The credibility of a batsman is majorly measured looking at a number of runs he scores. Thus, the worst he can think of is getting out without scoring any, which is commonly known in the language of cricket as a duck. From time immemorial, commentators, media, experts and even general enthusiasts to describe the condition of scoring nothing and giving away one’s wicket have been using the comparison of the feathered bird. But does anyone have any clue how this phenomenon originated? Let’s explore!
It was 1866. Modern day cricket was yet to be introduced. Cricket was more of a royal leisure than anything. On 17th of July that year, his highness, prince of Wales ( who later was known as Edward VII) conceived a score of nought, too much disgrace. A newspaper, while writing about it, mentioned-
“the Prince retired to the royal pavilion on a ” duck’s egg””.
Duck’s eggs being larger than those of the chicken’s, it seemed apt, or may be humiliating to compare the zero (0) with that.
Newspapers henceforth went on picking up the term so much that it became a part of the cricket dictionary and made a permanent mark. Here are some more terms relating to duck to help:
Golden duck: A player to get out on the first ball he faces, is said to be out on a golden duck. Similarly for second, or third balls it gets termed as Silver or Bronze ducks.
Diamond duck: An opener to get out on the first ball of a team’s innings is said to be dismissed off a Diamond duck, also termed as Platinum duck or Royal duck.
Titanium duck: If a batsman, without even facing a single ball ( that is of a wide delivery or run out), gets out then he is said to have conceived a Titanium duck.
Laughing duck: The last player of an innings if gets out for duck, then the duck is termed as a laughing duck.
Ugly ducklings do exist, and not only in story books do they?
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