Whether smashing bowlers all around the park or displaying lightning-fast reflexes behind the stumps, some of the world’s greatest wicketkeeper-batsmen have made their mark on the ICC Cricket World Cup stage.
ICC describes the top ten glovemen to have notched more than 200 runs and 10 dismissals in World Cup cricket.
1: Adam Gilchrist, Australia (1999, 2003 and 2007)
One of the most exhilarating and prolific players in cricket history, it’s no surprise that Adam Gilchrist sits on top of this list.
The three-time World Cup winner played 31 matches between 1999 and 2007, scoring 1085 Cup runs and playing a hand in 52 dismissals, a reflection of Australia’s dominance of those three tournaments.
The stand-out was Gilchrist’s performance in the 2007 final when he smashed 149 in a man-of-the-match performance, while the ‘keeper’s best work with the gloves came against Namibia in 2003, when he took five catches and executed one stumping.
2: Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka (2003, 2007 and 2011)
Sri Lanka’s former captain could surpass Adam Gilchrist’s World Cup statistics when he heads to Australia and New Zealand for the 2015 tournament. Sangakkara has already played in 30 World Cup matches, scoring 991 runs at an average of 45.05.
His best World Cup knock to date came against New Zealand in the 2011 tournament, when Sangakkara reached 111 off 128 balls. Other solid knocks during that tournament came against Canada (92), Australia (73*) and New Zealand (54).
His 2007 tournament included four fifties, while the wicketkeeper has also taken 36 catches and 10 stumpings for a total of 46 dismissals throughout his World Cup career.
3: Rahul Dravid, India (1999, 2003 and 2007)
Rahul Dravid made a half-century in his World Cup debut against South Africa in 1999, setting the tone for what would be a happy relationship between the wicketkeeper-batsman and the tournament.
His maiden World Cup hundred followed in the same tournament against Kenya and soon after became the first batsman to score back-to-back World Cup centuries against Sri Lanka.
Dravid did the majority of his World Cup wicketkeeping during the 2003 tournament, and took 15 catches and one stumping. With the bat, he scored 860 runs in 22 matches at an impressive average of 61.43.
4: Andy Flower, Zimbabwe (1992, 1996, 1999, 2003)
Zimbabwe enjoyed its best ICC Cricket World Cup in 1999 thanks in large part to the work of Andy Flower, both in front of and behind the stumps. The prolific batsman played in four World Cups including the 1999 tournament that saw Zimbabwe upset India and South Africa as they advanced past the pool stage for the first time.
Flower’s key knock from that World Cup was a match-winning 68* against India, while his other top tournament scores included an unbeaten 115 on debut against Sri Lanka in 1992, and 71 against Netherlands in 2003.
He finished his World Cup career with 818 runs from 30 matches at 32.60, while behind the stumps he collected 11 catches and three stumpings.
5: Alec Stewart, England (1992, 1996 and 1999)
The highlight of Alec Stewart’s ICC Cricket World Cup career surely was his performance in the 1992 tournament when England met South Africa in the pool stage.
England went into the match the favourites, but needed 226 from 41 overs after rain interrupted play.His 77 off 88 balls proved the difference, helping England to a three-wicket victory. In another impressive performance at the same tournament saw Stewart score a speedy 59 off 36 balls against Sri Lanka.
Stewart played 25 matches over three World Cups, scoring 606 runs at 28.86. His form behind the stumps saw him finish with 21 catches and two stumpings.
6: David Houghton, Zimbabwe (1983, 1987 and 1992)
David Houghton achieved a lot in his 63-match one-day international career with Zimbabwe, including representing his nation in three ICC Cricket World Cups.
In 20 World Cup matches, the gloveman from Bulawayo was responsible for 12 dismissals, including 10 catches and two stumpings.
He also scored 567 runs at 29.84, including a blazing 142 off 137 balls against New Zealand in 1987. Houghton’s knock brought Zimbabwe within a whisker of victory, but his team ultimately fell three runs short.
7: Kennedy Otieno, Kenya (1996, 1999, 2003)
Kennedy Otieno was a standout for Kenya in the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup, playing every match and amassing 182 runs throughout the tournament.
In his 20 World Cup matches between 1996 and 2003, Otieno scored 427 runs at an average of 22.47, with his best knock of 85 scored against Australia in the 1999 tournament.
Not only did he impress with the bat during his World Cup career, Otieno’s work behind the stumps saw him take 11 catches and execute four stumpings.
His most successful World Cup match with the gloves was against Bangladesh in 2003 when Otieno took two catches and two stumpings.
8: Niall O’Brien, Ireland (2007 and 2011)
This talented left-handed batsman and wicketkeeper has been an important part of Ireland’s two ICC Cricket World Cup campaigns to date.
Playing alongside brother Kevin, Niall has appeared in 15 matches over two tournaments, amassing 421 runs at an average of 30.07. O’Brien’s best performance in the 2011 World Cup came in Ireland’s famous win over Pakistan when he scored 72, while he also hit 63 against England.
His best knock of the 2011 tournament came against Netherlands when he scored an unbeaten fifty. O’Brien has been responsible for 13 dismissals in Cricket World Cups, including 12 catches and one stumping
9: Brendon McCullum, New Zealand (2003, 2007 and 2011)
Although New Zealand captain Brendan McCullum has hung up the keeping-gloves, fans will be able to see him blasting away at the top of the order for New Zealand in World Cup 2015.
The powerful batsman has provided plenty of highlights in his 25 World Cup appearances to date, scoring 414 World Cup runs at 31.85, including scores of 76 not out against Zimbabwe and 101 against Canada – both in 2011. In 2007, he also hit the fastest World Cup fifty, off just 20 balls, against Canada.
He has been part of 32 dismissals, taking 30 catches and two stumpings. On two occasions during the 2003 tournament, against England and West Indies, McCullum took four catches in the one innings.
10: Mark Boucher, South Africa (1999, 2003 and 2007)
When talking about South Africa and wicketkeepers, Mark Boucher is one of the first names to spring to mind.
The East London native played in three ICC Cricket World Cups, scoring 381 runs in his 25 matches at an average of 27.21.
He comes in third on the list for most dismissals by a ‘keeper in World Cups, with his total of 31 only trailing Adam Gilchrist’s 52 and Kumar Sangakkara’s 46. Fans will remember Boucher’s best Cup knock, an unbeaten 75 against Netherlands in 2007 which saw him reach his half-century from 21 balls, the fastest fifty in a world cup at the time.
Boucher also took four catches in South Africa’s famous tied semi-final against Australia in 1999.