Left-arm unorthodox spin
Left-arm unorthodox spin, also known as slow left arm wrist-spin and formerly as chinaman, is a type of left arm wrist leg spin bowling in the sport of cricket. Left-arm unorthodox spin bowlers use wrist spin to spin the ball, and make it deviate, or ‘turn’ from left to right after pitching. The direction of turn is the same as that of a traditional right-handed off spin bowler; however, the ball will usually turn more sharply due to the spin being imparted predominantly by the wrist.
Some left-arm unorthodox bowlers also bowl the equivalent of a ’googly’, (or ’wrong'un’), which turns from right to left on the pitch. The ball turns away from the right-handed batsman, as if the bowler were an orthodox left-arm spinner.
In cricketing parlance, the word ’chinaman’ was sometimes used to describe the stock delivery of a left-arm wrist-spinner, or ‘unorthodox’ spin bowler (though some reserve it for the googly delivery. The origin of the term is uncertain. One version relates to a Test match played between England and the West Indies at Old Trafford in 1933. Ellis ’Puss’ Achong, a player of Chinese origin, was a left-arm orthodox spinner, playing for the West Indies. He had Walter Robins stumped off a surprise delivery that spun into the right-hander from outside the off stump. As he walked back to the pavilion, Robins reportedly said to the umpire, "fancy being done by a bloody Chinaman!", leading to the popularity of the term in England, and subsequently, in the rest of the world. However, it has been suggested that the term originated earlier than this, in Yorkshire. In 2017 Australian journalist Andrew Wu, who is of Chinese descent, raised concerns about the use of the term as a "racially offensive term" which he argued the term itself "has historically been used in a contemptuous manner to describe the Chinese". Wisden formally changed their wording of the term to slow left-arm wrist-spin in the 2018 edition of the Almanack, describing it as "no longer appropriate".
Among noted players who have bowled the delivery are Denis Compton, who specialised in the delivery when bowling. Although better known for fast bowling and orthodox slow left arm, Garfield Sobers could also use it to good effect. In cricket's modern era, Brad Hogg is a natural spinner of the ball who popularised the delivery and has one of the most well-disguised wrong'uns. He was a member of Australia's victorious 2003 and 2007 Cricket World Cup teams, picking up 13 wickets in 2003 and 21 wickets in 2007. Kuldeep Yadav, who debuted for India in March 2017, bowls it and Paul Adams played 45 Test matches for South Africa between 1995–2004 using the delivery. Former Australian player Michael Bevan also bowled the delivery.
- "Leggie in the mirror". ESPNCricinfo.
- "The Original Chinaman".
- "Isn't it about time cricket consigned 'chinaman' to the past?". The Guardian. London. 28 March 2017.
- Australia v India Test series 2017: Does cricket really need to continue using the term 'chinaman'?, Sydney Morning Herald, 26 March 2017. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
- Wisden replaces Chinaman with slow left-arm wrist-spin bowlers, CricketCountry, 12 April 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2019.