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Over the years, cricket has developed not only a long list of written and unwritten rules, but also a large number of cricket terms that are used in communication between both players and fans. Some of them are international, and some are used only in a certain country. The term Gozza refers to the second group, and it means a situation when a batsman was knocked out with the first ball.

What is Gozza in cricket

The term Gozza is considered Australian and can mean not only the situation itself, but also the batsman, a specific player who made a mistake. This term is used if the first ball knocked out the batsman. In international cricket, the phrase Golden Duck is most often used (sometimes in this situation, you can also hear the expressions “Platinum duck”, “Duck” or “Diamond duck”). These expressions mean the same thing.

A batsman eliminated from the first ball does not bring his team a single run in the innings.

This situation is one of the most unpleasant for a batsman. The fact is that any cricket match, in whatever format (test, ODI or Twenty20) it takes place, consists of an innings, one or more. During the innings, each team, in turn, first becomes a pitcher (bowlers or fielders) and then a batter (batsmen).

The fielding team has a bowler, whose duty is to serve the ball to the batsman, who, in turn, must hit this ball and protect the wicket.

The goal of the batting team is to knock out the batsman. There are several ways to do this:

  • by destroying his wicket with a served ball,
  • catching the batsman’s batted ball on the fly so that it does not have time to touch the ground,
  • putting the batsman in an LBW situation (when he touched the ball with any part of his body except the bat),
  • hitting the ball on the wicket at the moment when the batsman makes a run.

So, at the moment when the goal of the batting team is to knock out the batsman, the goal of the batsman is to hold out as long as possible. Because every hit ball gives him the opportunity to earn runs for his team. The more runs each batsman earns, the more chances his team has to win.

The inning ends when all the batsmen of the batting team are knocked out. After that, the teams change roles.

Knowing these basic rules of cricket, it becomes clear why Gozza is a very undesirable scenario for both the batsman and his team.

The term Duck, which gave rise to the term Gozza, is an abbreviation of “Duck’s egg”. This expression appeared in the second half of the XIX century; it was first used in a British newspaper. Most likely, this expression came from the number 0, the appearance of which may resemble an egg.

When did the Gozza situation happen in Test Cricket for the first time

It happened in the match between Australia and England in 1877, held at the Melbourne stadium. Briton Andrew Greenwood knocked out Australian Ned Gregory from the first ball. This was the first recorded case in test cricket when a batsman received a Golden Duck.

Who is the record holder for this indicator

The following players are leading the ranking in terms of the number of Gozza received during their career in test matches:

  • Courtney Walsh (West Indies). This cricketer is originally from Jamaica; he played for the West Indies from 1984 to 2001, was the captain of 22 test matches. During his career, Courtney managed to establish himself as a fast bowler and achieved the best results playing in the opening bowling partnership with Curtly Ambrose. He has taken 519 wickets in test matches, bringing his team a total of 936 runs. As a batsman, he has won the Gozza title in test cricket as many as 43 times.
  • Stuart Broad (England). For his country’s national team, he played in all formats of international cricket and was the captain of the ODI and Twenty20 teams. He became the seventh bowler in the history of test cricket to take more than 500 wickets (524). The milestone was reached on the last, fifth, day of the third test series against the West Indies in 2020. Kraigg Brathwaite played against Stewart. As a batsman, Stewart was able to earn 3,370 runs in test cricket and become a Gozza 38 times.
  • Chris Martin (New Zealand). He has only 71 test matches and 123 runs to his credit. During his career, he managed to take 233 wickets in test cricket and was knocked out 36 times from the first innings.

What cases of Gozza can be found

During cricket matches, it happens that Gozza, or Golden Duck, form pairs. This is a situation that can happen in a match with two innings. If a player from one ball is eliminated in both innings, this situation is called a King Pair. In cricket, there are also Queen Pair (two-ball elimination in two innings) and Jack Pair (three-ball elimination in both innings).

The term Gozza is not commonly used as well as a significant part of other cricket terms. Most often, to denote a situation when the first ball knocks out a batsman, you can find the expression Golden Duck.

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Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert

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