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It’s the score that every batter wants to avoid, no matter what level of cricket they play at. Some have accumulated more noughts than others over the course of their careers, and here’s a list of the most ducks at international level.
Who has the Most Ducks in All Formats?
The player with the most ducks across all forms of cricket is Muttiah Muralitharan. The Sri Lankan international player recorded 59 ducks in a career that lasted from 1992 to 2011.
Muralitharan played in 495 international matches and batted in 328 innings. He therefore recorded a duck for every 5.55 innings played.
Most Ducks in Test Cricket
Who has the Most Ducks in Test Cricket?
The player with the most ducks in test cricket is the West Indian Courtney Walsh. The West Indian made 43 scores of nought in the longest form of the international game. Walsh played in 132 test matches and batted 185 times.
As a ratio, he made a duck in every 4.3 test innings that he played.
Top 5 Most Ducks in Test Cricket History
Courtney Walsh – 43
As we have just seen, Courtney Walsh holds the record for most ducks in test cricket with 43. We know that the giant West Indian was primarily a fast bowlerí, but this is an unwanted record that he probably doesn’t think about too much.
There are no real positives to his batting that we can add here. Courtney Walsh never made a half century and his highest score in tests was an undefeated 30. He scored 936 runs at an average of just 7.54.
Stuart Broad – 39
England’s Stuart Broad is the only player on the top five list who still has a chance of overtaking Courtney Walsh at the top. He has recorded 39 ducks so far in his first 159 test matches.
Broad has played in 232 innings across those 159 tests so he averages a duck for every 5.94 knocks. Unlike Walsh at the very top, Stuart Broad is a very competent batter and he has made a century in tests, so he will be doing his very best not to break the record before he retires.
Chris Martin – 36
New Zealand’s Chris Martin was known by opposition bowling units as a ‘walking wicket’. He batted for the Kiwis at number 11 and never tended to hang around for very long.
Martin was a competent seam bowler, but he was one of the world’s worst batters. His 36 test ducks came from just 104 innings, so he has the worst ratio of anyone on this list of one nought for every 2.88 times he batted in tests.
Glenn McGrath – 35
Australia’s Glenn McGrath was one of the finest seam bowlers that the game of cricket has ever produced, and his job wasn’t to bat for long periods of time. He was the Aussies’ regular number 11 and it’s no great surprise that he features highly on this list.
The man known as ‘Pigeon’ finished with 35 ducks from his 138 test innings. He famously made a test match fifty, but that ratio of one duck for every 3.94 test knocks is a truer representation of his batting qualities.
Shane Warne – 34
Shane Warne still holds the record for the most test runs without a century and he hit another unwanted milestone in the longest form of the game. Warne came agonisingly close to a ton with a top score of 99, but his return of 34 ducks tells us that he largely struggled with the bat.
Those 34 completed scores of nought came from 199 test innings and that means he registered a duck for every 5.85 times he walked to the crease.
Most Ducks in ODI
Who has the Most Ducks in ODIs?
The man with the most ducks in One Day International Cricket is Sanath Jayasuriya. The Sri Lankan recorded 34 completed scores of nought in 433 innings.
Jayasuriya played for 22 years and that return equals a ratio of one duck for every 12.73 times that he walked to the crease.
Top 5 Most Ducks in ODI History
Sanath Jayasuriya – 34
In this particular category, we have a batter leading the way in terms of the most ducks. Sanath Jayasuriya was a very effective left hander for Sri Lanka and he was known for his power hitting in the shorter forms.
He won’t be happy that he has the record for most ducks but we have to put that into context. He played in 445 ODIs which is the third highest of all cricketers past and present.
A ratio of one duck in every 12.73 innings is more than acceptable, as we’ll see when we continue to work through this list.
Shahid Afridi – 30
He was known as Boom Boom during his playing days but, in the case of Shahid Afridi, it could often be ‘Boom or Bust’. He aimed to score quickly from the very first ball, but that meant that he could be vulnerable early on in his innings.
The Pakistan all-rounder played in 398 One Day Internationals. He batted on 369 occasions and he recorded 30 ducks. That means he made a completed score of nought in every 12.3 of his ODI knocks.
Wasim Akram – 28
Shahid Afridi’s former Pakistan team mate Wasim Akram slots in at number three on this list. A power hitting left handed batsman, Wasim made 28 ducks in 356 ODIs for Pakistan.
He only batted 280 times in those games, so his ratio of ducks to innings is a respectable one. Wasim Akram made a completed score of nought for every 10 occasions that he batted.
Mahela Jayawardene – 28
Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene is second only to Sachin Tendulkar on the list for most appearances in an ODI. He played in 448 One Day Internationals so his list of 28 ducks is another one that needs to be put into context.
Jayawardene made 28 ODI ducks in total, but he batted on 418 occasions in this international format, so his ratio of one duck in 14.92 innings is the best of any player on this list. We should also remember that he made 12,650 ODI runs with 19 centuries.
SL Malinga – 26
As a bowler, you’ll be hoping that the batters do their job and you won’t be asked to contribute to the run scoring. That’s often the case but, for Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga, he was called to the crease enough times to become the only out-and-out bowler in this top 5 list.
Malinga made 26 completed scores of nought and that list of ducks comes from 226 matches. He batted in 119 of those games, so his ratio of one duck for every 4.57 completed innings is the worst of any player on this list.
Who has the Most Ducks in T20i?
The cricketer with the most ducks in T20 internationals is the Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi. He played in 99 T20is and recorded eight completed scores of nought.
Afridi batted in 91 of those games so he has a ratio of one duck for every 11.37 completed T20i knocks.
Of course, these statistics need to be put in some context. In a number of these cases, we are talking about bowlers whose job it is to take wickets and not to score runs. Yes, there are a number of notable batters who feature on some of the lists and these records are particularly interesting.
The ratio of ducks to completed innings helps to add that context, and I hope that some of the figures that I’ve used help to clarify that certain players aren’t as bad as their list of ducks might suggest.
I’ll just finish with a note on T20 internationals. This is a relatively new format of the game and there are more T20is played than ODIs or tests. I would therefore expect Shahid Afridi’s current record of eight ducks to be overtaken in the near future.