An Australian fielder runs to take a catch
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.

See also: Most catches in Test career (wicket-keepers)

Rank Wicket-keeper Catches Test Career dates
1 South Africa Mark Boucher 532 1997–2012
2 Australia Adam Gilchrist 379 1999–2008
3 Australia Ian Healy 366 1988–99
4 Australia Rod Marsh 343 1970–84
5 Cricket West Indies Jeff Dujon 265 1981–91
6 Australia Brad Haddin 262 2008–15
7 India MS Dhoni 256 2005–14
8 England Alan Knott 250 1967–81
9 England Matt Prior 243 2007–14
10 England Alec Stewart 227 1990–2003

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.

See also: Most catches in Test career

Rank Fielder Catches Test Career dates
1 India Rahul Dravid 210 1996–2012
2 Sri Lanka Mahela Jayawardene 205 1997–2014
3 South Africa Jacques Kallis 200 1995–2013
4 Australia Ricky Ponting 196 1995–2012
5 Australia Mark Waugh 181 1991–2002
6 England Alastair Cook 175 2006–18
7 New Zealand Stephen Fleming 171 1994–2008
8 South Africa Graeme Smith 169 2002–14
9 Cricket West Indies Brian Lara 164 1990–2006
10 Australia Mark Taylor 157 1989–99

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

One Day Internationals

See also: Most catches in ODI career (wicket-keeping)

See also: Most catches in ODI career (non-wicket-keeping)

T20 Internationals

See also: Most catches in T20I career (wicket-keeping)

See also: Most catches in T20I career (non-wicket-keeping)

First Class cricket

See also: Most catches in FC career (non-wicket-keeping)

See also

Other sports


  1. ^ a b "Ways of getting out: Caught". 26 August 2005. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  2. ^ "Runs for Vaughan but England caught short". 13 December 2004. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  3. ^ "Analysing Test dismissals across the ages".
  4. ^ "Most catches in career". Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  5. ^ "Most catches". Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  6. ^ "Law 33 - Caught". Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  7. ^ "{% DocumentName %} Law | MCC". Retrieved 2020-12-04.
  8. ^ "Law 32 (Caught)"., para 2. Archived from the original on 2019-12-11. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
  9. ^ "Australia v South Africa". Archived from the original on 2010-11-05.
  10. ^ "9th Super, ICC World Cup at Leeds, Jun 13 1999 - Match Summary - ESPNCricinfo". ESPNcricinfo. Archived from the original on 2010-04-10.