catch assists for saving boundaries before a catch, or deflecting the ball to a different fielder in the slips cordon. If the two batsmen cross each other, in attempting to take a run, before the catch was taken, the non-striking batsman at the time remains at the opposite end of the pitch as the new incoming batsman comes to the crease at his former end. This means, unless it is now a new over, he is now on strike and the incoming batsman is not.


If the catch taken is pronounced or obvious, the players need not appeal to the umpire; the batsman normally chooses to acknowledge the dismissal himself. However, if the ball brushes the edge of the bat, or the catch is taken very close to the ground, or the ball appears to have bounced off the batsman's foot (so it has not touched the ground), or the ball appearing to come off the bat very close to the pitch surface (bump ball), or if the batsman is reluctant to accept that he has been dismissed, then the fielding team has to appeal to the umpire for this decision. In international competition, if neither field umpire can clearly decide if a catch has been made or not, they may refer to the third (television) umpire for a review. The third umpire may also be used if the Umpire Decision Review System is available and a team wishes to dispute a call concerning a possible catch.


Before 2000, the Laws of Cricket defined a catch as being completed when the player had "complete control over the further disposal of the ball". In the very strictest sense, this meant that the player did not finish catching the ball until he threw it away, though the player doesn't have to throw the ball to anyone in particular in so doing.

For this reason, even today many cricketers celebrate a catch by lobbing the ball into the air. In a Super Sixes match in the 1999 Cricket World Cup, South African Herschelle Gibbs caught Australian captain Steve Waugh but Waugh was given not out when Gibbs was ruled to not have control of the ball when attempting to throw the ball in celebration. [9] Waugh went on to score a match-winning 120 not out [10] to qualify his team for the semi-finals; Australia went on to win the tournament.


Test matches

The wicket-keepers with the highest number of catches taken in Test matches are as follows. Note: this list excludes catches made while not fielding as a wicket-keeper.

RankWicket-keeperCatchesTest Career dates
1 Flag of South Africa.svg Mark Boucher 5321997–2012
2 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Adam Gilchrist 3791999–2008
3 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Ian Healy 3661988–99
4 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Rod Marsh 3431970–84
5 WestIndiesCricketFlagPre1999.svg Jeff Dujon 2651981–91
6 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Brad Haddin 2622008–15
7 Flag of India.svg MS Dhoni 2562005–14
8 Flag of England.svg Alan Knott 2501967–81
9 Flag of England.svg Matt Prior 2432007–14
10 Flag of England.svg Alec Stewart 2271990–2003

Source: Cricinfo Statsguru. Last updated: 19 April 2019.

The non-wicket-keepers with the highest number of catches taken in Test matches are as follows. Note: this excludes any catches made while fielding as a wicket-keeper.

RankFielderCatchesTest Career dates
1 Flag of India.svg Rahul Dravid 2101996–2012
2 Flag of Sri Lanka.svg Mahela Jayawardene 2051997–2014
3 Flag of South Africa.svg Jacques Kallis 2001995–2013
4 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Ricky Ponting 1961995–2012
5 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Mark Waugh 1811991–2002
6 Flag of England.svg Alastair Cook 1752006–18
7 Flag of New Zealand.svg Stephen Fleming 1711994–2008
8 Flag of South Africa.svg Graeme Smith 1692002–14
9 WestIndiesCricketFlagPre1999.svg Brian Lara 1641990–2006
10 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Mark Taylor 1571989–99

Source: Cricinfo Statsguru. Last updated: 19 April 2019.

One Day Internationals

T20 Internationals

First Class cricket

See also

Other sports

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wicket-keeper</span> Fielding position in cricket

The wicket-keeper in the sport of cricket is the player on the fielding side who stands behind the wicket or stumps being watchful of the batsman and ready to take a catch, stump the batsman out and run out a batsman when occasion arises. The wicket-keeper is the only member of the fielding side permitted to wear gloves and external leg guards. The role of the keeper is governed by Law 27 and of the Laws of Cricket.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Glossary of cricket terms</span> Cricketing terminology

This is a general glossary of the terminology used in the sport of cricket. Where words in a sentence are also defined elsewhere in this article, they appear in italics. Certain aspects of cricket terminology are explained in more detail in cricket statistics and the naming of fielding positions is explained at fielding (cricket).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dismissal (cricket)</span> Cricket terminology

In cricket, a dismissal occurs when a batter's innings is brought to an end by the opposing team. Other terms used are the batter being out, the batting side losing a wicket, and the fielding side taking a wicket. The ball becomes dead, and the dismissed batter must leave the field of play for the rest of their team's innings, to be replaced by a team-mate. A team's innings ends if ten of the eleven team members are dismissed. Players bat in pairs so, when only one batter remains who can be not out, it is not possible for the team to bat any longer. This is known as dismissing or bowling out the batting team, who are said to be all out.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Handled the ball</span> Former method of dismissing a batsman in cricket

Handled the ball was formerly one of the methods of dismissing a batsman in the sport of cricket, but was integrated into the Law on obstructing the field when the Laws of Cricket were rewritten in 2017. It dictated that either batsman can be given out if they intentionally touch the ball with a hand that is not holding their bat. An exception was given if the batsman handled the ball to avoid injury. It was governed by Law 33 of the 2000 Edition of the Laws, and was a rare way for a batsman to be dismissed: in the history of cricket, there have been 61 instances in first-class matches and 5 occasions in List A games. In most cases this occurred when a batsman thought that the ball was going to hit their wicket, and knocked it away from the stumps with their hand.

Obstructing the field is one of the nine methods of dismissing a batsman in the sport of cricket. Either batsman can be given out if he wilfully attempts to obstruct or distract the fielding side by word or action. It is Law 37 of the Laws of cricket, and is a rare way for a batsman to be dismissed; in the history of cricket, there has been only two instances in Test matches, nine in One Day International (ODI) matches, and six in Twenty20 International matches. There have also been seven instances in Test cricket, and two in ODIs, where a batsman has been dismissed handled the ball, a mode of dismissal now folded into obstructing the field.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stumped</span> Method of dismissal in cricket

Stumped is a method of dismissing a batter in cricket, in which the wicket-keeper puts down the striker's wicket while the striker is out of their ground. It is governed by Law 39 of the Laws of Cricket.


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