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That wicked ball! THE CHINAMAN!!! The Racist Origins of a Technical Term

March 31, 2017

Karthikeya Date28 March 2017, at

The term ‘Chinaman’ depicts not just a left-arm wrist-spinner, but the latent racism that originated it. It’s time the ICC takes steps to bowdlerise the word from the cricketing lexicon. 

Left-arm wrist-spinners are saddled with an unfortunate label that brims with colonial-era racism turned into a casual word. | The Hindu Archives

In cricket, wrist spin delivered by a left-arm bowler is termed ‘Chinaman’. The story goes that on one of the MCC’s colonial era Test tours to the West Indies, Walter Robins (who later went on to become England’s Chairman of Selectors in the 1950s) was out stumped against Ellis Achong, a slow left-arm finger spinner, when he bowled a wrist-spin delivery as a variation. Robins failed to notice the change from the hand (that the ball was being spun with the wrist and not the fingers, a fairly obvious change) and was stumped. On his return to the pavilion, Robins is said to have remarked “Fancy being done by a Chinaman!” There is some dispute about whom he said this to. One version of the story has him saying this to Learie Constantine, the great West Indies all-rounder of that era. Another version of the story has him saying this to the Umpire

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How Dubai training assisted Aussies in India: Nullifying Jadeja rather than Herath

March 4, 2017

Daniel Brettig, courtesy of ESPNcricinfo, where the title is “Australia enjoy fruits of Dubai detour”

The advantages derived from a visit to Dubai before the India Tests have become clear. Here’s how Australia ended up in the UAE, and what they had on offer there,
Australia had the chance to hit the ground running in India, after the time spent preparing for the series in Dubai © AFP


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The DRS in Cricket and Senaka Weeraratna’s Early Initiatives

January 29, 2017

The authorities in the cricketing world in the 20th century were highly conservative. They delayed the admission of Sri Lanka to the Test field till 1981. They  stubbornly insisted on sustaining the authority of the Umpires within the boundaries and resisted the introduction of new technology in aid of correct decisions.  Even these innovations have been adopted piecemeal (so that, for example, the discussions between DRS Third Umpire and onfield umpires have been open to the public only in recent years).

senaka-udrs Senaka Weeraratna mooted the virtues of DRS (also called UDRS)  early in the day. He has been assiduously pressing a campaign for his role to be recognised and recently initiated a web site devoted to that purpose: Visit

We are in need of an uncommitted historian to work out the intricacies of this reform process within the ICC and MCC, but I introduce some of the material presented by Senaka Weeraratna as an initial ‘taste’ of the data that can be seen within his web site. Michael Roberts

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Surprises in Sri Lanka’s T20 Squad for South Africa

January 20, 2017

Michael Roberts

As a desultory observer of Sri Lankan cricket from afar in Australia and without any observations of the local cricket scene, the list of players in the Sri Lankan Squad for the short-format games in South Africa was (is) full of surprises. Let me spell out my initial thoughts before proceeding to more considered commentary — albeit in a rambling manner.

thisara-perera-cwc-celeb_3270994 nuwan-kulasekara

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Greg and Virginia Hughes express Disbelief & Anguish at Coronial Inquest

October 23, 2016

Reuters, 14 October 2016, where the title reads “Angered family walks out on final day of Hughes inquest”

Greg Hughes alleged that hostile comments and a barrage of “illegal” short deliveries aimed at Hughes. The family of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes walked out of an inquest into his death on Friday after a submission from the lawyer for Cricket Australia that the coroner should not rule on claims the batsman been subject to threatening language  hughes-distress Mr & Mrs Hughes leave court in anguish Read the rest of this entry ?


Rahkeem Cornwall takes 8 Sri Lankan wickets

October 7, 2016
WICB President's XI squad cricketer Rahkeem Cornwall delivers a ball during Day 2 of the three-day tour match between India and WICB President's XI squad at the Warner Park stadium in Basseterre, Saint Kitts, on July 15, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD

WICB President’s XI squad cricketer Rahkeem Cornwall delivers a ball during Day 2 of the three-day tour match between India and WICB President’s XI squad at the Warner Park stadium in Basseterre, Saint Kitts, on July 15, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD

Rahkeem Cornwall took eight of the Sri Lankan A Team wickets in the first innings of the A-Test played at Khettarama Stadium this week … unusual I believe [some statistical specialist can perhaps tell us how many bowlers have this distinction at the top and second tier levels of cricket

Full name Rahkeem Rashawn Shane Cornwall

Born February 1, 1993, Antigua

Current age 23 years 249 days

Major teams Antigua Hawksbills, Leeward Islands,Leeward Islands Under-19s

Batting style Right-hand bat

Bowling style Right-arm offbreak

Rahkeem Rashawn Shane Cornwall
Batting and fielding averages
Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 4s 6s Ct St
First-class 18 35 1 728 101* 21.41 1052 69.20 1 4 15 0
List A 12 12 2 246 113* 24.60 1 0 2 0
Twenty20 16 12 2 85 28* 8.50 87 97.70 0 0 5 3 1 0
Bowling averages
Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10
First-class 18 29 4383 2004 86 8/108 12/205 23.30 2.74 50.9 2 7 1
List A 12 10 478 247 9 4/21 4/21 27.44 3.10 53.1 1 0 0
Twenty20 16 15 234 303 14 3/10 3/10 21.64 7.76 16.7 0 0 0
Career statistics
First-class debut Jamaica v Leeward Islands at Kingston, Dec 5-8, 2014 scorecard
Last First-class Sri Lanka A v West Indies A at Colombo (RPS), Oct 4-7, 2016 scorecard
List A debut Leeward Islands v Guyana at North Sound, Feb 7, 2013 scorecard
Last List A Leeward Islands v Guyana at Basseterre, Jan 15, 2016 scorecard
Twenty20 debut Leeward Islands v Trinidad & Tobago at North Sound, Jan 13, 2011scorecard
Last Twenty20 Jamaica Tallawahs v Antigua Hawksbills at Kingston, Jul 31, 2014scorecard
Recent matches
Bat & Bowl Team Opposition Ground Match Date Scorecard
1, 8/108, 3, 1/30 W. Indies A v Sri Lanka A Colombo (RPS) 4 Oct 2016 FC
41, 5/118, 21 WICB Pres XI v Indians Basseterre 14 Jul 2016 Other
11, 5/155, 17 Leeward Is v Barbados Basseterre 18 Mar 2016 FC
11, 3/59, 3/34 Leeward Is v Guyana North Sound 11 Mar 2016 FC
31, 5/88, 65, 0/30 Leeward Is v Trinidad & T Couva 26 Feb 2016 FC
97, 3/122, 24 Leeward Is v Windward Is Charlotte Amalie 19 Feb 2016 FC
6, 5/74, 24, 7/131 Leeward Is v Jamaica North Sound 11 Feb 2016 FC
35, 0/28 Leeward Is v Guyana Basseterre 15 Jan 2016 LA
11, 4/21 Leeward Is v Comb C&C Basseterre 13 Jan 2016 LA
21, 2/34 Leeward Is v Windward Is Basseterre 11 Jan 2016 LA
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A Kiwi’s Note on the Events at Pallekele, Kandy

July 31, 2016

From Mike Morley to his Tennis Partner and Opponent Michael Roberts, 31 July 2016

I’m assuming your grin is as broad as mine after the events** of the last five days….. And how reassuring to see that the Aussies’ behaviour when they are being beaten hasn’t improved one iota!  I’m pretty sure I didn’t see a single one of them go up and congratulate Mendis either after his 100, or when he left the field after being dismissed —- compare that with the Pakistanis’ behaviour in the recent test in England, where every single one of them made a point of catching up with Root after he was dismissed and congratulating him.

WTF is wrong with them? Do they all take a course in abusive behaviour and Sulking 101 before they take the field? Their entire attitude was summed up by Smith’s charging Herath in the first innings and, surprise, surprise, being beaten all ends up. And what about Herath’s handling of the endless short-pitched nonsense being bowled at him?  Read the rest of this entry ?