A cricket keeper is an integral part of any team’s fielding team. We often forget about the contributions of wicket-keepers as we hear the inspirational stories about fours, sixes and mind-boggling match winners. He contributes silently to the team’s success, while supporting the stumps.
The player responsible for keeping the wicket at the striker’s end is called a Cricket Keeper. He is the only fielder to wear gloves. He is responsible for catching the ball if it is not caught by the batsman or thrown at him. He plays a vital role in catching, stumping and run-out dismissals.
Who is a Cricket Keeper?
The Keeper’s role is very similar to the Football goalkeeper. The goal is to stop the opponent scoring. A wicket-keeper, however, is involved in every ball of the match, unlike the goalkeeper.
The cricket team’s Keeper is him. The only person allowed to wear gloves or external leg guards is the Cricket Keeper. A fielding team could be penalized if they don’t consent to the umpire wearing the gloves of the keeper. This is covered in an interesting post which discusses some of the most bizarre and obscure cricket rules. Give it a look.
- The Cricket Keeper
The Keeper stops batsmen from missing deliveries. A Cricket-Keeper stops a batsman from missing a ball. This will result in four runs. The opposing team can still score runs if the fielders catch the ball.
- Affecting Dismissals
Stumping: A batsman who leaves the crease to hit an errant shot is called out by the Keeper. He then stumps him out.
Run-out: The Keeper may also run-out the batter while he’s outside the crease, to complete the run.
Catching: A wicket-keeper’s main task is to catch the ball before it touches the ground.
He will always be behind the wickets at the striker’s side, as per the rules. From the moment the ball is delivered by the bowler, he cannot be ahead of the Keeper.
- The ball hits the batsman
- He hits the ball with his bat
- The ball hits directly the stump
- The batsman is moving towards the end of the non-striker, OR
- The striker strikes the ball and runs towards the non-striker’s end.
Is it even necessary in a cricket match?
Yes! The crucial role of a Cricket-Keeper is to ensure that a match goes smoothly. A wicket-keeper plays the following roles in addition to those mentioned:
- Assisting the Cricket-Keeper Captain with Setting the Field
A wicket-keeper is in an unusual position. The wicket-keeper can see the field exactly as the batsman does. The wicket-keeper is always within reach of the batsman so the captain may delegate the task of analyzing the field for a specific batsman to him.
- Assisting the captain with the DRS decisions
The Cricket-Keeper is the first person to consult when a captain of a fielding team asks for DRS [Umpire Decision Review System, UDRS or DRS]. He is able to see the activity of the batsman and watch the ball move.