Cricket Terms

Term Hindi: चीनी

Understanding the Chinaman in Cricket

Creditably viewed as one of the most fascinating terminologies, “Chinaman” in cricket discourse delineates a unique style of bowling. Characteristically delivered by left-arm spin bowlers, this distinctive technique enthrals spectators and presents challenges for batsmen alike.

Origins of the Term

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The term “Chinaman” traces its roots back to an international Test match that took place on 17th July 1933 between England and the West Indies. The player who inadvertently gave birth to this term was Ellis Achong, an Indo-Trinidadian playing for the West Indies and notably of Chinese heritage; hence, the naming impeachment. It is believed that after being bold out, Walter Robins remarked to the umpire, “fancy being done by a bloody Chinaman!”. From there on, any delivery matching his description from that day onwards was referred to as a “Chinaman.”

Technicalities behind a Chinaman

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In cricket nuances, ‘Chinaman’ describes a mode of bowling performed by a left-arm unorthodox spinner. The peculiarity lies in how the ball spins while approaching towards the batsman. When someone bowls left-handed without presenting much wrist action and throws it with an off-spin – essentially spinning left-to-right when watched by the bowler – he is said to have delivered a “Chinaman”. This ballistic behavior caters double bounces prior to reaching the wicketkeeper.

  • Action: A bowler delivers a chinaman using his left hand with added twist from wrists such that it turns from right to left (for a right-hand batsman).
  • Bounce: A chinaman usually has a double bounce prior to reaching the wicketkeeper.
  • Dissimilarity with regular left-arm spin: Regular left-armspinner bowls at an angle such that it spins from right to left while replacing leg-break for off-break aligns with unorthodox spinner thereby coining the term “Chinaman”.

Famous Chinaman Bowlers

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The cricket world has witnessed several esteemed bowlers who mastered this art of ‘Chinaman’. Some eminent figures include Brad Hogg, Paul Adams, and Michael Bevan. In recent times, Indian cricketer Kuldeep Yadav has excited spectators worldwide with his skilful dexterity in executing multiple successful ‘Chinamans’.

Bowling a ‘Chinaman’ requires impeccable control over wrist movements, precision judgement concerning line and length, and unremitting grit towards practice, thus making it one of the toughest arts to master in the game of Cricket.

In Summary

A Chinaman delivery can add immense charm to any given cricket match’s progression. However, its complexities make it a tough trait to muster consistently. The term might have originated out of an anecdotal encounter but inevitably carved itself into cricketing manuals due to its inherent devicefulness and entertainment quotient. This style of bowling is truly a treat for viewers if executed well by a naturally talented or ceaselessly trained bowler.



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