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The wicket-keeper in the sport of
cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricket), bai ...

cricket
is the player on the fielding side who stands behind the
wicket In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail ...

wicket
or stumps being watchful of the
batsman In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail ...
and ready to take a
catch
catch
, stump the batsman out and
run out Run out is a method of Dismissal (cricket), dismissal in cricket, governed by Law 38 of the Laws of cricket, Laws of Cricket. A run out usually occurs when the batsmen are attempting to run between the Wicket, wickets, and the fielding team suc ...
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 of the
Laws of Cricket The ''Laws of Cricket'' is a code which specifies the rules of the game of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cric ...
.


Stance

Initially, during the bowling of the ball the wicket-keeper crouches in a full
squatting position Squatting is a versatile posture where the weight of the body is on the feet but the knees and hips are bent. In contrast, sitting involves taking the weight of the body, at least in part, on the buttocks against the ground or a horizontal objec ...
but partly stands up as the ball is received. Australian wicket-keeper
Sammy Carter Hanson "Sammy" Carter (15 March 1878 – 8 June 1948) was a cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch w ...
(1878 to 1948) was the first to squat on his haunches rather than bend over from the waist (stooping).


Purposes

The keeper's major function is to stop deliveries that pass the batsman (in order to prevent
runs Run(s) or RUN may refer to: Places * Run (island), one of the Banda Islands in Indonesia * Run (stream), a stream in the Dutch province of North Brabant People * Run (rapper), Joseph Simmons, now known as "Reverend Run", from the hip-hop group R ...
being scored as 'byes'), but he can also attempt to dismiss the batsman in various ways: * The most common dismissal effected by the keeper is for him to '' catch'' a ball that has nicked the batsman's bat, called an ''edge'', before it bounces. Sometimes the keeper is also in the best position to catch a ball which has been hit high in the air. More catches are taken by wicket-keepers than by any other fielding position. * The keeper can stump the batsman by using the ball to remove the bails from the
stumps In cricket, the stumps are the three vertical posts that support the bails and form the wicket In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at ...
, if the batsman is out of his
crease Crease may refer to: * A line (geometry) or mark made by folding or doubling any pliable substance * Crease (band), American hard rock band that formed in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 1994 * Crease pattern, origami diagram type that consists of all o ...
after a delivery has passed the stumps into the keeper's hands. The keeper must then dislodge the bail(s) and the batsman is out if he is still outside the crease. * When the ball is hit into the outfield, the keeper moves close to the stumps to catch the return throw from a fielder and, if possible, to ''
run out Run out is a method of Dismissal (cricket), dismissal in cricket, governed by Law 38 of the Laws of cricket, Laws of Cricket. A run out usually occurs when the batsmen are attempting to run between the Wicket, wickets, and the fielding team suc ...
'' a batsman. A keeper's position depends on the bowler: for
fast bowling Pace bowling (also referred to as fast bowling) is one of two main approaches to bowling (cricket), bowling in the sport of cricket, the other being spin bowling. Practitioners of pace bowling are usually known as ''fast'' bowlers, ''quicks'', o ...

fast bowling
he will squat some distance from the stumps, in order to have time to react to edges from the batsman, while for slower bowling, he will come much nearer to the stumps (known as "standing up"), to pressure the batsman into remaining within the crease or risk being stumped. The more skilled the keeper, the faster the bowling to which he is able to "stand up", for instance
Godfrey Evans Thomas Godfrey Evans (18 August 1920 – 3 May 1999) was an English cricketer who played for Kent Kent is a Counties of England, county in South East England and one of the home counties. It borders Greater London to the north-west, Surrey ...
often stood up to
Alec Bedser Sir Alec Victor Bedser (4 July 1918 – 4 April 2010) was a professional English cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a ...
. Like the other players on a cricket team, keepers will bat during the team's batting innings. At elite levels, wicket-keepers are generally expected to be proficient batters, averaging considerably more than specialist bowlers. See
Wicket-keeper-batsman A wicket-keeper-batsman or wicket-keeper-batter is a type of player in cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch ...
.


Legal specifications of wicket-keeping gloves

Law 27.2, which deals with the specifications for wicketkeepers' gloves, states that: *If ... the wicket-keeper wears gloves, they shall have no webbing between the fingers except joining index finger and thumb, where webbing may be inserted as a means of support. *If used, the webbing shall be a single piece of non-stretch material which, although it may have facing material attached, shall have no reinforcements or tucks. *The top edge of the webbing shall not protrude beyond the straight line joining the top of the index finger to the top of the thumb and shall be taut when a hand wearing the glove has the thumb fully extended.


Substitutes

Substitutes were previously not allowed to keep wicket, but this restriction was lifted in the 2017 edition of the
Laws of Cricket The ''Laws of Cricket'' is a code which specifies the rules of the game of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cric ...
. This rule was sometimes suspended, by agreement with the captain of the batting side. For example, during the England–New Zealand Test Match at
Lord's Lord's Cricket Ground, commonly known as Lord's, is a cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch ...
in 1986, England's specialist keeper, Bruce French, was injured while batting during England's first innings. England then used four keepers in New Zealand's first innings:
Bill Athey Charles William Jeffrey Athey (born 27 September 1957) is a retired English first-class cricket First-class cricket is an official classification of the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cricket. A first-clas ...
kept for the first two overs; 45-year-old veteran Bob Taylor was pulled out of the sponsor's tent to keep for overs 3 to 76;
Bobby Parks Bobby Ray Parks Sr. (November 26, 1961 – March 30, 2013) was an American professional basketball player from Grand Junction, Tennessee. He played for Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis } The University of Memphis (UofM ...
, the Hampshire keeper, was called up for overs 77 to 140; and Bruce French kept wicket for the final ball of the innings. Arthur Jones was the first substitute to keep wicket in a Test match, when he did so against Australia at
The Oval The Oval, known for Naming rights#Stadium naming, sponsorship reasons as the Kia Oval, is an international cricket ground in Kennington, in the London Borough of Lambeth, in south London. The Oval has been the home ground of Surrey County Cri ...

The Oval
in 1905.


Playing without a wicket-keeper

There is no rule stating a team must play a wicket-keeper. On 5 June 2015 during a T20 Blast game between the Worcestershire Rapids and the Northamptonshire Steelbacks, Worcestershire chose not to play a wicket-keeper in the 16th over of the match. Their keeper, , became an extra fielder at fly slip while spinner
Moeen Ali Moeen Munir Ali (born 18 June 1987) is an English international cricketer. An all-rounder, he is a left-handed batsman and right-arm off-spinner, who played county cricket for Warwickshire County Cricket Club, Warwickshire before moving to Worce ...
bowled. The umpires consulted with each other and agreed that there was nothing in the rules to prevent it from happening.


Leading international wicket-keepers


Test

The following are the top 10 wicket-keepers by total dismissals in Test cricket.


ODI

The following are the top wicket-keepers by total dismissals in one day cricket.


T20I

The following are the top 10 wicket-keepers by total dismissals in Twenty20 International cricket.


See also

*
Catcher Catcher is a position for a baseball Baseball is a bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting (baseball), batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding te ...

Catcher
*
Glossary of cricket terms This is a general glossary __NOTOC__ A glossary (from grc, γλῶσσα / language, speech, wording) also known as a vocabulary or clavis, is an alphabetical list of terms in a particular domain of knowledge Domain knowledge is knowledg ...
*
Wicket-keeper's gloves A pair of wicket-keeping gloves. The webbing which helps the keeper to catch the ball can be seen between the thumb and index fingers. A wicket-keeper's gloves or mitt are large leather gloves worn by cricket players of the defending team which ...
*
Wicket-keeper-batsman A wicket-keeper-batsman or wicket-keeper-batter is a type of player in cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch ...


Bibliography

* Surya Prakash Chaturvedi, ''Bharat ke Wicket Keepers'', National Book Trust, 2011


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Wicket-Keeper Cricket terminology Partial squatting position Wicket-keepers