What is a Duck in Cricket? And its Different Types

You must have seen a batter getting dismissed on ‘zero’ runs and commentators mentioning that the batter is out for a duck.

But what exactly does a duck mean in cricket? How did the term get associated with the game? And what are the various types of ducks?

In this article, I will decode the meaning and types of ducks in cricket.

Duck: A Bird or A Cricket Term?

Don’t confuse the bird with this term in cricket. They are two different things, but that’s how the ‘duck in cricket’ was coined.

In cricket, a duck simply means a batter who was dismissed without scoring a single run — out on zero. And it’s unfortunate if a batter gets out on a duck.

So how did the term emerge?

Well, no one knows who coined this term. However, it’s closely related to the bird ‘Duck’.

Back in the day, when the scorers maintained the scorebooks, they felt that ‘Zero’ (0) looked similar to a duck’s egg. At that time, if a batter got out on zero, they used to term it ‘duck’s egg’, and then it was referred to as only ‘duck’.

Now, let’s take a look at the different types of ducks in cricket.

Types of Ducks

Even though the term ‘duck’ is normally used, there are some different types based on when a batter is dismissed.

1. Golden Duck

A golden duck occurs when a batter loses their wicket on the very first ball they face. This is a most infamous dismissal, as no batter in the world wants to get out on the first delivery.

2. Silver Duck

When a batter is dismissed on the second ball they faced without scoring a run, it’s known as a silver duck. Unlike the golden duck, this term is not used much, and such a dismissal may be stated as a regular duck.

3. Bronze Duck

After the golden duck and silver duck comes the bronze duck. It means a batter got out on the third delivery they faced before scoring a single run.

4. Diamond Duck

The term might tempt you, but hold on; it’s another unfortunate way to get out in cricket. The diamond duck occurs when a batter gets out even before facing their first ball in the innings. And this dismissal happens when a batter is run out, obstructs the field, or is timed out.

Also Read | 10 Types of Dismissals in Cricket: A Guide

5. Royal Duck

Unlike its name, this type of dismissal won’t give any royal feeling to the batter. When an opening batter is dismissed on the first delivery of their team’s innings, it’s referred to as a royal duck.

6. Laughing Duck

Did you start laughing after reading this term? Good if you had a little laugh 😉

Now coming back to the term, the laughing duck happens when a batter gets out on the last ball of their team’s innings without scoring a run.

7. A Pair

This type of duck mostly occurs in the longest format of the game — Test cricket or First-Class cricket. If a batter is dismissed on a duck in two innings of a match, then it is considered ‘a pair’.

8. King Pair

A king pair occurs when a batter gets out on golden ducks in both innings of a match. And don’t get confused between a ‘pair’ and ‘king pair’, as a ‘king pair’ can only happen if a batter is dismissed on the very first deliveries in both innings.

9. Batting Hattrick

It’s a bit similar to the bowling hattrick, albeit it spans across three consecutive innings in Test cricket or First-Class cricket. The batter needs to be dismissed three times on three consecutive balls, and then it’s recorded as a batting hattrick.

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