A diamond is one of the most cherished gemstones, and is derived from the ancient Greek word “adámas”, which means “unbreakable”. Its use in cricket, a sport known for its rich terminology, represents a rare moment that brings great pleasure to the opposite side.
King Edward VII, as a member of the Bullingdon Club Cricket Team at Oxford University, 1862
When King Edward VII scored naught in 1866, a newspaper wrote that he “retired to the royal pavilion on a duck’s egg”. The reference to the duck’s egg is believed to come from the shape of the number “0”, and this is similarly used in tennis, where “the egg” is the French word “l’oeuf”, which developed into the term “love”.
Well darling, did you make a duck, or haven't you been in yet? Punch, or The London Charivari, 1930’s
In cricket, there are several terms to describe specific types of duck. A golden duck, the most commonly used term, refers to a batsman who is dismissed by the first ball they receive. Thereafter, a batsman who is dismissed for naught on their 2nd or 3rd ball is said to be out for a silver or bronze duck respectively.
Don Bradman was out for a duck in his final match, 1948, ending on a Test average of 99.94 – regarded as the greatest achievement by any sportsman in any major sport
All ducks are celebratory moments for the opposition, none more so than the elusive diamond duck. As with the complexity of cricket, there are two occasions a batsman can receive this precious gem.
Firstly, if a batsman is dismissed without facing a ball, which can happen if they are run out from the non-striker’s end, or, more rarely, stumped or run out from a wide delivery. In this instance, the batsman is said to be out for a diamond duck.
Australia celebrate Alan Donald’s diamond duck in the 1999 World Cup – South Africa only required one run to win
The other occasion this glorious title can be bestowed upon a batsman is when they are dismissed on the first ball of a team’s innings. Although, depending upon the region, this can be referred to as a diamond duck, platinum duck, or royal duck.
Updated 18:29 - 9 Apr 2017 by Edinburgh Accies