Can we learn to love cricket in pyjamas? | Letters

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Worcestershire v Nottinghamshire in the NatWest T20 Blast. Twenty20 can save the English county game, writes Mike Stein. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Vick Marks should give far more recognition to the success of the Indian Premier League and Australia’s Big Bash in attracting children, teenagers, families, young and older men and women from different backgrounds and walks of life to cricket, something currently lacking in all forms of the English game. And he should also acknowledge T20’s success in women’s and disability cricket (Fudge over new T20 format will damage World Cup chances, Sport, 28 March). Fancy outfits, white balls, floodlights and all that jazz may not appeal to the cricket purists – “Nay lad, have you overslept and turned up in your pyjamas, pink at that?” – was the initial response of the Yorkshire grumbler’s club to T20.

But beyond the boundary, it represents a radical shift to social inclusion, including a return to free-to-view television broadcasting, next generation recruitment, getting young people playing sport and fitter – and a funding base that will ensure the continuation of red-ball county and Test cricket. Just a pity about the weather.
Mike Stein
Pudsey, West Yorkshire

• I wonder if Chinese people would really be offended if they were properly informed about the term “chinaman”, as spelled with a small “c” in the game of cricket (Cricket consigning ‘chinaman’ to history is long overdue, Sport, 29 March).

As a child in the 1950s I was taught that the term refers to the left-armer’s counterpart of the right-armer’s googly. Thus, it is not, as many would-be authorities seem to have it, the “stock ball” of the left-handed wrist spinner. On the contrary, it is his or her surprise ball that spins in the opposite direction to that expected by the batsman.

It’s interesting that Chambers Dictionary had it completely wrong as “an off-break bowled by a left-handed bowler to a right-handed batsman” until the 11th edition in 2008, which gives “a ball bowled by a left-arm bowler that spins in the opposite direction to the bowler’s usual delivery” and mentions the small “c”.

Leary Constantine’s was a good question, but I suspect Walter Robins meant the ball, not the man.
Hugh Darwen
Warwick

• Would “tea-break” be a better name for a “chinaman”?
Sam White
Lewes, East Sussex

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