Morrant Blog


Morrant Blog


Quack quack, today we’re talking about cricket ducks. Somewhat different to the sort of duck you might be used to, the cricket terminology for a “duck” is when a batsman is dismissed with a score of zero (aka without scoring a single run).

The term “duck” does still have its base in being related to the bird – the original term was actually a “ducks egg”. The reasoning behind this is varied, but the majority agree that the term “ducks egg” came from the oval shape of the number 0 similar to an egg. Over the years, this has been shortened to the simpler “duck”.

Different Ducks

You don’t just get the one type of duck in cricket. Different ducks include:

  • Duck - a score of 0
  • Royal duck – reserved solely for openers of a match
  • Laughing duck – where a batsman departs for a duck and ends the team’s innings
  • Silver duck (aka in some regions as a “2-ball duck”) – if a batsman survives one ball but is run out before facing another
  • Golden duck – when a batsman is dismissed off the first ball
  • Diamond duck (aka in some regions as a “golden hairy duck”) – where a batsman is dismissed without facing a ball
  • Platinum duck (aka in some regions as a “palladium duck” or “timed out”) – where a batsman is dismissed off the first ball of the innings
  • Titanium duck – where a non-striker is dismissed off the first ball of the innings (very rare)

Batsmen who score multiple ducks in a row also earn different names; for example, a batsman who scores two golden ducks in two innings would be “on a king pair”.

“Duck” facts

  • The first ever cricket duck scored in a Test match was made at Melbourne in 1877, in the very first Test, played between Australia and England.
  • The first ever T20 International duck was recorded in February 2005 between New Zealand and Australia at Auckland
  • Courtney Walsh, West Indies fast bowler, holds the record for the most ducks in Test cricket – 43 occasions
  • Reg Perks, Worcestershire and England cricketer, set the record for first-class cricket with 156 ducks in his career
  • Sanath Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka’s batsman, scored the most ducks in One-day international cricket – 34 occasions
  • Sri Lanka’s wicketkeeper-batsman also holds a duck record, for scoring 10 in T20 Internationals.
  • The overall (combined Test, ODI and T20I) record for the most ducks is 59, set by Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan in 495 matches (328 innings)

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