Cricket-loving duck shoots to fame

12:24, Mar 15 2013
Cricket test
"Help, I'm trapped"
Cricket test
The duck springs into action while something happens at the cricket.
Cricket test
The crowd packs the embankment at the Basin Reserve to catch a glimpse of the duck, probably.
Cricket test
The lonely male paradise duck fails to convince with his mocking impersonation of New Zealand cricketer Peter Fulton.
Cricket test
The Basin Reserve was once a lake, and there were plans to connect it to the sea by canal to convert it into an inner-city harbour. Now it's a cricket ground with a duck on it.
Cricket test
New Zealand cricketer Bruce Martin tries to ignore the duck.
Cricket test
The duck. It's on the cricket field.
Cricket test
This bloke dressed up as the pope for the cricket. Fancy that!

A duck who settled on the field during yesterday's England vs New Zealand test match has shot to fame - but his is a sad story.

The duck - a male paradise shelduck - brought amusement to onlookers as it quietly sat in the outfield for much of the match.

The birds are not endangered, with a conservation rating of LC (Least Concern) but this Basin bird was under threat from the occasional cover-drive, which it deftly avoided.

Paradise shelducks are known to mate for life, which led many to ask where the duck's mate was.

Sadly, a female paradise shelduck was found dead in the Basin Reserve ground the previous day, a Basin staff member confirmed.

She was said to have been given a "dignified burial".

English media outlets such as The Guardian, The Telegraph and BBC, who have been covering the match closely, have all made mention of the bird.

A mock Twitter account was set up - @ducknewzealand - and has quickly garnered 800 followers.

Full scoring is available here.


The Dominion Post