Why is not a left arm bowler who turns the ball away from left-handed batsman not called a left arm leg spinner, just like the right arm leg spinner? A left arm bowler who turns the ball into the left hand batsman is called a left arm off break bowler just like the right arm off spinner.

I'd also be interested in the origin of the name "chinaman".

  • You can check this article as well.
    – iDev
    Commented Mar 28, 2013 at 5:18
  • Does this ask the same question you're asking?
    – user527
    Commented Mar 28, 2013 at 13:17
  • @edmastermind29 : Its only a part of my question. And i honestly doesn't know which of the 2 was asked first. Commented May 2, 2013 at 6:20

1 Answer 1


Left arm bowlers who turn the ball away from a left hand batsman or into a right hand batsman are called leg spinners.

This is how the ball will spin after it pitches.

enter image description here

But the time, the term Left-arm unorthodox spinners or Chinaman has become popular and is basically the norm now. However, it is not incorrect to use the term left arm leg spinners as few cricket writers still use this term.

We do not hear much of this term as there are very few crickets who fall under this category. The most famous ones being South African, Paul Adams and Australian, Brad Hogg.

Wikipedia quotes the origin of the term chinaman as below:

The name has its origins in a Test match played between the West Indies and England at Old Trafford, Manchester, in the year 1933. Elliss "Puss" Achong, a player of Chinese origin, was a left-arm orthodox spinner, playing for the West Indies at the time. According to folklore, Achong is said to have 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 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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.