What is a Duck in Cricket Lingo?

What is the most unwanted thing for a batter? Getting out on a duck. Whether the batter is a debutant, opener, captain, middle-order batter, or tailender, everyone avoids it. In simple words, duck means that the batter has not scored even a single run before going back to the pavilion.

Cricket has evolved a lot and so is its terminology. Now there are several ducks, depending upon how the batter is getting out.


Types of ducks

Duck is not the only way of losing a wicket. A lot of phrases come into the picture as the batter is dismissed. So, there are eight duck types in the world of cricket. All of them are discussed below.

Regular: If a batter plays at least one delivery, loses his/her wicket, but scores zero run, then it’s called the batter is out for a duck. It’s a source of embarrassment and humiliation for the batting unit. So, none of the batters wants to be bowled out for a duck. On the other hand, duck is important for the fielding unit because there is no other joy than taking a wicket without leaking even one run. However, it’s not a common incident.

Golden duck: Golden duck comes into the picture when a batter loses his/her wicket on the first delivery. It’s a common word in cricket and there are no variations. Gold is added with duck because this color is a mark of coming first. For instance, winning a gold medal in a sports event like CWG or Olympics.

Silver duck: When the batter loses his/her wicket on the second ball without scoring any run, it’s called a silver duck. The batters can avoid this incident by scoring at least a single on the first ball. Most commentators and cricketers do not use this term very often. They simply state the batter is gone for a duck. However, silver duck is a recognized term in the world of cricket.

Bronze duck: The batter is gone for a bronze duck if he/she loses the wicket on the third ball without scoring any run. Bronze duck is also not widely used. Most of the time it’s stated that the batter is out for a duck. But, this phrase is used in some parts.

Diamond duck: A batter is out for a diamond duck if she loses the wicket without even dealing with single delivery. It’s one of the rare incidents but can happen at any point of the game. The batting unit wants to puts on a big total in limited over matches. So, they sometimes sacrifice their wickets. For instance, if a new batter arrives at the non-striker’s end and gets run out in the next ball, it’s a diamond duck because the batter is not faced with even one delivery.

A non-strike batter can also be out for golden duck if he/she is obstructing the fielders. Golden duck also comes into the picture if the batter has Timed Out. It’s the dismissal method when the batter is given out without even stepping on the pitch.

Platinum duck: If the batter gets out without facing even a single delivery, then it’s called platinum duck. Platinum and diamond duck are similar. However, the scenario differs. Platinum duck can only happen on the first ball of an inning or match.

Runout is a common reason for platinum duck, but there could be other dismissal methods. Platinum duck is not used widely in cricket because such instances are rare.

Royal duck: The batters can be out for a royal duck when they face a delivery, but cannot score. It might sound like a platinum duck, but there is a difference. The royal duck is only possible when the batter faces at least one delivery. Hence, multiple dismissal methods come into the picture, including lbw, caught behind, and bowled.

Laughing duck: When the batters throw their wicket on the first delivery they face, a laughing duck occurs. It’s the same as the regular duck and is not widely used. Most of the time laughing duck is displayed by the channel broadcasters when the batter goes back to the pavilion without any score.

Golden goose: Golden goose and golden duck belong to the same pond. In other words, both are similar. If the batters are dismissed on the first ball of the first event of a new season, then a golden goose comes into play. The golden goose is a new word, but its usage is increasing.

Pairs in cricket: Test matches are built of two innings per team. Hence, there are chances that a batter can leave the ground for a duck twice in one test match. Such an incident is called a pair. The phrase is derived from two zeroes.

King pair: If the batters managed to get out for two golden ducks in the same cricket match, they are denoted by king pair. In other words, the batter has to be out on the first delivery in each inning.


Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the duck in cricket called?

The term duck is used for the batters who have not scored any run in their inning. However, you have to understand the situation. If the batter is not out and the innings end, then the batter has not gone for a duck. He/she might have scored a few runs after facing some deliveries.

Duck is one of the worst signs in front of a batter’s name. A lot of records are built on this phrase. The first duck in the history of cricket was recorded in 1877 at the first test between Australia and England. Ned Gregory (Australia) was out for a duck when Andrew Greenwood (England) caught him.


Why is it a duck in cricket?

No one knows who discovered this term, but duck and its meaning are simple. Plus, there are no disputes over its explanation. The number zero looks like a duck’s egg, which exists for centuries. So, it could have been the most prominent term for a batter who came without scoring any runs. In modern cricket, we started to call naught zero. But, duck is another word to signify batters who came back to the pavilion without doing any hard work.


Who has the most ducks in cricket?

None of the batters can enjoy having the most ducks in the history of cricket, especially at the international level. But, someone has to be at the top of all the cricket records. Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan is the numero uno with 59 ducks in 328 innings. The second contender is Cortney Walsh (West Indies) who has 54 ducks in 264 innings. Sanath Jayasurya (Sri Lanka), Glen McGrath (Australia), and Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka) are the players in third, fourth, and fifth place respectively.



Cricket is full of unique terms and phrases. But, the duck confuses most of the faces. However, it’s an old term weaved with cricket since the 19th century. Now, duck is a part of cricket and its culture.

Being out for duck is an ultimate humiliation for a batter. On the other side, witnessing this incident is nice for the bowler and fielding team. It’s intense and can change the course of the game within a few seconds.






Spread the love