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Saturday, February 3, 2024

A " duck " in Cricket !!

When we started watching Cricket in mid 1970s, India had a long tail and would collapse so suddenly, expected as it was – Prasanna, Bedi & Chandrasekar.

At Brisbane, rookie Shamar Joseph defied his injured toe and sprinted around the Gabba in jubilation after his remarkable seven-wicket haul powered West Indies to a monumental upset of Australia in a pulsating eight-run victory in the second Test.   .. .. not all would have noticed that “King pair” ! ? !

When we studied in Schools, zero mark [getting nothing] was comically termed as ‘kozhimuttai’ [egg of a hen]…. In English it actually is ‘goose egg’ referring the numeral zero, indicating the failure of a team to score in a game.  In cricket, a duck is a batsman's dismissal for a score of zero.  Batsman getting out first ball is ‘golden duck’.  It is stated that the reference to ‘duck’s egg’ dates back to centuries when Prince of Wales scored a nought in 1866.

Duck is the common name for numerous species of waterfowl in the family Anatidae. Ducks are generally smaller and shorter-necked than swans and geese, which are members of the same family. Divided among several subfamilies, they are a form taxon; they do not represent a monophyletic group (the group of all descendants of a single common ancestral species), since swans and geese are not considered ducks. Ducks are mostly aquatic birds, and may be found in both fresh water and sea water.

Donald Duck is a cartoon character created by The Walt Disney Company. Donald is an anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He typically wears a sailor shirt and cap with a bow tie. Donald is known for his semi-intelligible speech and his mischievous, temperamental, and pompous personality. Along with his friend Mickey Mouse, Donald was included in TV Guide's list of the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time in 2002 and has earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has appeared in more films than any other Disney character.  Donald's first appearance was in The Wise Little Hen (1934), but it was his second appearance in Orphan's Benefit that same year that introduced him as a temperamental comic foil to Mickey Mouse    

Ever wondered - What is the shape of an egg … a search revealed – ‘the shape of an egg is approximate by "long" half of a prolate spheroid, joined to a "short" half of a roughly spherical lellipsoid, or even a slightly oblate spheroid’.    Certainly not easy to figure out what it is all about….  An oval (from Latin ovum, "egg") is a closed curve in a plane which "loosely" resembles the outline of an egg.  The term is not very specific, but in some areas (projective geometry, technical drawing, etc.) it is given a more precise definition, which may include either one or two axes of symmetry. In common English, the term is used in a broader sense: any shape which reminds one of an egg.

Many of you would have watched on TV (Australia matches – channel 9) that when a batsman is dismissed without scoring, a duck would walk on the screen !   

The term is a shortening of the term "duck's egg", the latter being used long before Test cricket began. When referring to the Prince of Wales' (the future Edward VII) score of nought on 17 July 1866, a contemporary newspaper wrote that the Prince "retired to the royal pavilion on a 'duck's egg' ".  The name is believed to come from the shape of the number "0" being similar to that of a duck's egg, as in the case of the American slang term "goose-egg" popular in baseball.

The first duck in a Test match was made in the first Test, between Australia and England at Melbourne in March 1877, when Ned Gregory was caught by Andrew Greenwood off the bowling of James Lillywhite. One particularly high-profile example of a duck came in 1948, when Don Bradman was playing his final Test match for Australia, against England at The Oval. In Australia's first innings, Bradman was bowled for a duck by Eric Hollies, causing his Test average to fall from 101.39 to 99.94; had he scored just four runs, his average would have been 100. As things turned out, Australia won the match by an innings, and so Bradman did not get to bat a second time.

In the first Test of Australia's tour of India in 1986, with the cumulative scores tied, Indian tailender Maninder Singh was trapped LBW by Greg Matthews for a four ball duck, ensuring just the second tied Test in Test Cricket history. Indian all-rounder Ajit Agarkar earned the unfortunate nickname "Bombay Duck" after being dismissed for ducks five consecutive times in test matches against Australia.

Golden duck is when batsman is dismissed of the very first ball;  Diamond duck is one where a batsman is out without facing a ball.  A pair is when batsman is out for a duck in both the innings and it is a King Pair when he gets out to the first ball in each innings.   In the Brisbane Test, World Cup 2023 hero Travis Head was out for a King Pair.

Here is the original Duck – the egg of a Duck !!

With regards – S Sampathkumar

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