Probuddha Bhattacharjee ∙ Sep 17 2022, 12:15 PM

Cricket TechTalk: Everything you need to know about 'Ducks'

image-l85saya9The most significant Duck in Test cricket history (PC: Twitter)

Mention duck to any batter and it would be the most unwanted thing they would like to listen about. But why is it so dreaded to the players? What does duck mean in cricket?

Well a general cricket fan is quite acquainted with the term. But for the unversed when a batter gets out without scoring a single run while batting it is called a ‘Duck’. 

But, is getting dismissed off the first ball of the innings or any other ball the same? Are they all termed the same? Well, no! In this article we will give our readers a glimpse into the different types of duck that exist in cricket. 

But first let us know how this term came into existence?


Well, there is no clear mention anywhere as to the origin of the term. But it is believed that while reporting Prince of Wales’ Edward VII score of zero on 17th July, 1866 a contemporary newspaper referred to it as ‘Duck’s Egg’. It is from there that the term has shortened and now exists as just ‘Duck’.

Types of Ducks

Laughing Duck

When a batter gets out for a score of zero in the last ball of the team’s innings it is called a laughing duck.

Golden Duck

If a batter gets out for zero off the first ball that he faces in his innings, it is termed as a golden duck. 

Silver Duck

When a batter is dismissed for nought of the second ball of his innings it is termed as a silver duck.

Bronze Duck

Yes, you guessed it right, when a batter scores zero and gets dismissed off the third ball of his innings it is called a bronze duck.

Royal or Platinum Duck

This is a term that is possible only for the openers of a team. It refers to being dismissed off the first ball of the team’s innings. 

Diamond Duck

A diamond duck in cricket occurs when a batter goes out for zero even without facing a delivery. This might appear impossible, but if a player is run out even before his turn to face the bowler comes it does happen. Also, if the batter is stumped off a wide delivery of the very first ball of his innings the occurrence is possible. 

Titanium Duck

 If the diamond duck occurs in the first ball of an innings it is known as ‘Titanium Duck’.

A Pair

In a match which has two innings for each team, a pair is possible to be scored by a batter. It is when a batter gets dismissed for nought in both the innings it is called a pair. 

A king pair

 When a batter scores a golden duck in both the innings of a Test or First Class match, it is called ‘A King Pair’.

A golden goose

Well, this is a very rare instance. But if a batter is dismissed for nought of the first ball of his team’s innings at the start of a new season, then it is termed as ‘A Golden Goose’.  It is also sometimes known as 'Palladium Duck'.

An Audi

If a batter gets four consecutive ducks, then it is called  'An Audi'.  The term is named keeping in mind the symbol of the famous car company. 

image-l85shcneAjit Agarkar is the only batter to have achieved 'Olympic Rings' in cricket

Olympic Rings

A batter scoring five consecutive ducks is said to have achieved the 'Olympic Rings'. The only batter to have achieved this in Test cricket till date is India's Ajit Agarkar

Interesting Facts

image-l85sk6soMuttiah Muralitharan has the highest number of ducks in cricket history (PC: Twitter)

  • Muttiah Muralitharan has the most ducks in cricket, the number reading 59 in 495 international matches.
  • Sanath Jayasuria (34) has the most number of ducks in ODI cricket.
  • Courtney Walsh (43) has the most number of duck in Test cricket. 
  • The first duck in Test history was scored by Ned Gregory in the first ever Test between Australia and England in Melbourne in 1877. 
  • Muttiah Muralidaran also holds the record of most number of golden ducks in international career (14).
  • Joe Darling is the first batter to have scored a pair in the history of Test cricket
  • William Attewell (England)is the first ever batter to have scored a king pair in a Test Match against Australia in 1891.
  • Former Kiwi pace bowler, Chris Martin had the most number of pairs to his name (7). 
  • Don Bradman's duck in his last Test innings is termed as the most significant in the history of cricket as it kept him from achieving the perfect 100 average in Test cricket.

Also Read: Behind the Click: A sprint that broke the dreams of a nation