Why is a score of zero called a “duck” in cricket?

When a batsman fails to score and gets out, we call it a “duck”. But why use a word that’s usually associated with a quack, the feathered friend? Well, it all started in 1866 when the Prince of Wales was sacked for a big, fat zero. Newspapers at the time reported that he returned to the pavilion on a duck egg, possibly because a duck egg has the same shape as the number 0. Since then the world of cricket


In cricket, there are different types of “ducks” which describe the circumstances in which a batsman can be dismissed.

1. Golden Duck

One of the most famous is the “golden duck”, which is used when a player is out on the very first ball. This can be a humiliating experience for the batsman and demoralizing for the entire team, as the player walks out without scoring any runs.


2. Silver and Bronze Ducks

The terms silver and bronze duck are used to describe the dismissal of a player on the second and third balls respectively. These terms are often used to indicate how quickly a batsman was dismissed, and can add an extra layer of humiliation to an already disappointing performance.


3. Diamond Duck

The term “diamond” is used to describe a situation where a player is dismissed on the first ball of the team’s innings or without facing the ball. An example of this would be a run out at the non-striker’s end.


4. Platinum/Royal Duck

The Platinum/Royal Duck is the most important type of duck in cricket, awarded to an opening batsman who gets out on the first ball of the match/innings. This is a highly unfavorable situation for the team, and early exits often frustrate the player.

Vicky Olu

The term ‘Bombay Duck’

Indian all-rounder Ajit Agarkar earned the nickname ‘Bombay Duck’ after being dismissed for five consecutive ducks during a Test match against Australia.


first duck in cricket history

The first duck in cricket history goes back to the year 1877 during a match between England and Australia in Melbourne. It was the first Test match played in the history of cricket, and the title went to Ned Gregory as he was caught by Andrew Greenwood.

duck record

Courtney Walsh holds the record for the most number of ducks in Test cricket, which is 43. Additionally, Worcestershire’s Reg Perks made 156 ducks, setting a first-class record.


Unlucky duck for Bradman

In Don Bradman’s last Test match, he was dismissed for a duck, leaving him just four runs short of achieving a batting average of 100. As a result of the duck, his Test batting average rose to 99.94.

crick country

when the whole team got out for a duck

In 1913 something extraordinary happened in a cricket match played between Glastonbury and Huish and Langport. During the chase, Huish and Langport’s batsmen were all out for zero, resulting in a total of zero runs for the entire innings. This happened after Glastonbury had set a target of 80 runs, which was considered a modest total.


While we all feel the excitement when a batsman from the opposing team gets out for a duck and the disappointment when a batsman from our own team scores the same, we rarely think about the origin and usage of the word ‘duck’. Let’s listen Hence, knowing about the history behind this term is not only informative but also interesting.

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