"Catches win Matches" is one of the most famous sayings in cricket. Fielding is a crucial facet of the game. We have seen fielders turning the game on its head with spectacular catches. Fielders are ready to put their bodies on the line to prevent batters from scoring runs and sending them back to the pavilion because they know the importance of every single catch. A dropped catch can cost a team the game, even the World Cup (remember the 1999 world cup game where Herschelle Gibbs dropped Australian Captain Steve Waugh. It cost South Africa the game, whereas Australia eventually won the World Cup). So catching is very important in the game of cricket.
Let us look at the top 10 Pakistan cricketers with the highest number of catches in international cricket-
1. Kamran Akmal
Kamran Akmal is a right-handed keeper batter who has played over 250 international matches for Pakistan. An attacking middle-order batter and a safe gloveman for a good part of his career, Akmal had a fair share of ups and downs as far as his wicket-keeping is concerned. He ended his career with 369 catches in Test, ODI, and T20I. He played his last international match on April 11, 2017, against the West Indies.
2. Moin Khan
Moin Khan is a lower-order aggressive keeper batter who currently holds the record for most catches by a Pakistani wicket-keeper in ODI cricket with 214 catches. He took 342 catches combined in tests and ODIs. He and Rashid Latif competed for the wicket-keeping spot, but because of his consistency in batting, Moin established himself as a regular member of the Pakistan team. Moin played his last international match on October 20, 2004, against Sri Lanka.
3. Rashid Latif
Rashid Latif is a right-handed keeper batter. He was a handy batter and a decent keeper. With 301 catches, Rashid features at 3 in this list. Inconsistency with the bat didn't help his cause, and he lost his place to Moin Khan. He played his last international match on October 12, 2003, against South Africa.
4. Sarfaraz Ahmed
Sarfaraz Ahmed, a right-handed keeper batter, was once an all format gloveman for Pakistan before Mohammad Rizwan took over. Like a typical 1980s keeper, chirpy, safe pair of hands, and a handy keeper, Sarfraz Ahmed is a street-smart cricketer and has taken 301 catches and has scored close to 6000 international runs so far for Pakistan. As a batter, he is a busy candidate as he always looks to rotate the strike. The highlight of his career is leading his team to victory in the 2017 Champions Trophy against the arch-rivals India when the Pakistan team beat mighty India to claim the trophy.
5. Younis Khan
Younis Khan is the stalwart of the Pakistan Cricket Team. A right-handed batter, Younis is the leading run-scorer for Pakistan in Tests and was a prolific fielder in the slip cordon. His bucket-like hands never let the ball escape his grab, taking blinders at will. Younis Khan holds the record for highest run-scorer (10099), most centuries (34), and the only fielder to take over 100 catches (139) for Pakistan in Test cricket. He has also grabbed 281 catches across 408 matches in Tests, ODIs, and T20s.
6. Wasim Bari
Wasim Bari played for Pakistan in the late 70s and early 80s. He was primarily a keeper and was one of the finest, not only in Pakistan but around the world. He grabbed 201 Test catches, most by a Pakistani keeper, and 253 total scalps. His ability to expect the ball and gather it neatly made him one of the outstanding keepers in that era. He played his last international match on January 30, 1984, against Australia. The PCB honored Bari with the Life Achievement Award in 1997.
Inzamam-ul-Haq is one of the most successful cricketers Pakistan has ever produced. He has scored the most international runs (20541) for Pakistan. He has taken 194 catches across 499 international matches in his career.
8. Saleem Yousuf
Saleem Yousuf was a successor of Wasim Bari. With 172 scalps under his belt, he proved his worth behind the wickets. Saleem Yousuf is a decent lower-order batter and has also chipped in with handy innings to guide Pakistan to many victories. He played his last international match on December 21, 1990, against Sri Lanka.
9. Shahid Afridi
A list of top 10 players of any genre for Pakistan would be incomplete without Shahid Afridi. If you ever wanted to name someone, he was the real 3-D player. A swashbuckling all-rounder, he is one of the most entertaining and charismatic cricketers this game has ever seen. He has a record of playing the most international matches (524) for Pakistan. Most sixes for Pakistan, most ducks for Pakistan, fastest century for Pakistan, you name it, and Shahid Afridi will feature in most of them. For catches, he has held on to them 167 times.
10. Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik well and truly justifies the tag of "Jack of all trades, master of none." Beginning his career as a batter, he advanced his bowling skills and became an all-rounder for Pakistan. With 166 catches under his belt, he features 10th in this list.