Despite being the crucial determinants of the game, fielding is the most underrated and under-appreciated department in cricket. A good day with the bat or ball easily overshadows the marvellous efforts one puts while fielding.
In a game won or lost by narrow margins, fielding is what separates winners from losers. As a very popular adage in cricket says: catches win matches. In contrast, catches missed are the chances untaken and opportunity unutilized.
Many a time, a stunning, herculean effort by a fielder has completely changed the outcome of the game, more so often in T20 cricket. And after a long hiatus in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, T20 cricket resumes with the upcoming 2020 edition of Caribbean Premier League.
The entirety of the league will be happening in bio-secure environments in Trinidad & Tobago from August 18 to September 10.
In a build-up to the league, let’s look at the five players with most numbers of catches in CPL.
5. Sheldon Cottrell – 27 catches
If not for his bowling prowess, many fans might know Sheldon Cottrell from his military-march-and-salute celebration that he always did after taking wickets in ICC World Cup 2019.
Cottrell is an equally adept fielder who has grabbed too many astonishing catches with his raw athleticism and fabulous presence of mind. Even in last year’s global showpiece event, he pulled out a stunning catch at the boundary line to deny Steve Smith what looked like a comfortable six.
In CPL, Cottrell has grasped 27 catches in 50 matches while playing for the now-defunct Antigua Hawkbills and his present franchise St Kitts & Nevis Patriots.
4. Jason Holder – 29 catches
Jason Holder is one of the finest all-rounders who also leads West Indies in Test cricket. Holder’s primary weapon is his versatility. He is an all-format cricketer who is proficient not only with the bat and ball but also in his fielding ability.
The Windies skipper uses his long reach to great effect. In CPL, he captains the star-studded Barbados Tridents. Holder ranks fourth in the list with 29 catches.
3. Dwayne Bravo – 36 catches
A cricketer like Dwayne Bravo is nothing less than a privilege for any team. Bravo rarely loses his calm even in the quirkiest situation. His ice-cool demeanour and clutch ability to perform at the business end of the match make him the most demanding player in the shortest format of the game.
The 36-year-old has a gazillion of spectacular, breath-taking catches to his name. He has single-handedly turned the tide of the game with his crisp catches, sharp run-outs and diving efforts to save crucial runs.
With 36 catches in 69 games, Bravo ranks third in the list.
Bravo led the CPL franchise Trinbago Knight Riders to the championship title on two consecutive occasions in 2017 and 2018. However, he has stepped down from the role, and Kieron Pollard will lead the team in the upcoming 2020 season.
2. Andre Russell – 37 catches
A beast with the bat and ball, Russell is an equally skilled fielder who has taken 37 catches in 57 matches while playing for Jamaica Tallawahs.
The 32-years old is a hard-hitting batsman who relies on his muscular power to clear boundaries. Apart from batting and bowling, he always makes his presence felt while fielding.
Having proved his credentials time and again for whichever team he plays, Russell is among the most impactful all-rounders of the current generation, especially in T20.
1. Kieron Pollard – 53 catches
A limited-overs specialist, Kieron Pollard once refused to sign a central contract with West Indies since it will hinder his T20 plans. With more than 500 T20 games under his belt, Pollard is one of the most experienced players in the format.
Be it Mumbai Indians (MI) or Dhaka Gladiators or Melbourne Renegades, the vitality and enthusiasm Pollard carries for the game are evident from his performance.
While fielding, the 33-years-old gives heart and soul, never backs down and makes even the Sisyphean task look like an easy affair. With a whopping 53 catches, Pollard tops the list of leading catchers in the CPL.