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A golden duck in cricket: Meaning and all you need to know

A golden duck in cricket is when a batter is dismissed on the very first ball of his/her innings without scoring a run. No batter likes to get out for a duck and especially on the very first ball as every player is willing to contribute to the team’s win.

What are the right types of ducks in cricket?

There are 8 different types of ducks in cricket. They are – golden duck, silver duck, bronze duck, diamond duck, royal duck, laughing duck, pair and King Pair.

When a batter is dismissed on the very first ball of his/her innings, then he/she is known to have bagged a golden duck. When batters are dismissed for the second and third delivery, then it is known as silver and bronze duck respectively.

Diamond duck in cricket is not known to many. A batter is known to have bagged a diamond duck when he/she gets out without facing a single legal delivery. More often this happens when batters get run out.

Interestingly, there are a few other terms that are used very rarely in terms of ducks. When a batter gets out for a duck on his/her team’s very first ball of the innings, then it is known as a royal duck. When a batter gets out for a duck at the end of their team’s innings, it is known as a laughing duck.

Terms Pair and King Pair are generally associated with red-ball cricket in Tests and first-class games. When a batter gets out for a duck in both innings of a Test match, he/she is known to have bagged a pair. A batter is known to have recorded a King Pair when he/she gets out for a duck on the first ball of his/her innings.

Most golden duck in cricket

Test cricket

PlayerCountryGolden ducks in Tests
Muttiah MuralitharanSri Lanka14
Rangana HerathSri Lanka11
Courtney WalshWest Indies10
Stuart BroadEngland10
James AndersonEngland9
Steve HarmisonEngland9
Chris MartinNew Zealand9
Mitchell JohnsonAustralia8
Shannon GabrielWest Indies8
Makhaya NtiniSouth Africa8
M NtiniSouth Africa8

Generally, the lower-order batters or number 11 batter is associated with golden ducks thanks to their inability to bat like the top-order batters. Sri Lanka’s legendary cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan registered a total of 14 golden ducks in his Test career. Overall, the legendary off-spinner has 33 ducks to his name in 133 Test matches.

Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath is the second player on this list with the most golden ducks in Test cricket. Out of 23 ducks in his Test career, he registered as many as 11 golden ducks while West Indies legend Courtney Walsh bagged 10 golden ducks during his illustrious career in the whites. Another player to bag 10 golden ducks is Stuart Broad who is an active player and might bag a few more golden ducks by the end of his career.

Broad’s new ball partner James Anderson is in the fifth position with nine golden ducks to his name. Steve Harmison and Chris Martin are the other two cricketers with nine golden ducks in their Test careers.

ODI cricket

PlayerCountryGolden ducks in ODIs
Lasith MalingaSri Lanka13
Shahid AfridiPakistan12
Wasim AkramPakistan10
Moin KhanPakistan10
Sanath JayasuriyaSri Lanka9
Muttiah MuralitharanSri Lanka9
Javagal SrinathIndia8
Chaminda VaasSri Lanka8

Lasith Malinga of Sri Lanka was known to bowl yorkers at will in his career. However, he didn’t have a memorable stint with the bat ever bagging as many as 33 ducks in his ODI career. Out of those 33, 13 were golden ducks and tops this list. Shahid Afridi of Pakistan was known to tear apart the bowling attacks at will.

But his aggressive batting also invited some embarrassing outings for Afridi. The legendary cricketer registered 12 golden duck in cricket ODI career. Another two Pakistan cricketers, Wasim Akram and Moin Khan have made it to this list having bagged 10 golden ducks each in their illustrious ODI careers.

Sri Lanka and Pakistan cricketers seem to have occupied this list completed with two more cricketers from the island nation in the top six of most golden duck in cricket. Sanath Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralitharan recorded nine golden duck in cricket.

T20I cricket

PlayerCountryGolden ducks in T20Is
Regis ChakabvaZimbabwe6
Umar AkmalPakistan6
Aaron FinchAustralia5
Rohan MustafaUnited Arab Emirates5
Moeen AliEngland5
Soumya SarkarBangladesh5
Shakib Al HasanBangladesh5
Tillakaratne DilshanSri Lanka5
Shahid AfridiPakistan5
Mashrafe MortazaBangladesh5
Fakhar ZamanPakistan5

T20I cricket is all about aggressive batting and some skilful bowling. But in an attempt to go berserk from the first ball of the innings, several batters have registered golden duck in cricket in T20I. The first player on this list is Zimbabwe’s Regis Chakabva who has six golden ducks to his name.

Pakistan’s dynamic batter Umar Akmal is in the second position with as many golden ducks as Chakabva after playing 84 T20Is for his country. A lot of players have registered five golden ducks in T20I cricket and they are – Aaron Finch, Rohan Mustafa, Moeen Ali, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Tillekaratne Dilshan, Shahid Afridi, Mashrafe Mortaza, Fakhar Zaman, Yahya Jakda.

Indians with the most duck in cricket

Zaheer Khan is at the top of the list for the most ducks in Indian cricket. The cricketer played for India from 2000 to 2014 before hanging his boots. He was primarily a bowler and didn’t have much to do when it came to batting. So he ended up bagging a whopping 44 ducks during his career. These are the most for an Indian across all formats.

Ishant Sharma is the second on this list with 40 ducks to his name in international cricket. Though he is still an active cricket in the international circuit, Ishant seems to have fallen out of favour having last played a game for India back in 2021.

Harbhajan Singh, the legendary off-spinner who was also part of India’s World Cup-winning squad in 2011, is in the third position on the list. He recorded a total of 37 ducks across all formats after playing for India from 1998 to 2016.

Anil Kumble and Sachin Tendulkar make up the top five list in this aspect with 35 and 34 ducks each in their respective careers.

Golden ducks on debut by Indians

Every player has a dream to represent his/her country at the international level. A lot of players end up living their dream and also score big in their debut game. But few realise harsh things at the top level and end up bagging golden ducks.

A lot of cricketers have bagged golden ducks on their debut and 13 of them are Indian players. Perhaps, among the current lot, KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah and Prithvi Shaw are the ones who registered a golden duck in their debut game. Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni and Umesh Yadav have also made it to the list of registering golden ducks on debut while playing for India.

Avishkar Salvi, Lalchand Rajput, Maninder Singh, Yograj Singh, B Reddy, MS Hardikar and G Kishenchand are the other cricketers to have bagged a golden duck on their debuts in a specific format for India.

Virat Kohli golden ducks in IPL

Virat Kohli and golden ducks in the Indian Premier League (IPL) are a never-ending love story it seems. The former India skipper has registered as many as six golden ducks in his illustrious IPL career so far. Interestingly, three of those golden ducks came in the IPL 2022 season alone.

He has been dismissed for a golden duck in IPL in the games against – Mumbai Indians in 2008, Punjab Kings in 2014, Kolkata Knight Riders in 2017, Lucknow Super Giants in 2022, and Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2022 (twice).


What is the meaning of duck in cricket?

If a batter is dismissed for 0 in his innings, then he/she is known to have bagged a duck in cricket.

What is a platinum duck in cricket?

A platinum duck is recorded when a batter is dismissed on the first ball of the entire match.

What is a bronze duck in cricket?

A bronze duck is recorded when a batter is dismissed on the third ball of his/her innings.


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