6 Duck-Free Cricketers In The History Of ODI Cricket

6 Duck-Free Cricketers In The History Of ODI Cricket

Cricket is a game where records are broken, and new legends are born every now and then. However, some records are virtually impossible to break, like Sachin’s 100 tons, Anil Kumble’s taking ten wickets in an inning, or AB De Villiers’ fastest 150 record. Among these records is another record: a duck-free career. If you have ever batted, you know that facing the first ball of your innings can be daunting, especially if you’re facing a pacer. The fear of getting dismissed on zero runs or duck doesn’t make it easy. But what if we tell you that there are some ODI cricketers who have had a duck-free career, which means in their whole career, they were never dismissed at zero runs, which is quite an achievement. In this blog, we will have a look at six such players. 

6 ODI Players Who Were Never Dismissed On Zero Runs

Before starting the list, we must tell you that all the players in this list are included based on their one-day international or ODI careers and not T-20 or domestic careers. 

#1 Jacques Rudolph

Jacques Rudolph is a retired former South African cricketer who held the record for being Duck-Free throughout his career. He was a left-handed batsman who was known for his elegance and cover drives. Throughout his ODI career, spanning from 2003 to 2006, Rudolph played 45 matches and 39 innings, in which he scored 1174 runs in total. His use of strong and adaptable batting technique and an exceptional ability to rotate strike probably contributed to his duck-free record. 

#2 Peter Kirsten 

Another South African who holds a duck-free record is Peter Kirsten. Although his career was short, playing only 40 ODI matches from 1991 to 1994, Kirsten never got a duck in his innings. Unlike many flamboyant batsmen, Kirsten had a good temper and exceptional batting skills, which allowed him to score nine 50s and a highest score of 91. Eventually, he finished his career with an average run score of 33.28. 

#3 Yashpal Sharma

India’s very own Yashpal Sharma, although not a very renowned name, is one of the best batsmen in Indian cricketing history and also played a pivotal role in the 1983 ODI World Cup, which India won. Although Sharma was known by most of his fans as an ‘aggressive batsman,’ he managed to stay duck-free for around 7 years. During his career, Sharma played 42 matches along with 40 innings in which he scored 883 runs, with his highest-ever score being 83. Moreover, he scored four half-centuries during his illustrious career. 

Also Read: 5 Cricketers Who Never Got Their Due In Indian Team

#4 Matthew Cross

Although Scotland might not be the best team in the world or even among the best teams, Mathew Cross has always been a promising wicket-keeper batsman. During his career, Cross played 48 innings, scored 1,136 runs in total, and has a perfect duck-free career. Cross’s ability to play sensible cricket and rotate strike was pivotal in his duck-free career. In the 48 innings he played, his highest score ever was 83, along with 2 tons and 5 half-centuries. 

#5 Kepler Wessels

A true cricketing legend, Kepler is among the very few cricketers who have played ODI matches for Australia and South Africa. Throughout his legendary career, which spanned a little less than two decades from 1977 to 1994, he appeared in 109 matches, playing in 105 and scoring 3367 runs. Even after having such robust performances from 2 different teams, playing in a myriad of different pitches and stadiums, he has a perfect duck-free career, which speaks to how good of a batsman he really was. During his illustrious career, he scored one century and 25 half-centuries with an average of 31.53 runs per inning. 

#6 Hamish Marshall

With his consistent approach, New Zealand’s Hamish Marshal earned his spot on this list. He had a long and illustrious career, playing 66 matches from 2006 to 2019. He was known for building partnerships, which probably resulted in a duck-free career. His highest-ever score was a commendable 101 runs against Pakistan in 2003. Along with this, he also made 1 century and a whopping 12 half-centuries.

Does A Duck Free Career Mean Greatness?

So there you have it; these are six of the best players who never got dismissed on the first ball. However, it’s worth noting that a duck-free career doesn’t necessarily translate to a great career or greatness in general. Although a very tough and respected feat, there are many factors that come into play, like competition, pitch, venue, and many other things. That being said, these players have a unique record to their name, which etched their name in history as the very few ODI cricketers with a duck-free career. 

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