Getting dismissed for zero is always a humiliation for any batsman. Not only is it tagged as a duck, but to add to the humiliation, there are several classifications of ducks. Before we discuss all those types, let us understand the history of the Cricket Duck.
The term “duck” is believed to have originated from the shape of the duck’s egg. It resembles ‘0’ and hence scoring a 0 is called a duck.
This term made a pretty royal entry into the world of cricket. On 17th July 1866, the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII) was dismissed for nought. A Daily Times correspondent for the Otago Witness recorded, “Next, we see the Prince of Wales in the field, as one of the Zingari, against the Gentlemen of Norfolk. H.R.H. had the honour of performing short-leg duties previously to handling the bat, and, when at length expectant eyes were fixed on Britain’s heir at the wicket, it was piteous to behold his signal failure; he was bowled cut on the instant and retired to the royal pavilion on a duck’s egg”. Thus, the duck became a batsman’s nightmare.
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The first duck was scored by Ned Gregory when Australia played against England in 1877.
The definitions of some of the following ducks vary regionally. Some terms have different meanings in different parts of the world.
Pair and King Pair
In a match where both the teams play two innings, there can be two kinds of ducks.
You get a “pair” of ducks if you are dismissed for zero in both the innings. Usually, when a batsman is dismissed for a duck in the first innings, he is said to be “on a pair” before he scores a run in the second innings.
When a batsman gets out on the first ball in both the innings, then it is called a King Pair.
Ken Rutherford (New Zealand) started his Test career with a pair against West Indies in 1984-85.
This is the most famous Duck in cricket. It is uniformly used everywhere.
When a batsman is dismissed on the very first ball that he faces, then he is said to have earned a Golden Duck.
MS Dhoni was dismissed for a Golden Duck in his ODI debut against Bangladesh.
Silver Duck and Bronze Duck
I think you have already guessed the definition of these two ducks.
When a batsman gets out for a duck in the second ball that he faces, it is called a Silver Duck.
When the batsman is dismissed for zero in the third ball of his innings, it is called a Bronze Duck.
The final Test innings of Sir Donald Bradman was a Silver Duck.
Diamond Duck and Titanium Duck
Now we are talking about a woman’s best friend. But this Diamond Duck is not something that should be coveted.
When a batsman gets out without facing a single ball, it is called a Diamond Duck. Usually, it is a run-out of a new batsman at the non-striker’s end. However, there can be two more instances.
Getting stumped off a wide ball qualifies as a Diamond Duck.
Also, the rare dismissal of “Timed-Out”, in which the batsman takes too long to turn up at the crease, is also called a Diamond Duck.
When the opening batsman gets out on the first ball of a team’s innings, without facing a ball, it is called a Titanium Duck. It is one of the rarest ducks.
The Royal Duck is reserved for the openers. In this case, the batsman falls in the first delivery, which is also the first ball of the innings.
The batsman who departs for a duck, thereby ending the team’s innings is said to have earned a Laughing Duck.
Yeah, this one’s not a duck. A batsman who has been dismissed for a duck on the first ball of the team’s first match of the season is said to be out for a Golden Goose.
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