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A whitewash is an informal term in sport describing a game or series in which the losing person or team fails to score.
A whitewash may be in a single game where the loser fails to score any points or goals, or in a series where the loser fails to win a game. In the United States, the former is more usually called a shutout, while the latter is termed a sweep (or alternatively a 'clean sweep').
It is not typically used for certain games such as association football or baseball, where a failure to score is very common; in football the winning team's goalkeeper is said to keep a clean sheet if they do not concede a goal, while in baseball the winner pitches a shutout.
In cricket, the term is used when one team wins all the matches played in a particular series; some examples include:
- England's 3–0 defeat of Australia to win the 1886 Ashes series.
- Australia's 5–0 defeat of England to win the 1920-21 Ashes series.
- Australia's 3–0 defeat of England to win the 1979-80 Test series.
- West Indies' consecutive 5–0 defeats of England in 1984 and 1985-86. These two results are also commonly labelled blackwashes because of the dark skin of the West Indies players.
- Australia's 5-0 defeat of the West Indies in 2000-01 to win the Frank Worrell Trophy
- Sri Lanka's 5-0 defeat of England to win the 2006 NatWest Series.
- Australia's 5–0 defeat of England to win the 2006–07 Ashes series.
- India's 5–0 defeat of England to win the 2008 Hero Honda Cup during England's tour of India.
- India defeated New Zealand 5–0 to win 5 match ODI series in end of 2010. New Zealand was touring India.
- Bangladesh defeated New Zealand 4–0 to win 5 match ODI series (One game was abandoned) in October of 2010 and 3–0 to win 3 match ODI series in November of 2013. New Zealand was touring Bangladesh. These two matches were labelled Banglawash as the language of Bangladesh is Bangla and "Bangla" often used among locals for the things made in Bangladesh.
- England's 4-0 defeat of India to win the Pataudi Trophy during India's tour of England in 2011.
- Australia's 4-0 defeat of India to win the 2011-12 Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
- India's 4-0 defeat of Australia to win the 2012-13 Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
The term whitewash is also used in rugby when one team loses every single match in a particular series. There is also the term Grand Slam, which applies specifically to the Six Nations Championship and European tours by the southern hemisphere nations (the term whitewash here often refers to a team losing every match, which in a league format does not require that some other team wins every match). Some of the more recent notable rugby whitewashes are:
- 2005 New Zealand in the tour by the British and Irish Lions In New Zealand the term Blackwash is often used due to many kiwi teams playing in black.
In ATP and WTA tennis, the term whitewash is used when a player fails to win a game in a match (6-0, 6-0, 6-0 or 6-0, 6-0). In other words, it is called a triple or double-bagel respectively. Double bagels are more common in tennis.
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