Okay, if you insist. This is the second-to-last time ever, writing the word Chinaman.

The Chinaman (the last time), in case you missed the debate, is the cricket term for the delivery of a left arm wrist spinner. Bowlers of this type are so rare - New Zealand has never had one - that it's hard to remember ever using it in the first place.

Then along came Kuldeep Yadav, the Indian who has baffled the Aussies with this type of bowling, and a thought-provoking column by an Australian cricket writer.

Supposedly, the term derives from an incident during a game between England and the West Indies in 1933. A left-arm Windies spinner of Chinese origin, Ellis Achong, took a wicket with a surprise deliver which spun from left to right. The English batsman, Walter Robins, is said to have made reference to being dismissed by a C!@#$%^&.


Andrew Wu, a Sydney Morning Herald cricket writer, has just sparked a furious debate by demanding that cricket remove what he described as a racially offensive term.

From my (mainly) white man's perspective, it feels like such a humourless position on a very petty matter. But I have lived a cosy life as part of a dominant culture, and not experienced the pain of being a person from a minority group receiving regular racial slurs. And let's be honest, Asians in our societies are on the receiving end of constant put-downs.

And Wu is right in a way. The C word is generally regarded as having derogatory connotations, however explainable or unexplainable that might be. And if the Robins story is true, there is something of a put-down of Chinese people in his reaction, although very mild it has to be said.

No offence was intended however. The word became a quirky term for a quirky delivery, and it always seemed like a fondly-regarded, weird and wacky part of the game.

Removing a term which is hardly ever used won't change a thing in the world, and there are so many more important and real issues to fight for. Losing it, even for a good cause, feels disappointing.

But I can't be bothered debating it further, or trying to line it up against other terminology such as the French cut, a cricket term for a poor shot which involves a lucky escape.

There isn't an answer to satisfy both sides of the debate on this. I'm not even happy with my own solution.

Anyway, first world problem solved, by taking Wu's word for it, and taking the word out.

An offended Australian gave me ticking off a few years ago about using 'Ocker', which sounds like quite an endearing term to these ears. Ooops. Word gone. Life moves on.