Cricket to get its Duck back, in Warne's voice

Australian cricket isn’t on the Nine Network and it means there's no Daddles duck to rub salt to the batsman's wounds in the ongoing India vs Australia Test series.

In October, Fox Sports announced that it will come up with its own duck (in pic) to serve as 'a great symbol of that new attitude.'   -  Special Arrangement

A pitch with a greenish tinge and overcast skies were the backdrops to Australian opener Aaron Finch as he responded to an Ishant Sharma in-dipper with a half-hearted cover drive, only to see his stumps being thrown into disarray for a duck during the first over of Australia’s first innings of the opening Test against India in Adelaide.

The disfigurement of the woodwork was followed by a long walk back in slow motion, and pain for Finch. But something was amiss — it was the sneering swagger of Daddles, the Test cricket duck on screen during the Channel Nine Test cricket coverage, morphing into a scowl of despair before disappearing into anonymity, was a notable absentee.

Finch's current teammate though, Shaun Marsh, and former team-mates Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey all have had to bear the cross of the proverbial waddle. 

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For the first time in more than 40 years, Australian cricket isn’t on the Nine Network with Seven Network and Fox Sports bagging the broadcasting rights for Australian home cricket for the next six years. This also means there's no Daddles to rub salt to the batsman's wounds. 

In October, however, Fox Sports announced that it will come up with its own duck to serve as 'a great symbol of that new attitude.'

A screengrab of the duck during the Channel Nine coverage.

 

"The new duck signifies a new attitude to Australian Cricket broadcasting — we honour the past and create the future at Fox Cricket," Matthew Weiss, general manager, Fox Cricket, tells Sportstar.  

The duck doesn’t have a name as yet, and the fans are likely to have a say in the process. "We are considering running a competition and letting cricket fans name the new duck – he’s a ripper! There are various versions, he gets pretty angry the little fella!" Weiss says. 

"We had a designer commissioned to come up with the new duck and his animation – it’s been a lot of fun," he adds. 

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The unnamed bird will be voiced by Aussie spin legend Shane Warne. Asked the reason behind picking Warne, Weiss narrates an anecdote. "When we were setting up Fox Cricket Channel, we were telling Warnie about the new duck and he said he wanted to do the voice for it," Weiss reminisces before adding, "He did an audition and sent us a video message of himself by a lake in London impersonating a duck and the rest is history!"

And, Warne has 34 ducks in his career — the fourth most by a batsman behind Glenn McGrath (35), Chris Martin (36) and Courtney Walsh (43).